Panama In An Rv - Life in an RV Blog at - 181256

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Panama in an RV 
Jun. 17, 2010 5:20 pm 
Updated: Jun. 24, 2010 5:12 pm
 Bob and I had an attempt at a Panamanian dinner tonight and this is how it went: I am going to pick my little cell phone and order a pizza...UGH! I started out yesterday evening making a ceviche and that wasn't so bad but fried plantains...never again...YUCK! I also found a cold cucumber soup on wikia and it was ok but not earthshattering good. What was good was the Panamanian Apple Cake< I tweaked this recipe by using brown sugar instead of white and applesauce rather than oil. I also added in a 1/4 cup of coconut and half a shot of white rum. It turned out rather dense like a quick bread and was delicious.
 Panama is the southernmost country of both Central America and North America. It is on the isthmus that connects North and South America. It's bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital is Panama City.
 The earliest known inhabitants were the Cuevas and Cocle tribes, but they were wiped out due to fighting and disease when the Spaniards arrived int he early 1500's. Panama is divided into 9 provinces. It ranks 118th worldwide on the basis of land size. Panama has a central spine of mountains that form the Continental Divide. The divide doesn't form part of the huge mountain chains of North America and only near the Colombian border are there highlands that are related to the Andes of South America. The spine is the highly eroded arch of an uplift from the sea bottom in which peaks were formed by volcanic intrusions.
 I know you're probably wondering where the pictures are in the middle of this blog and I'll tell ya...I had it all nice and layed out on blogger and for some reason, it won't copy and paste here...I'm over it! I did, however, find a really neat site that I'm contemplating moving these blogs over to...I'll let you know what I decide next week about that and if I do, I'll post a link.
 I realize that this week's menu is rather disappointing, but everyone, I think, is entitled to an off day or week in the kitchen and this is probably just mine. I was super excited about this menu, too, because in Panama, they utilize tons of fresh ingredients. I chose the ceviche recipe because we happen to love a good ceviche. Now I don't know if it's because of Bob's radiation or what, but he didn't tolerate it well. I'm just having a pretty painful week, period, due to arthritis and a matter of fact, I've only been online for a short time each day other than today. I've been in bed quite a bit because I start to shut down when I get an RA flare-up and all I want to do is sleep and before you know it, it's next week...crazy, huh? Our weather doesn't help much either. We went from in the 80's last weekend to overcast and chilly this week.
 I wound up spending $19.29 on groceries for this meal...mostly on the shrimp and that left just 71 cents to go into the beach bag this week. The total after 24 weeks: $132.51.
 This week Citrus Punch picked French Polynesia (Tahiti) and mauigirl picked Vietnam. I only posted on the exchange one time last Sunday as the response was so overwhelming that 24-5 you all want Tahiti next week, so that's where we'll go!
 I am still doing that giveaway of the box full of stuff the week after next. I've actually gone ahead and set a new email that, if you wouldn't mind, just because it makes it easier on me, sending an email to and just say "contest" and give your AR screen name. Please send to that way I know if you want in on the giveaway or you don't! I appreciate it. I'm signing off this week with saying support your local chapter of M.A.D.D., they do a lot of good! I'm going back to bed, until Tahiti next week, peace!
 OH!! BEFORE I FORGET!! BOB IS GETTING HIS VOICE BACK!! Although he either sounds like Wolfman Jack or he sounds like he's going through puberty...either or, take your pick, I'm just happy to have some form of vocalization back on his part!!!
Panamanian Apple Cake
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Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche
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Cold Cucumber Soup with Roasted Peppers
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Fried Plantains
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Plated Panama dinner
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Love My Geranium
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My sorrell's doing great!
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Plantains vs. Bananas
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Jun. 17, 2010 5:31 pm
Too bad it didn't work out - but guess you have to expect some misses in among all the hits! All the food *looks* pretty, anyway :)
Jun. 17, 2010 5:33 pm
Yep, you're absolutely right, some, lose some...can't win 'em all!
Jun. 17, 2010 5:34 pm
Aw WW, hope you're feeling better soon! Good news about Bob :). Praying he just keeps improving daily! The apple cake and the ceviche look yummy~ I've never had plantains. Looking forward to Tahiti! Take care of you (and Bob, of course).
Jun. 17, 2010 5:39 pm
Woohoo! Tahiti, here we come! :D Glad to hear Bob's doing well and that his voice is making a comeback. I've been wondering where you've been lately, was hoping all was well. PS, don't beat yourself up, I think it's something in the water- my kitchen has been producing some seriously iffy fare today too.
Jun. 17, 2010 5:43 pm
LOL! I'm not beating myself up, CP...I'm actually in my comfies and gonna go up and get in bed in a few and have some good Hawaiian pizza on super thin'll be here in about another 20 minutes or so....
Jun. 17, 2010 5:48 pm
I love Hawaiian pizza! There's a place here in town that makes it on a this crust with a white sauce... and holy guacamole, it is SO GOOD! Now I wish I'd ordered that tonight.
