|We are finding it impossible to get all five of us smiling with eyes open simultaneously these days . . .|
We went to the mountains last weekend (a little over an hour and a half away) and stayed in a house of friends (we love you, Barry and Sonia!) in Constanza. I think it was our third trip there. This time we went because I have realized that getting to where it's cooler is an essential part of us living here. Well, it's an essential part of me living here, which has to count for something. I told Owen I think I need to get out of the heat for a weekend every three months. The spring weather in the mountains here is kind of like being in New England in summer. Cool when you're not in the sun, so that you need a sweatshirt if you're on the porch in the shade, warm in the sun (we get hot on our hikes), and then cool enough for a fire in the fireplace at night. It's awesome!
It's one of the only places we can really hike in the D.R., the kids love the dogs that live there, we can pick wild guavas to eat, we can roast marshmallows, the kids can pretty much run wild in the yard, and it's the only place I can buy red beets with tops in the country (I love Mollie Katzen's recipe for "Complete Beets").
The longer I'm here, the more I'd rather be in the mountains than at the beach. We still go to the beach more, because, really, who visits us in the D.R. to go to the mountains? But we're going to Jarabacoa (another mountain) for a few days next month, and I figure that'll give me enough of a break from the heat until we get to visit the states this summer. It's actually been a little cloudy the last few days, so it hasn't been as hot as usual, but it can be hard for a northerner to be hot mostly all the time. I think that's one of the most challenging parts of living here for me. Going to the mountains makes a huge difference. :)
I'm going to throw in Katzen's recipe for Complete Beets, just for fun--well my summary of it.
- Cut the tops off of your beets and wash them (and the bottoms) well.
- Boil the bottoms in a little bit of water and cook until starting to get soft. Drain.
- Cut the tops and saute in olive oil with garlic. Take off heat.
- Slice the beet bottoms into small pieces and toss with the tops. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, salt to taste, and heat for one minute with all ingredients combined.
- Serve! This is the very best way (and only way, if you're like me and don't really care for beets) to eat beets!