Sunday, December 27, 2009

Taco Rice and Cheese Redux

I've blogged about this before, one of my all time favorite meals, taco rice and cheese. I found this in Kinville in Okinawa. Honestly, it's probably nothing but cheap bar food to fill Marines belly's, but we liked it.

The classic taco rice and cheese is a bed of sticky white rice, topped with a healthy portion of taco meat, covered in shredded cheddar cheese. Aside from the States we have yet to fully duplicate that recipe.

In Montevideo it was the cheese. There was no sharp cheddar anywhere. Only white cheese.

Here, we can get the ground beef, but it's frozen Australian beef and it's already salted. Don't get me wrong it really is good tasting beef, but a bit hard to get the seasoning right. Again, no sharp cheddar cheese, but the white cheese we used fit the bill. On a health kick we used red long grain rice. I didn't think I would like it but it was very good.

On the side we had a bean salad with chopped bits of pineapple, onion, red and yellow pepper, jabanero mango hot sauce and coconut oil. All that was missing was some cilantro, it was till very delicious.

Now go out and have some taco rice and cheese!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meat Sri Lankan (Expat) Style

Just finished eating a turkey burger, probably one of the few burgers I've had since I've been here.
We purchased it from the store at work, much like we purchase most of our meat. It comes from Australia, it's frozen and vacuum packed. There is a pretty decent selection, and the brats and other sausages are really great.

We had made an order for some meat and it was pretty expensive. The turkey burgers were individually sealed, nice, but they were also seasoned and had its fair share of filling. They looked small but surprisingly one burger each filled us up.

The grocery store does have a meat counter, but we have yet to purchase anything there. It's mostly chicken and mutton and ground mutton. The beef comes from Australia and again, it's expensive.

There are butchers at the local market, but judging by the smell we will never buy anything there, that and just walking through the place gives you the creeps.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Food Feast

So we were on the way to the Galle Face hotel for sandwiches by the pool and book reading on the their little beach, or so we thought. We both mentioned that we were really hungry and the lunch buffet was still a good option, we would look at that.

We arrive at the hotel and head towards the buffet and notice that it's done up much more festive than usual. Then we notice the selection was certainly not the usual fair, and then I realized, this was a special lunch buffet.

I knew that this was not going to be priced on par with the usual lunch buffet, probably closer to double that price, but worth it. Unfortunately the hostess was not able to seat us at our usual sitting area with great views of the ocean, in fact many of the tables had reserved cards on them. She had to seat us at an overflow section but that was okay as it was the dining room area of the hotels fanciest restaurant.

The food selection was so great it was difficult at best where to begin, but I found a way! Amongst the many stations was a prawns and calamari tempura chef, pasta chef, omelet chef, Mongolian bbq chef, shaved chicken schwarma chef (Not like any pita you've had in your life), lamb and turkey carving, cheeses, salads, juices and that's not including the hot plate items on the other side, the dessert display and the ice cream chef with all of the gooey stuff.

We ended up staying almost three hours! Two main course plates, ate fairly slowly, coffee and desserts later.

I thought we would need a tri-shaw ride home but we made it!

And here are the pictures: Dessert plate, bread display, orange mousse in shot glasses.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!!!

Christmas has arrived in Sri Lanka. It's a gray dreary morning so far. Happy Christmas? That's what they say here, merry conotates drunkeness, like Robin and his merry men etc.

I bought a Santa hat and wore it down the main road yesterday on my way home fom work. I got a few grins on the sidewalk that made it worth it. I had also bought some Reeses Pieces and chocolate covered marshmallow Santa's. When I got to the apartment I started giving them out to the guards who were very happy. Pretty much anything American is a neat thing for them. My guess is more than a few brought the candy home for the kids.

We went to a midnight church service and there was a brass ensemble that accompanied the pipe organ. They really made some joyful noise within the church. The church is very old with high ceilings so the acoustics were wonderful.

Hope everyone has a great day with family and friends.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Christmas Door

This is one of the neatest things for Christmas I have ever scene. Two men working on their own time wove coconut leaves together and created this wonderful nativity scene. You really have to see it in person, but alas you can't, LOL, so here are some pictures.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Going to The Airport

I had to go to the airport today before noon, what a trip that was. The entire way is on a 4 lane road divided by basically a bumper strip. At anytime a vehicle could cross over and hit oncoming traffic. I know this is not unique per se' but it just adds to the madness.

Every hundred yards or so pedestrians are jumping out in front of you to cross the road. Some take their chances at the pedestrian crosswalk but here it doesn't make a difference.

Now add big smoke belching buses drifting into our lane the entire way.

Numerous dead dogs.

The occasional slow trishaw that's drifting all over the highway.