Jun. 17, 2010 5:49 pm
this= thin
Jun. 17, 2010 6:01 pm
Can't say you didn't try, WW. It was a great attempt, anyways and better luck in the next country! :)
Jun. 17, 2010 6:02 pm
I like them = that thin...I don't like a bunch of crust with my pizza...Bob and I both like it = like that!
Jun. 17, 2010 6:05 pm
I vow to do better with Tahiti, PC!! LOL! I'll feel better after pizza and a zantac!!
Jun. 17, 2010 6:12 pm
Wow... Actually, I just opened AR cause I needed to find a way to use up my raspberries and somehow I ended up here. Well originally, in your Nepal post. I was thinking, "How can you drive an RV to Nepal?" I really think your foray into all these international cuisines (in a year) is very interesting, and I'm somehow tempted to do the same...if the picky half of the family will be willing to try it. Anyway, I noticed that you put down Philippines in your list of countries. I'm definitely looking forward to what you will cook then (I'm Filipino). Just curious, what did you add to your fried plantains? Cause I really like fried plantains. What I do is, immediately after frying, I plate it then sprinkle brown sugar on top. The sugar melts a little and is really nice. (But it might not really be Panamanian that way...) Or maybe your plantains weren't ripe enough yet?
Jun. 17, 2010 6:16 pm
I don't know what the deal with the plantains was, ayyed...the recipe said to use Wesson oil, which I happened to have and it said slice them 1/2 an inch and fry til just golden then smash with a glass and fry again. It said to salt them and they were just gross...Bob said to never even try to sneak one back in here because he thought they stunk while I was cooking them...just one of those things, I guess.
Jun. 17, 2010 6:26 pm
Ahhh - WW, can't win them all! I have had plantains and they were ..... well just OK (being nice here.) Looking forward to the next blog.
Jun. 17, 2010 6:26 pm
I've never had plantains and I think I'll not bother! Hope you feel better soon! And, glad to hear Bob is getting a voice back. Enjoy the Hawaiian Pizza.
Jun. 17, 2010 6:37 pm
That's just Bob, and he's off to begin with...LOL! I didn't think they stunk, but I didn't think they tasted good either...maybe try them ayyed's way because my way sucks!
Jun. 17, 2010 6:39 pm
LOL- I remember the Wolfman! So happy Bob is doing better! Great news!!!!!
Jun. 17, 2010 6:49 pm
I'm with you- yuck on the Plantains! Enjoy your pizza and hope you get some rest :)
Jun. 17, 2010 6:53 pm
Enjoy the pizza. Great news about Bob! Really looking foward to next week's pick.
Jun. 17, 2010 6:54 pm
Your experience with the Panamanian dinner, and the plantains, reminded me and my husband about the time I made Liver Stir Fry (in the days when Weight Watchers wanted you to eat it weekly!) My husband, teenage son, and teenage nephew were silent as they ate the first bite! After I took the first bite, I got up off my chair, silently went to the phone, and dialed our favorite restaurant in our small town, and ordered four cheeseburgers with fries to go! Not a word was spoken by the fellows, until they heard what I was doing. We had a good laugh as we ceremoniously scraped our dinners into the trash. Those cheeseburgers were the best we've ever had. And we have always had a good laugh over the Liver Stir Fry! Now you have a plantain story! LOL
Jun. 17, 2010 6:55 pm
Like you said you win soom and you loss some!Bummer!I tryed plantain a couple times and I wasn't crazy about it either.Glad your husband is doing better.Have a good night.
Jun. 17, 2010 6:57 pm
Liver. Stir. Fry. That. Don't. Sound. Right. At. All.
Jun. 17, 2010 7:05 pm
It was more like a sweet potato-banana that was hella greasy will salt :P When are you gonna come home and stop galvanting all over the islands????? LOL! Have fun and I'll talk to you when you get home...aloha!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:27 pm
WISH I WAS TOO!!! I could sure use a day laying around in the sun!! Or a soak in a hot tub or a heating pad or something!! I've taken so much naproxen that my kidneys hurt...I'm not going over the recommended dosage but, man, the kidneys will sure tell you about it if you have to take it daily for a while!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:29 pm
I don't want it all, maui...I'm cool with this RV for now, although, I do get RV envy about the guy next door! He's got a 5th wheel that like 35 feet long and has 3 slide outs and even has a freaking kitchen island! I don't even have a living room area...LOL!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:44 pm
Many thanks, WW. At least now we know not to attempt Panamanian food. I don't like plantains, either. Kind of taste like poi to me, which is like wallpaper paste. Sorry about your RA flare. You'd feel much better down here in Tucson. It ws 105 today!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:48 pm
I think I'm going to chalk it up to me, Cactus, because there is no way Panamanian food could really taste THAT bad! It had to have been me...LOL!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:49 pm
not worth a $hit, maui, that's what life would be!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:51 pm
mauui and Cactus...I was just reading the police blotter in our paper and I had to tell ya both: A lady called the police because she saw a guy riding a bike with no pants on. When the police contacted the 38 year old man, he admitted that yes, he was the man the lady saw riding the bike in a purple thong and that he had grass on his pants and he was trying to get it off....only in Longview!
