Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Picture It . . . . Honduras, 2001 (Part 1)

Did you ever watch “The Golden Girls”? If so, do you remember how Sophia used to start her reminiscences of the good ol’ days by saying something like, “Picture it… Sicily 1922”? Now, I’m not comparing my dear friend, Trish, to Sophia from “The Golden Girls,” but our latest conversation did sort of smack of something you might expect from someone who wears support hose and uses words like “whippersnappers”. Again, I’m not actually saying those things about Trish. Because if she’s a Golden Girl, I’m a Golden Girl, and we’re just not going down that road. Anyhoo…

As you probably know, Kim and Jonathan Hall moved to Honduras on Dec. 31st. It’s an exciting time and we are enjoying getting to hear about Kim’s experiences as her family adjusts to their new adventure. Hearing Kim’s stories has prompted Trish to reflect on her own early days in Honduras. So, picture it… Honduras 2001.

More Classic TV References

When the Sowers family moved to Honduras, they didn’t start out in Gracias. Instead, their first home was on an island, called Guanaja, in the tiny town of Savannah Bight. Because I’m pretty sure you can never have too many classic TV references in one post, it wasn’t exactly “Fantasy Island”--unless it’s your fantasy to live in a place where grocery shopping is just a step or two above life on the “Little House on the Prairie”. (Classic television count--THREE!)

At least on the prairie, folks grew their own food. In Savannah Bight, almost no food was grown. The food was brought on boats, which would scarcely be worth mentioning if those boats had been equipped with refrigeration! To quote Trish, “The cold foods were a bit suspect.”

Trish went on to describe a little of what she saw and it’s safe to say she is the master of understatements! “The cold foods were a bit suspect” translates to: You might show up to a boat where the deck was covered with blood and previously-frozen chicken carcasses sort of slow roasting in the sun as they awaited delivery to the grocery store freezer. Other details have been omitted to protect the squeamish.

Trish Pasteur

Milk was not transported--which after hearing about the chicken was probably for the best. Milk options in the grocery store were: 1) powdered milk, or 2) that weird, unrefrigerated milk with a crazy long shelf-life. Let it be known that the Sowers children were unimpressed by those options. Fortunately, they discovered a small ranch, outside of town, that had milk cows. Several times a week a boy of about ten would ride a donkey from the ranch to the area where the Sowerses lived. He came bearing repurposed bleach bottles full of milk. Rope was strung through the handles, with a bottle hanging over each side of the donkey. When the unconventional milk man arrived, a family member would take an empty container out to purchase a gallon of milk.

Photo from www.dirt-to-dinner.com
Because they didn’t have a death wish, Trish would then pasteurize the newly purchased, donkey-delivered milk. Apparently pasteurization is more difficult than Louis Pasteur might have led us to believe. Trish was not particularly adept at the process. In case you ever find yourself buying raw milk sold in bleach bottles and delivered by a beast of burden, you might want to brush up on the process. You have two options: 1) Bring the milk to 145 degrees and hold it there for thirty minutes, or 2) bring the milk to 161 degrees and then immediately remove it from heat. As a mother of six, Trish was not fond of the watched pot method. She opted for the higher heat, option 2 method. While she never truly honed her pasteurization skills, she was pretty good at making accidental cottage cheese!

It’s difficult to sum up those early adventures in one blogpost. Stay tuned for more memories from Trish!

 - posted by Christi

1 comment:

Marci said...

I can’t stop laughing! What wonderful (yet disturbing!) memories!!! Looking forward to reading more!!!