The army checkpoints.

Intersections without traffic lights with trucks and buses crossing the highway at will.

Add more pedestrians.

Add our driver who is constantly flashing his high beams and honking his horn every two minutes.

Maintain for one hour.

Yeah, even though I wasn't driving it is a bit overwhelming.

I get to do it again tomorrow!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Sri Lanka

The Christmas spirit is in full swing here, the malls all have Christmas tree's up, decorative lights everywhere, the apartment building put a small Christmas tree in our foyer and setup a larger tree and nativity scene in reception. Funny thing as they cover baby Jesus with a white cloth from head to toe. My guess is that on Christmas day they will uncover him.

The restaurant on the first floor has been entertaining many a Christmas party, there was one last night that had the music thumping till the wee morning hours.

I had been thinking about why all the Christmas frenzy in a predominately Buddhist country, but I realized this was a British colony and the tradition certainly was passed down.

Now only if they can pass down the price of the frozen turkeys! Around $9 per kilo!

Book Corner - Finished Reading

Cross Country by James Patterson
Paperback 419 pages
Detective Thriller

By the name one can tell it's from the Alex Cross series, and I know, reading James Patterson, how cliche'. As with any James Patterson books it's chock full of murder and bloodshed and in the end Alex Cross saves the day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Buddha's Back

Buddha's back, and he's back to his old gray self. Last month Buddha inexplicably turned a shade of yellow, I have no idea how other than the fact that the statue was replaced.

Well lo and behold he's back, he's bad and he' gray again. I'm curious if it's a plastic or concrete statue.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Buddha's Gone

There is a big Buddha statue as you enter the office building that leads to our apartment. Yesterday it was removed.

I have my theories.

Was it removed to be cleaned? Maybe? But, there are many Christmas tree's springing up throughout the office building. In fact I wanted to get a picture that would have shown Buddha and a Christmas tree in one frame. I wanted to show the irony more than anything.

So, is it possible that the office management removed the Buddha statue so not to conflict with one faith over the other? I don't know. Maybe it was removed just to be cleaned, LOL, who knows/

The Light Show

One thing I have to say bout living here is that good ol' mother nature does put on a good show for us. Although I haven't woken up early enough to see the sunrise apparently it' quite beautiful, I do routinely see the sunset which is always fantastic.

But when the sun comes down the new show starts, the heat lightning and just plain old lightning that lights up the sky. It's pretty neat as there are no obstacles out in the ocean to distort your view so you can see the lightning from one end to the other.

Sometimes you can see the ocean lit up from the lightning, it's pretty neat.

11:43AM Sunday, December 6th

I see that some snow had fallen in Northern Virginia today, and it's chilly back home in Virginia Beach. Stark contrast to the weather we have been having in Colombo!

Scattered clouds. Warm. 88 °F
Scattered clouds. Warm.
Distance:17 mi from Colombo
Description:Scattered clouds. Warm.
Temperature:88 °FComfort Level:94 °F
Wind:8 mph from 30° North-northeastDirection South-southwest
Last update:Sun 10:40 AM IST

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From a distance

So my wife tells me today she saw what appeared to be a fishnet out in the ocean. She described it as a line floating on the surface in either direction as far as you could see. She grabbed my binoculars to get a better view, it was trash. A line of trash floating along with the rip tide. She said that there was also logs bobbing up and down now and then.

If I need any proof that this was a third world country.

Song Birds

As I walked to work today I heard something different, pleasant, almost out of place. The sweet tunes of a songbird, drowned out by the caw caw caw's of a raven.
I guess you just had to have been there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Cat Dog Experiment

A new country and a new dilemma with cat food pouches. Those yummy delightful bags of cat joy that brings at least one of our cats, Cricket, running into the kitchen to the sound of anything that even crinkles like a pouch bag.

In Montevideo the cat food pouches just disappeared off the shelf never to return. Here they have 2 different flavors of Whiska, both fish, and both not entirely favorable to Cricket. Hard to describe what it looks like in her food bowl, not so appetizing.

Well I had noticed dog food in pouches and wondered a little bit about trying it. So the boss (Chris) went shopping with me and we both mulled over the dog food, the pouches were larger and the prices was better but the most important part, it was chicken flavored which both cats enjoy.

Bought two pouches and tried it on our feline friends.

The verdict? Two paws up! They ate it up well.

An no, they're not barking yet and unless you want your hand bit you better not rub their bellies!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Corner - Finished Reading

The Broken Window: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver
417 pages

Its been awhile since I can say I read a book I liked, and here it is. Seemingly a pretty long book but I was able to put it away fairly quickly.
As a geek I felt that some of it was a little overboard, but enough to be interesting.

This has been another typical Doc Report book review.