Jun. 17, 2010 7:58 pm
Well sometimes a bad day in the kitchen just happens, I've had my share be lying if I said I didn't. Still learned something though so thank you. Sorry you feel bad. Glad Bob is feeling better.
Jun. 17, 2010 8:09 pm
My hubby once told me, "Not everything can be a keeper!" LOL! Good try, keep up the awesome blogs and hope you feel better soon!
Jun. 17, 2010 8:31 pm
You have "spoiled" us all with your marvelous blogs and great results in your culinary adventures, so it comes as a shock when a cuisine doesn't turn out!! I'm glad you seem to be able to take it all in stride. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. We can't all like everything. You were again very informative about Panama. Thanks for all the effort you put into your entertaining and informative blogs. Hope you are feeling better real soon and glad that your husband is improving.
Jun. 17, 2010 9:09 pm
you r awesome,you share your failures with us in addition to your succeses and this makes ur blogs so realistic and down to earth,i makes me feel i am sitting with you.Love you and take care.
Jun. 17, 2010 11:31 pm
Too bad all of it wasn't as tasty as the pics suggest! Wonderful photos! They're making me hungry. Pizza and zantac are a great combination, though, I don't blame you. :) Great news on Bob's voice!! Hope your flare up is passing faster than mine right now! So can't wait for next week! Keep on rockin'! Love ya!!
Jun. 18, 2010 1:22 am
Hey there...a little late, but then RL (= Real Life) has a nasty habit of intruding! Thanks for this, I'm sorry that it wasn't the success that others have been, but this actually then provides a yardstick against which to measure the others. AND you probably learnt more from this than from many of the others! Again thanks for doing this with such open honesty!
Jun. 18, 2010 2:42 am
Hi WW, it too bad the meal didn't pan out. I am always so disappointed when something doesn't turn out right...mostly because it makes grumpy grumpier! lol Get your rest and feel better. I understand the weather situation. I think that in itself tires us all out. Huge extremes going on over here on the east coast!
Jun. 18, 2010 2:51 am
Geez, WW! What is it, now? 1 out of 26 dinners is just 'so-so'. LOL! I, too, love a good ceviche, but it's a shame you blew so much $$ on the seafood. Now, plantains! If you haven't had them before and don't know what you are 'shooting for', it would be difficult to cook them. And, even then, they aren't a taste for everyone. They can vary quite a bit in ripeness (= sweetness) which affects the flavor, texture and how long they take to cook (and how greasey they get). When you come visit, I will prepare them for you! (IF I can get them, and actually I'm surprised you could -- remember they are a tropical creature!)
Jun. 18, 2010 4:59 am
Great blog WW and I hope you are feeling better soon. I've had plantains on vacation, can't quite remember how they were cooked. But I did enjoy them and thought i really need to look for these when I get home.
Jun. 18, 2010 5:18 am
Hey WW, sorry you didn't like your meal from Panama, but I'm so glad to hear about Bob! That's so awesome!! I myself like Sam Elliott's voice but Wolfman Jack will do !!!!I hope you feel better and can't wait for Tahiti!!!!
Jun. 18, 2010 5:42 am
GENZ---I went to 3 of our major grocery stores here before I found them! They are an elusive little fruit/veg...what the heck are they really?
Jun. 18, 2010 6:07 am
Well a good pizza can be a good cure all! Sorry the menu didn't work out so well, the photos look nice though! I love fried plantains, but have never cooked them, so I don't have any tips!
Jun. 18, 2010 6:09 am
I think plantains are like liver, you either love them, or you don't...I don't think there's a grey area there...LOL! I thought I would put them next to the soup to dip them but UGH! Not so much! Thanks, Barbara!
Jun. 18, 2010 6:14 am
Great blog WW! I had plantains when my DH and I went to Cuba. I didn't care for them either, I found they were rather bland and dry. Although I went in thinking they would taste like banana chips. lol
Jun. 18, 2010 6:21 am
I went in not knowing what to expect, but excited to try, just the same. I know they look like bananas, but they are plantains, so they had to taste different. I'm not a huge banana the taste and flavor, not so hot on the texture...but I try to keep an open mind on things. I can say that I did try and they made my eyes cross, so I'll not be trying those again!
Jun. 18, 2010 6:32 am
Too bad this one didn't work out WW, but I'm sure next week you'll be back into your cooking-groove with Tahiti! Sorry to hear that you're not feeling well and I hope that the chilly weather changes for you soon, because I know that's got to be rough on the arthritis. My mom has fibromyalgia, so I feel for you. Oh and I'm also super glad to hear that Bob's getting his voice back! Woohoo for that! Love the pics, even if the food wasn't that great, it still "looked" good lol. And I have to tell you that I popped on to AR every day this week in the hopes of seeing a new blog from you ... you help get my through my work days. Stay well! :)
Jun. 18, 2010 6:33 am
Oh and I forgot to mention ... I made fried plantains before and needless to say ... they remained in the fridge for a few days and then got tossed.
