Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Natália - People of Brazil

    Natália is the daughter of one of the faithful families in the church here.  She is a lot of fun and particularly likes to play with Mahalia.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I might just cry over spilled milk....

 Milk is one of the things we miss most. You know, real, creamy, cold whole milk. We can buy milk down here, but it isn't at all the same. Here you buy your milk in boxes...off the shelf...unrefrigerated. Yes, I said "un"refrigerated.

   They "super-heat" the milk so that it kills the bacteria, and then it can sit in a box on your shelf for up to six months before you drink it. Mmmmmm. Doesn't that just sound so appetizing? :)  After you open the box, you have to refrigerate it and drink it within two days.  Everything dairy is made with this milk. You can taste it in the cheese, ice cream, etc.

This is the way we bought milk for the first several months that we were here. We used it, but somehow milk that has been sitting out on a shelf for a few months doesn't have that great of a flavor, and it's actually slightly gritty in texture - not creamy at all.

We finally discovered that some local dairy farmers were selling milk at the weekly market at the town square.  We were very excited.  It comes in these 2-liter bottles. Did you notice that they all have different caps? That's because those bottles were first used for different brands of soda. Because of the "cleanliness" (?) of the twice-used bottles, and the fact that the milk hasn't been refrigerated before we buy it (and it isn't always from that morning's milking), I pasteurize the milk. It does take extra hassle and work, but it's worth it to be able to have good milk every week.

I use a double-boiler to bring the milk to the correct temperature without scorching it. 

 When it reaches the correct temperature, I dump it into another pan that then gets an ice bath.

 Bringing the temperature of the milk back down quickly is better for the life of the milk, and it seems to help it not to pick up any strange flavors.  I stir the milk as it is cooling to help it cool faster. 

I have to do this for each 2-liter bottle of milk we buy. Here is the milk I get for my work. It's six liters of pasteurized milk that will last us (if we use it carefully) a week. In all, it takes about two hours of non-stop work every week, plus the time that Omar has to bike down to the farmer's market early every Sunday morning to buy it.  A bit of a hassle, but worth it to have good milk!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ugly Bird - Postcard From Brazil

     I post this Black Vulture just in case you think that all birds here in Brazil are beautiful and colorful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Letícia - People of Brazil

     Letícia is one of the little girls who was able to come to VBS last fall.  We were happy to have her visit with some of her relatives who are faithful members of the church here. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Has Anyone Ever Seen This Happen Before?

   I don't remember ever being squeamish about cutting into a tomato before, but when I cut into this particular one, I dropped it like a hot potato (pun intended) and gasped. I thought that it was full of worms! It looked like a bunch of little squirming varmints were popping out of it! It took me a few seconds to realize that it was seedlings that had germinated INSIDE the tomato. 

   Omar took the tomato out and shallowly planted it in our yard, but it never rooted in the ground. I guess all it was good for was giving me a good scare.....and a blog post.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ernesto - People of Brazil

    Ernesto is one of the men from a sister church here in Cuiabá.  I have been able to get to know him, thanks to the Camp that the churches here all attend.  It's also nice that our children get to play together. I posted a picture of his son Óliver last summer, here.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Jacaré - Postcard from Brazil

    Here in the center of South America, we have plenty of Jacaré, a type of Caiman of the Crocodile family. (Wiki)  Although we don't necessarily have them here in our suburb of Cuiabá, you don't have to go far out of town to start seeing them!  They supposedly do not harm or interfere with humans, but I prefer to keep my distance just in case!


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