Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goodies from Ecuador!


My youngest sister, Elizabeth, just got back from a month long stay in Ecuador, after a school year's worth of preparation with the Pangea project. She learned about the small communities who are in an ongoing lawsuit with big oil companies that are dumping in their waters, spent time in the capital city, Quito, as well as staying with a host family in Yungilla, learned about the organic practices the local farmers use, but the most important thing - she brought me back a bunch of awesome stuff! (Just kidding! Sort of.)


She brought back some strawberry and blackberry jam, but saved the "weird" ones for me - thanks! She knows me well ;). The orange one is a marmalade made with uvilla, or Cape gooseberry as it is called in South Africa where they began cultivating it in the 1800s. It is very sweet and almost has a syrupy consistency, perfect with Earth Balance on toast! The second one says it is a preserve of chigualcan, some kind of fruit that I can't find any mention of on the internets. My sister says it reminded her of star fruit. These preserves are not as sweet and remind me a little of pear... I think they deserve a more savory accompaniment than toast. Any ideas?

She also brought me back some organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee that is only available for purchase in Ecuador! I love coffee and sustainability, so this is perfect for me. The bags are even hand-woven by local women! I'm so excited about this coffee that I can't get myself to open the friggen' bag and try it... hopefully blogging about will force me to take the plunge. And take a picture to remember it by! My other gifts are a vegan soap, handmade red and black earrings (Radical Cheerleading colors, baby!), and a beautiful multicolored shawl. Yay!






Elizabeth with her host family

8 comments:

Katie said...

What great souvenirs! The mystery jam sounds very interesting.

I love your blog :)

VeganFabulous said...

How Fun!!! Souvenirs are the best!

By the way - thank you for providing all the background information on the Nutshell/Ten01 situation! I really enjoy that we can have these kinds of conversations over our blogs!!

Chelsea said...

Thanks, Katie!

VF - No prob, I'm glad you appreciated it :) After writing all that, I was like "oh man, I'm just totally taking this over! I hope she doesn't mind..." LOL Your blog is my favorite!

Bianca said...

Oooh, I love getting presents from other countries! The preserves sound great. Maybe you could use the one that would pair better with a savory dish for an accompaniment with grilled, marinated tofu.

As for pesto, I guess you could make it without a food processor, but it'd involve a lot of mincing of basil and nuts. Do you have a blender? That would work too. You could buy chopped nuts since blenders (or at least mine) don't chop nuts well.

Chelsea said...

Thanks, Bianca! I have a blender but I've always had this assumption that it isn't powerful enough for pesto, but I haven't actually tried it so who knows! Buying chopped nuts to help the blender is a great idea :)

VeganFabulous said...

You can take it over all you want Chelsea! I love the conversation I am constantly learning something new! You are the best!

VeganCowGirl said...

Your sister sounds like a totally amazing woman! What a great adventure.

Enjoy your jam.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

My daughter was in Ecuador lst fall and brought me coffee too! nd chocolate. OMG chocolate like nothing I've had...

And a beautiful scarf she didn't know was wool. :( Ah well...