Jun. 18, 2010 6:43 am
I love your blogs and now I finally have a question. You mentioned an RA flare up. Have you tracked what might possibly bring these on? Stress,weather,food (sugar is supposed to be bad)etc. I have been recently diagnosed with RA, after over 2 years of searching, and flare ups also send me to bed. I am just interested in any info a fellow sufferer might know. My family dr gave me Meloxicam for pain and it is supposed to be taken every day to build up in the system but I don't take it. The rheumatologist put me on Imuram, an immune suppressant medication but it is too early to know if it is working. Have you tried or know of any of this? You are doing such a wonderful job I draw strength from you. Thank You.
Jun. 18, 2010 6:56 am
Nope, DeLane, I haven't. I have to be really careful with meds, too...I tend to pop an allergic reaction out of the blue to so many. I've noticed that weather and stress are the biggies for me. I haven't noticed the sugar so much, just for the fact that I really don't eat a lot of it. I don't have health insurance, so I haven't really seen a specialist and to be perfectly honest with you, I don't really trust any doctor here in this town for reasons I'll not go into. I do see an old doctor from time to time that doesn't refer patients to this hospital here in town, he'll refer out of town and because he does that, he is basically outcast from the doctor society here...I love him! He gives me a prescription for pain meds once a month and charges me $25 to see him, as he knows about my insurance situation. My husband has it, not me, because his old employer decided to pay the premiums on it as a gift for Bob's hard work and because Bob got cancer. He hopes to bring Bob back to work when this is all done. But the monthly premiums for me, if I were to be added are higher than our space rent here in this RV park and I'm not willing to part with the money. So, I have vicodin if I need to take them and I eke them out to myself because I get a limited amount each month. But I do take naproxen along with them so they help somewhat. I am trying not to do full force into treatment because I'm only 40 and your body has a way of building up tolerance to medications over time and when the RA, fibromyalgia and osteonecrosis get to be too much, then I look into alternatives from a naturopathic (my oldest sister is a naturopathic physician, so I'm in good hands there). But I've already been told that it really isn't going to matter because here in the future sometime, I'll wind up wheelchair bound so I just plug along everyday fighting that fate tooth and nail!
Jun. 18, 2010 7:14 am
Hi WW. I'm sorry dinner didn't turn out well but the pics were fantastic!. I'm not sure if I would like plantains either as I'm not a huge banana fan. I do like like banana bread and banana pudding, but I am much more a watermelon fan :)I hope you start feeling better soon and I am glad about the good news on Bob. I'm so excited for Tahiti.
Jun. 18, 2010 7:16 am
I'm so sorry to hear you're not feeling well, WW. But so happy Bob is getting his voice back and on the mend. Prayers answered there girl!! Thanks for the blog, gonna try that cake! Looking forward to next week for sure. Feel better, I'll sure be thinking of you and saying some prayers.
Jun. 18, 2010 7:58 am
Hi Olivia and Jena! Olivia, I still think your name sounds like a movie star's...LOL! I think I'm starting to pull through this flare-up, but I have to admit that this one has lasted a lot longer than usual. Usually, I can go to bed for a day, two max, and I can get over it...this has been a persistant little bugger though...going on 2 weeks or better! I'm looking forward to next week, too, I just wish blogger would cooperate so I could lay the blogs out over there and do like I've done here, but....unless you all want to scroll down 25 feet to get to the first sentence, it's just not working for me. And I don't really dig how blogs are layed out here, so I'll let you know next week about that new site that I found with KSAZA's help. I'm really liking what I see so far, but I don't think I'll be able to copy and paste over here. I'll probably just do a brief blog here with a link there, or something...I'm not real handy when it comes to computers! Sorry if I'm rambling, but I'm on pain meds right now and they tend to make me do that...LOL!
Jun. 18, 2010 8:17 am
I absolutely adore fried plantains.....I guess they're not to everyone's taste, but to those people who've said that now they won't try them because you personally didn't like them - give plantains a chance!!!!!!!!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:13 am
That's so sad about the plantains! That's one of my favorite things to order when I go to one of my favorite little Salvadorian dive restaurants here in Dallas. They cut the plantains in half lengthwise, then cut the halves into thirds so you have about 6 thumb-sized pieces. Then they fry them up until they're DARK brown and serve with home made sour cream! Absolutely delicious! PS That apple cake looks DELICIOUS!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:29 am
That's what I say, Mikala...just because I don't like them doesn't mean don't try them...everyone has different tastes! You may find you love them!!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:33 am
Everyone...if you want to enter Bob and my giveaway contest that will happen on week 26, send me an email to Make sure to leave me your AR screen name so I can post the winner on the blog without giving personal info (your email)! We have gotten a box of doodads, thingamabobs and stuff together: kitchen stuff, volcano stuff, garden stuff and such! It's our way of saying thanks for supporting my project. On week 26, we'll draw the winner and I'll announce it on the blog, and contact you by email for an address to send this box to!! Good Luck!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:35 am
But please enter on the email!!! Not on the blog like I said last was too confusing to sort out who wanted to enter and who didn't and I don't want anyone to be left out!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:40 am
We have this hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, Caliente Cab, that started out in a bus. Everything is cooked to order and they make the greatest plantains. I have, however, been served some pretty awful things masquerading as plantains at other places including my house! Hey, the pictures were great even if you weren't fond of the food. Glad Bob is doing well.Take some of that "positive" medicine you're always sharing with the rest of us and get better.
