La Comida Corriente

With Maggie at Beth and the girls’ for lunch today, Sunday. Frilolitos Pintos, arroz, red chile enchiladas; the sabor of the holidays – the ultimate comfort food! And of course I ate lots. Reminds me of….. La comida corriente in Panama in the 60’s in the pensiones.

We only lived on like $60 or $70 a month so don’t compare prices though this really was cheap. Start always with a ‘sancocho’, like a soup or weak stew. Some veggies and a ‘meat’. Then beans, rice, and some kind of meat (whatever had been available that day considering the lack of refrigeration so take what you could get. Actually, sometimes, I think, it was horse – at least they said it was and, yeah, I believe it. And bread went with the meal. This was usually a 50cent meal and did the job.

Often, in little villages with the doctor and his driver and assistant we would eat at a home and be served about the same fare though I do remember having venison at times. These were very small deer (venado) from the mangrove swamps or the tidal swamps. Second choice would have been a canned-tuna or canned sardines; and I tried to make spagetti with sardines as a base, once; it didn’t work but what the heck, often that was the only meat available in Remedios, the small village I live in.

Anyway, I’m not comparing what I ate at Beth’s to the comida in Panama, but just how the really simple foods are the best!

And so, I’m making a green chile stew this evening – lots of hot green, hamburger, lots of green onions (I don’t care for regular onions), potatos, and lots of varied spices – just as life should be – simple ingredients and spiced-up.


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