Many of you know that Mary and I went for a mini-vacation a couple of weeks ago to Canoa, Ecuador. We have a favorite hostel named Amalur Hostel where we have stayed before. The hostel is owned and managed by a couple from Spain who have become our friends and Mary and I decided to go to Canoa again for our anniversary/birthday celebration. (Mary and I were married nine years ago on my birthday presumably so that I would not forget the date.)
Anyway – before I get to the primary purpose of this post (to show off some more smoked meat) I wanted to talk for a minute about one of my pet peeves!
While we were in Canoa we noticed a new restaurant named, “Fat Boy’s Barbecue”
Now I am always willing to try out some new barbecued meat, so we ambled on over and met with the owner. Since the sign announced that the restaurant was an “American” BBQ it was not surprising that the owner is from the United States. When we first came down to Ecuador we read that South Americans generally do not like it when people from the United States say that they are Americans, so we generally try to remember to say we from North America or from the United States. But, Canoa is a tourist mecca for surfers and “hippies” from the United States, so I doubt that anyone would take offense at the use of the word “American” and that is not my pet peeve.
While we were visiting with the owner (incidentally his name is Ralph and he is quite a character!), he spoke of some of the difficulties he was having getting things delivered and setting up his new business and someone there said a phrase that I have heard scores of times from many other North Americans. They said, “You’ve got to remember that we are living in a third world country.”
Well… Mary and I traveled to Canoa on air-conditioned buses on modern roadways. We were staying in a very pleasant hostel with an in-room bath with hot and cold water. We had not made plans for a birthday cake, so about 10:00 AM we walked up to a modern bakery and asked the proprietor if he would bake a birthday cake. We wanted a chocolate cake and I suggested that he could add some fruit. At five o’clock that afternoon we picked up this beautiful cake.
I had neglected to mention my name, so the baker simply put, “Feliz Cumpleanos, Bebe” (Happy Birthday Baby) and adorned the cake with sliced apples. The cake was a layer cake with apple preserves in the center and was very tasty! Lorena and Diego provided a candle in the form of a question mark and we had fresh cake to eat and share with all of the workers at the hostel.
We live in a house with sliding glass doors, three bathrooms, a full kitchen and two large bedrooms, tiled floors, a large sunny patio and a pool. We have high-speed internet and Direct TV television. We carry cell phones and have a choice of dozens of restaurants and activities to do each day.
What I am getting at is simply this – “We DO NOT live in a third world country!”
A somewhat kinder phrase might be that we live in a developing country, but as far as I am concerned Ecuador has developed far enough.
Okay…On to the meat!
Last week we smoked up some pork chop roasts and later in the week we fired up the grill for some shish-kabobs. But yesterday we got the hankering for some smoked turkey.
Now, if we lived in a third world country we might have had to forego the desire to smoke some turkey, but here we just went into a full-service supermarket (named Super-Maxi) and bought some turkey thighs and legs. Mary and I both prefer dark meat and it just seems to smoke up nicer.
I once again got a bed of coals going and emptied a handful of my mesquite smoking chips into the smoking pan. Once the smoke was rising I went inside to clean off the waiting turkey pieces.
We had two large legs and four thighs defrosted and ready to smoke.
I positioned them on the grill over a water pan and shut the lid to let the low heat and smoke do the rest.
After three hours I checked to see how things were going.
One of the thighs was smaller than the others, so when I turned the meat after four hours, I moved the smaller thigh to a cooler part of the grill.
After seven hours, I got out the meat thermometer to see if the meat was cooked through to the bone.
Mary got home from shopping in Portoviejo and we sat down to a smoked turkey dinner complete with homemade dressing (I made it, so it was not quite as good as Mary’s special stuffing).
What do you think? Almost as good as the big ole’ turkey legs they sell at fairs and festivals!
Whatever you call it – developing, third world, or simply paradise – our backyard patio was “out of this world” perfection yesterday here where…
Life is good in Ecuador!