Jun. 18, 2010 10:17 am
I'm trying, suzanne! Really, I'm trying...the sun's trying to come out, so that's always good for a perk-me-up!
Jun. 18, 2010 10:27 am
I love plantain but I am from NJ and I hit the Hispanic town and they were delicious. In itself, it is not that tasty but my Hispanic friend always ordered two types, the sweet one and the one that has to be beaten flat. When I first tried it, it was just bland but after a few bites and with the rest of the meal, it became rather tasty. Yes, you either like it or you don't but I did gave it a a few more tries and now love it. Witchywoman, I know you are disappointed but you did tried and it does look good in the pics. I think the plaintain probably didn't taste as bad as you described but it does get some getting used to. I just had my bomb last week with my Chinese sesame noodles. It was sooo bad that I dumped everything into the trash and end up making a bean salsa instead for my party. So, we all have our bad days. The good news is that Bob could at least taste and smell the food and even got his voice back. I am just looking forward to your next blog and so keep them coming. I hope you feel better with your RA. At 40, you shouldn't have to feel that way.
Jun. 18, 2010 11:03 am
Fried plantains are definitely an acquired taste... or texture I guess for me. The ceviche and cake look great. Hope you start feeling better.
Jun. 18, 2010 11:20 am
WW - I don't know if you are willing to try a homemade concoction that my dad used to make and take everyday. You take a mickey of gin and 1 lb. of yellow, golden raisins. Put both in a both and set in the fridge, when the raisins have absorbed the gin, put it in a jar leave it in the fridge and eat 8 raisins a day. My dad did this for years and it seems to alleiviate some of the discomfort, also try to stay away from too much acidic foods. It may take some time to kick in but it tastes good regardless. Give it a try. Hope both of you feel better you are both troopers. I wouldn't worry about that neighbour with all the extra room either, just more to clean.
Jun. 18, 2010 11:22 am
sorry: that should have said "put the two in a bowl in the fridge and stire everyday until raisins absorb the gin", you would think that I have been in the gin.
Jun. 18, 2010 2:20 pm
Sorry this meal wasn't a hit, butwith all your successes it was bound to happen. Living in NY with the huge hispanic population, I've had many opportunities to eat them and I have to say I can take them or leave them. I also have a Panamanian friend who is known in her community as an excellent cook, but I have never been wowed by anything she made. It's too bad that one of your more expensive meals disappointed you. I'm so glad Bob is getting his voice back! (((HUGS))) to you both.
Jun. 18, 2010 4:08 pm
Wow, pizza on Panama night?? LOL, like so many already said, one bad night out of 24's not so bad. I usually have 1 day a week hubby turns his nose up and says.. is there anything else.. yep, bologna sandwich!
Jun. 18, 2010 4:17 pm
Hey, if the dessert is good than I would consider it a success! I am so inspired by your blog that I'm cooking an Indian inspired meal tonight. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!
Jun. 18, 2010 5:16 pm
Hello, sweet WW,so much I wish to send to you, I can say it in songs I love as they would mean more to you maybe,though our ages are spacey, our feelings revealing remarkable closeness in spirit and purpose. A sneaking suspicion tells me we could name our homemade recipes w/musical tags,we have a love for both.The genuine desire to share with others the happiness found in the joy of these satisfying activities helps us carry on. You are so well loved,and Bob too. One of my favorite songs was sung by Patience&Prudence "A Smile Is Something Special" I still sing that song.I tend to sing it,in fact it's my blog name, I'm SING'N IN the RAIN, comin' with me,WW?----love
Jun. 18, 2010 9:26 pm
Hey WW! So one didnt come out to your liking? So what? Ur human and not feeling well- what do you expect? All your other recipes turned out great! I hope you get some relief from you pain soon! and the Great News! Bob is talking! BE POSITIVE:-) He is your priority! Love all you do for everyone! Your a special person to do this for a year- and with a spouse who is going thru so much! Thank you so much0 you are appreciated for sure! Keeping you both in my prayers!
Jun. 18, 2010 9:51 pm
WW... I was in so much pain that I couldn't stand up straight, or sleep... or sit... I went to my family doctor and he told me I have Osteoarthritis (which is very prevelent in my mom's family) and that he could send me to a specialist or I could take Naproxen and deal with it. Naproxen wasn't doing it and I was desperate for some decent sleep... He gave me a cane because my knees kept bucklingm and (as I said) my back was so bad I couldn't stand up straight... I went to the specialist and he said I do have arthritis and a little degeneration in my knees.. but my biggest problem was the inflammation from it all. Anyway, he put me on celebrex... it's an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen but better. I don't need the cane anymore and I only get achey when it's really wet or cold... I can even crochet again... it has really made such a difference in my quality of life... I don't know if it would help you but I guess I just wanted to say that there could be a way to get some relief...
