The end is nigh!

At least for paltas (avocados) in 2018. I took the last three off the “big” tree, including one that managed to remain hidden and is undoubtedly the record-holder for this year’s crop:

big avocado

858 grams, or for those of you in Myanmar, Liberia, and the Untied Snakes:

big avocado

1.892 pounds. Or 1 pound 14.271999979939547 ounces. Or if you want full ‘Murkan, 1 pound 14+34/125th ounces.

6-1/2 x 4.25 inches / 16.5 x 10.8 cm.

I decided that the overgrown nature of our yard needs to be addressed, and in doing so discovered the extent of the comedreja’s (possum’s) raids.

avocados consumed by possum (comedreja)

The tree above this pile still has 30+ smaller avocados. It’s fun to remember two years ago, when our total harvest was 30+ avocados, and the comedreja getting one was devastating! This year we (and friends) have had avocados for almost seven months!

Meanwhile, both small orange trees are laden with flowers. Not very many bees, but some, and doing their job. Hopefully we get more than three oranges next year.

orange blossoms and bee



Quadruple bypass on a bun

Last couple days, I’ve had to venture past the peaje – tool booth – a couple times, to buy tiles. A phone call confirmed that what I wanted was en stock, and the visit to pay for them confirmed, as last time, that that means “come back tomorrow afternoon after they’re delivered from Montevideo.” That’s OK: it’s not far, and I like the certainty of seeing goods versus waiting around for delivery of – whatever….

And, of course, the odd chance for cultural enlightenment. At the Costa Urbana shopping mall, which sprawls above Avenida Giannattasio and contains perhaps 157 stores selling shoes (I’m not sure an accurate count has ever been done), I saw this appalling Burger King ad, for a quadruple-cheesburger with bacon.

something about burger king

I have noticed that Uruguayans have gotten noticeably fatter the nine years we’ve been here. Still not perhaps up to American Standards, but definitely noticeable. But – I immediately wondered – is this uniquely Uruguayan? Something in me said yes, but that seemed unlikely.

So I went online.

something about burger king

This horrific “flame grilled to perfection” culinary disaster represents the maximum extent of Burger King’s US offerings: a mere 1,480 calories and 2,340 milligrams of salt.

Now let’s look at Burger King’s Uruguay site:


something about burger king

OK, maybe I added something. Click on that, and you can see that they offer more info about “nutrition:” this should be interesting, no?

something about burger king

Ah, yes…

something about burger king

… their further nutritional info is also maybe you’d like some chocolate-cake ice-cream thing or French fries?

The type in red is my addition: also maybe you’d like a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance?

This is the same profoundly misled/ignorant place where feedlot beef commands a premium.

Paradise Uruguay. Uruguay Natural. No: just more exploitation of ignorance.




The kitchen scale

I left my kitchen scale out after making bread recently, unwashed, and some else decided to wash it – not just the detachable measuring cup, but the whole thing. Electronics and warm, soapy water don’t go together well. After a few days, it began to work again, but then simply died for good.

So my challenge was to take it apart without breaking any parts, because that’s what I do rather than simply chuck things. I’m curious about how things work, and how they’re put together. Also whether there might be any parts worth saving.

dissected kitchen scale

Despite its apparent simplicity. it was a little tricky –– some well-concealed screws beneath labels and the plastic readout cover. Nothing really useful to save.

I’ve made bagels and pizza dough a couple times since, but I really prefer doing recipes by weight, so have thought about getting another.

I bought this one with points at the Disco supermarket a few years ago, not thinking about the actual cost. Now I see they sell it at Tienda Inglesa for 40 bucks – yikes!  They also show one for USD 12 at Tienda Inglesa so maybe, just maybe, I can get them to bring one to our local store. I suppose I could try ordering one online but *shudder* that has not gone entirely well for me in Uruguay (think mattress and oven).

Except for socializing at the weekly feria, I find little fun in trying to find and buy things here. But maybe that’s OK, especially when I reflect on the inordinate amount of stuff we accumulated before moving to Mexico — and that was less than three years after moving ourselves across the country, from North Carolina to Nelson, BC Spokane, Washington.

UPDATE: Yes, this does seem like a rather pointless blog entry, but it reminded me to look at Tienda Inglesa, and guess what?

kitchen scale
We’re good to go again!


Opening the wine

We were recently the recipients of a couple of bottles of excellent Swiss white wine (thanks Syd and Gundy!), a Humagne Blanche (fascinating: according to Wikipedia, “the total Swiss plantations of the variety in 2009 stood at 30 hectares (74 acres).” And a bottle of Aigle les Murailles. Both excellent, and mostly unknown outside of Switzerland.

These bottles had corks. I generally do not rue the transition to screw tops for wine, though I admit I don’t completely understand the ecological implications.

So, translate to Uruguay (and notice this has only been a recent issue): a nice Stagnari Chardonnay, produced maybe 45 km (28 miles) away, accompanied by Camembert and blue cheese. Sounds good, eh?

Stagnari Chardonnay - pliers required to remove top
Sorry for the ill-exposed photo 🙁

Well, yeah, except for one thing: can’t unscrew the top because it doesn’t separate from the part below. Hence, we have now as Essential Kitchen Equipment a pair of needle-nosed pliers to tear the top off in, inevitably, a half-dozen or more pieces.

Q: How do you say quality control in Latin America?
A: ¿Qué?



Fried eggs

Shortly after we moved here, the cleaning lady walked by as I was having a couple of fried eggs or breakfast. “Oh, you Americans and your eggs!” she commented.

fried eggs and toast

Which is kind of strange if you’ve spent any time in Uruguay. Here’s the famous chivito:

Uruguayan chivito

And here’s an Uruguayan hamburger (the white stuff isn’t mayonnaise):

Uruguayan hamburger with egg

So it’s fair to say Uruguayans don’t have a problem with fried eggs.

But an obsession?

potato chips, fried egg flavor

Potato chips with fried egg flavor?

I think I’ll pass.

Picture credits: fried eggschivito, hamburger