Jun. 19, 2010 4:11 am
I like that people share their cooking disappointments on this site. Let's the new cooks know that it is a learning process. How adventurous of you to even try that cuisine.
Jun. 19, 2010 5:54 am
HI Vioxx or Celebrex for me...I won't chance that stuff as heart defects run in the family from my's not the wisest choice I could make. But I really appreciate the suggestion! I'm getting a handle on it finally but basically I've 3 different forms of arthritis and my body doesn't know whether to scratch it's watch or wind it's butt when it kicks in.
Jun. 19, 2010 7:47 am
Hey guys...remember to email me your AR screen name so I can enter you in the giveaway contest for week 26 witchywomanslifeinanrv at hotmail dot com...I gotta have screen names!! Thanks and good luck!
Jun. 19, 2010 8:48 am
Sorry your meal didn't work for you this week, WW!
Jun. 19, 2010 9:19 am
Even if you guys didn't like it, it certainly *looks* good!
Jun. 19, 2010 9:32 am
Great blog, even if the meal wasn't all you'd hoped it to be. When my osteoarthritis kicks in, my cooking suffers. You say your sister is a naturopath. Does she also practice Reiki? My SL is a Reiki teaching master and has taught me through my second level and it really helps. I took NSAIDs and muscle relaxants for so many years that I can no longer take them because they cause instestinal ulcers that mimic Crohn's Disease and can become infected. I'm allergic to Celebrex, and even Ibuprofen is problematic, so I have to go through all of this with no medicinal pain relief. I'm so happy to hear that 'Silent Bob' is silent no more! Please be kind to yourselves and I look forward to Tahiti.
Jun. 19, 2010 5:02 pm
So happy to hear about Bob's improvement! I wish you a speedy recovery from that episode of RA. Also, enjoyed hearing about the less-than-wholly-satisfactory Panamanian experiment. But every experiment really leads to good experience for the future (as well as takeout pizza, sometimes). My best to you and Bob.
Jun. 19, 2010 6:20 pm
Oh so sorry your meal didn't go well but I'm glad to hear about your hubby. Plantains are usless if they are not rippened properly which includes if htey have ever been in the refrigerator forget it. And you cook them after the peel turns black with a little oil and a little ginger. I don't know if that may had had something to do with it? But I love them! Sorry you didnt.
Jun. 19, 2010 6:22 pm
PS I mention this because of the way they look on the platter... no offence of course. The ones in the picture are not black enough and if you bought them from a grocery store then they were most likely refrigerated for the trip to the store. The best place to buy them is a flea market, believe it or not.
Jun. 19, 2010 8:33 pm
Computer was on the fritz so I fixed it yet again (I should go to computer school lol). Sorry your dinner didnt go well but we all have our moments! I am busy planning/cooking for my son's open house that is next Saturday. Planning on taking pics of the cake I am attempting keep your fingers crossed but if they are too sore just wish me luck :D Good news about Bob tell him hello from us here in MI. Sorry didn't mean to make this about me ;) Hope you feel better soon and getting into comfies and eating pizza sounds like just what the doctor ordered! Feel better!
Jun. 19, 2010 9:05 pm
I hate it when meals don't work out, but it does happen. Fortunately for you it seems to be a pretty rare occurance. Great news about Bob! I hope he's talking your ear off in no time! Here's to the next week being less painful for you, too. I'm not familiar with RA personally, but I know it can be very painful. Can't wait to read about Tahiti! Keep 'em comin'!
Jun. 20, 2010 3:24 am
Hi, I'm from Panama and live in Spain. I quite appreciated reading this post. thanks. And you should try the fried plantines again the trick is to lightly fry them first the salt them, crush them and fry them again. If you get them right they are delicious. Good look with both of your healths.
Jun. 20, 2010 6:19 am
Anettea, just because you're you and gave me some tips, I will try plantains once more with your advice. Thanks so much for the kind comments and health wishes...I appreciate that. And, I gotta ask, because what I had read about Panama, it sounds like paradise or just left of that right?
Jun. 20, 2010 4:41 pm
Well, when I get down to see you guys, I will cook you around the world, how's that? xoxoxo
Jun. 20, 2010 4:50 pm
I love fried plantains...but it took some practice to get them right. They need to be extremely ripe, or else they taste bland when fried. The oil needs to be the perfect temperature, and the slices need to be the proper thickness. I had a lot of misses, but they are certainly delish when you get them right.
Jun. 20, 2010 5:53 pm
OK. I am the worst at getting sideline. I have been trying to read your blog for 2 days now, and something seems to draw my attention away, glad I finally got over her. I am sorry to hear you had a off day. But considering all that you have done so far, I am amazed this is the only one. Sorry to hear about the RA flare up. I kind of guess that it sucks when it completely can take you down for a whole week. I do not have RA, but I have a very advanced case of carpal tunnel syndrome. My doctors have been wanting to do surgery for the several years now. But I have know several people who have gone thru the surgery, and if it helped at all, it was by just a little bit. And they all have horrid scars on their wrist. So I have declined so far. But my doctor says that if my hands keep freezing like they do, I will not have a choice. But I am waiting, call me stuborn. Glad to hear he is starting to heal, even if its a little bit. But it will get better, I believe. Will keep both of you in my prayers.
Jun. 21, 2010 3:34 am
Im from Panama, currently living in Sydney.. just from looking at the "patacones" picture, which is the name for the fried plantain, I can tell what went wrong.. The oil needs to be really hot!! The first time you fry them, u can not overfry them!! you need to take them out when they are "singing" and the other secret is when you take them out to crush them... crush them so the outside ends come out as flowers, that is how they will be crunchy...Anyway patacones cant be made with a recipe.. you need to learn how to make them.. watching somebody make them.. I learned watching my mum.. she makes the best patacones in panama!! hugs.. nere
Jun. 21, 2010 9:39 am
Thank you for the tips, takehomechef, and that is exactly what the recipe was called...patacones! I know you're's more of a technique rather than a recipe. I appreciate the advice and hugs right backatcha!!
Jun. 21, 2010 10:01 am
Hey there Witchywoman!! I'm Panamanian, and I must agree that the patacones went wrong as they should be deepfried (or at least in a deep pan with plenty of very hot oil), and they need to be very green on the outside. Also, I was wondering where did you get the apple cake, ceviche and cucumber soup, because those don't look like Panamanian recipes. Please let me know if you want to re-do a Panamanian meal, and I'll be happy to give you original recipes and make some justice!! (email me: Chao!!
Jun. 21, 2010 8:14 pm
Macry...I think I will take you up on that offer! Could you shoot me an email to witchywomanslifeinanrv at hotmail dot com? I get so busy that I'll completely forget emailing you, and I just being honest...but if you email me, it comes on my blackberry, so I have no choice but to look at it...LOL! Thanks so much for your kind and generous offer...much appreciation coming at you!
Jun. 22, 2010 6:37 am
Another great blog! Sorry to hear that it wasn't stellar, I've made plantians once, and I've eaten them out but they are just ok in my book. I have RA also but so far it has only affected the joints at the bottom of my thumbs. I consider myself lucky. I've had one injection (OMG did that hurt!) was on a pain killer for a month - but that was for the anti-inflamatory part. I just take as much advil as my stomach can take (per Dr) and have both a soft brace and a hard brace for when it gets bad. My heart goes out to you for the suffering you are going through. I know when mine was flaring it was the only thing I could think about.
Jun. 22, 2010 6:51 am
Hello! I'm from Panama and I have never seen or heard of the cold cucumber soup :S I've seen cucumber but we usually use it on salads, and the plantains uhm, im not sure how did you cook them, but you have to cut them and deep fry them for like 2 minutes and then take them out and use something to make them flat and then fry them for another 3 minutes, afterwards you can either put salt on them or a combination of garlic and a bit of olive oil. They do taste divine! if you use green plantains that are black- no, they are not rotten- then the plaintains will have a sweet kick to them, my gma used to set them outside for a while just for that, cuz they are amazing... and the apple cake... uhm... never heard of it too... we do have a lot of sweets, i will try to get you the RIGHT link to Panamenian recepies.. Sorry you're meal wasnt tasty :(
Jun. 22, 2010 8:51 am
Plantains are a staple here in Ecuador, too - the variety of ways it is cooked and served is pretty amazing. My favorite way apparently comes from central america. It uses the black plantains, plantains that have ripened to the point that their skins are almost totally black, as that way they are the most sweet: cut 'em in half, boil 'em up with the skins still on, peel 'em, mash 'em with a bit of nutmeg, make golf-ball sized balls out of 'em, insert a cube of pepper jack cheese into the center, and then bake 'em up for about 15 mins at 375. Eat right away! The easiest way to peel the green plantains is to split the peel with a knife and then peel them under running cold water.
Jun. 22, 2010 5:11 pm
Hey WW! Tahiti is great for me because our "crown" princess just got married and is honeymooning in Tahiti. Huge deal here... I was much more excited when Charles and Diana got married. I understand the pain, I have arthritis and surgery scar tissue from neck to butt... I am in a wheelchair and use thousands of dollars meds each month. I am absolutely amazed that you can live in an RV in Washington! I have to have a hospital bed and when it rains or snows, I am more worthless than usual. Each week you amaze me more. Thank you for being a good person and an inspiration for me and I am sure everyone here.
Jun. 22, 2010 7:33 pm
Peace:> wonderful blog ever so sorry your meal didn't taste as good as you'd hope:< Guess what guess what! I had a daughter I did I did! if you wanna see the little princess Its wonder to hear bob is getting better! that makes me soooo happy:> I also love love love your container garden my favorites are green onions:> mmmmm my green onions oh yeah and I really liked all the pretty flowers:>
Jun. 22, 2010 7:40 pm
the cake looks yummy! i couldn't find it on the link. would you mind posting it? i would love to try it!
lost in mexico 
Jun. 22, 2010 8:27 pm
hope you are feeling better. When you mentioned plantains we eat them quite a bit down here, but I like to get them a little green,whn they are all black and kinda soft is when they slice them and fry in butter. I even had it on sushi the other day, not so good. I'm not sure on the ceviche in Panama but down here they make in so many different ways but you hav to very careful since it is raw seafood. looking forward to your next blog.
Jun. 23, 2010 8:51 am
Hi WW.... Sure do hope you are feeling better:).... Also happy to hear that Bobs voice is coming back that's great news, still keeping you both in my prayers! We all have off days from time to time, and sure can't beat a great pizza:-)
Jun. 23, 2010 8:56 am
Hope you feel better soon. Glad Bob's voice is coming back. Sorry this meal didn't turn out so well. But look how many good meals you have had.
Jun. 23, 2010 10:45 am
I'm glad Bob's getting his voice back! I know what it's like to go from vivacious to being in a tizzy; I'm at that stage now, but for different reasons. I hope you get to feeling more perky soon!
Jun. 23, 2010 12:10 pm
Hi Laurie, I have followed your blog since I first saw it back in April but have not commented before as I didnt have an account until just now so I could leave this comment. Now you see why I dont comment I cant say 2 words without gettin thongue tied. I will send you an e-mail so I can follow you to your new website if thats ok.
Jun. 24, 2010 6:34 am
It just goes to show you that you are American after all. No matter what, it is hard to cook food from other regions when you have not grown up there on that type of food. My friend made some ceviche for us one time and she is hispanic. It was AWESOME!!!!! She makes awesome fried plantains too so what more can I say? I am happy your hubby is looking up and hope you feel better soon!!!!!
Jun. 24, 2010 8:57 am
Hi cookhealthy...I am! I just want to try to create food from around the world...I am going to try to make another Panamian dinner, a couple of people offered to help and I thank them for that. I said up at the top of the blog that I know that Panamanian food was not as bad as the food I prepared, that it was my fault this meal didn't turn out! No way am I saying Panamanian food is terrible, no way! I know it isn't from the ingredients they have there(fresh seafood, vegetables and fuits)...Panama is a gorgeous country, from the pictures I've seen on the internet. I had an off day and that dinner being a train-wreck was because I screwed it up. Bob and I love ceviche, and I have made delicious ceviche...but this is what I get for trying to recreate a seviche I had in a restaurant...I didn't get it right. And the cake, I got that from a website that said it was a Panamania recipe, and I love that cake, it was super good! And plantains, I think those are a food you either really like it or you don't like it...sort of like liver, no grey area, either pro or con.
Jun. 24, 2010 2:56 pm
I lived in Panama for a few years and fell in LOVE with ceviche! Just plain fish ceviche ... yum!!! And plantains! It sounds like you were doing the green ones, which wind up as a starchy veggie. If that's not what you're expecting, it'll taste pretty bad. RIPE plantain, sliced 1/4 inch thick in big diagonal slices then sauteed in butter ... a fabulous dessert! I hope that you're both feeling better!
Jun. 24, 2010 5:12 pm
Congratulations to Bob! Glad to hear his voice is returning and you get yourself better, too!
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Forks, Washington, USA
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About Me
I've been married to my husband for over 8 years. My husband is a cancer survivor. We live in SW Washington state by Mt. St. Helens, but I'm originally from Forks, the little town made famous by the Twilight movies. My blog is called Baked Lava and I'm currently cooking my way around the world. I write a monthly column for our local newspaper called Life in an RV and that site is I've had my blog featured in Trailblazer Magazine. I love my recycled container garden and I love to create new recipes. I rarely follow a recipe to the letter, unless it involves baking. My husband & I don't have children unless you count the 4-legged variety...we have 4 of those: Puppa, Sasha, KiKi & Super Dave the Girl Cat. I am a prize-winning nature photographer.
My favorite things to cook
I don't have really a favorite thing to cook, per say...I'm not afraid to cook anything. I've recently taught myself how to can and make bread. I still have no great love of making cookies. I'm getting very well-versed in worldwide cuisine, as I'm cooking my way around the world. I love to create new recipes and rarely, anymore, do I have one that flops, but it does and will happen...the road to hell was paved with good intentions, or so they say. My favorite cuisine in this worldwide culinary adventure has been, so far, Belgium...fantastic food! I also am partial to Vietnamese, Korean, Azerbaijani and Hungarian cuisine...and Middle Eastern food kicks @ss!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family cooking tradition is the weekly international meals that I prepare. The tradition is that my blog readers choose what country they would like to see from week to week and I cook an entire meal for 4 people with a budget of $20. Right now I am in the middle of my "Austerity" project where we are solely eating from the freezers and really have to creative to do this and I am making up recipes as I go...I have used a few AR recipes and credit back to them, though.
My cooking triumphs
I've had several of my original recipes published, I've had my blog featured in a magazine, I now write a monthly food column based on my blog for our local newspaper and I'm already one year into my cooking venture of Around the World in an RV. I am a Food Buzz featured publisher, I'm on PetitChef, RecipesUS and Foodista among many, many other cooking websites. I guess it's safe to say that due to my cooking, I have now ventured into the world of food blogging and into a smaller group of us fellow global food bloggers and I've made some amazing friends.
My cooking tragedies
There have been several and there aren't enough characters in the 1000 allotted to list them all down!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States