Friday, March 6, 2015

The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Wedding


The wedding was huge.

The whole country was invited, even the people from the furthest communities.

And a lot of them made the voyage, at least all that could.

You didn’t see a prince to get married very often after all.


Besides the king was back and people wanted to be certain.

To see him for themselves and the queen was smiling again.

Everyone had heard about the adventure, of the quest the prince has made.

Of how he was turned into a monster by jester moon, Killa, and saved by his new bride.


And how valiantly the stars, Kuyllur and Lusiru, had fought to save the king and the warriors from the jaguar men.

The boa people were mixed up with everything somehow but nobody really knew how.

Just that you better respect them and make sure you didn’t talk badly about them, at least where they could hear you.

Everything was a like a tale of the old, the ones that wise men, kurakas, would tell around the fires at night.


The wedding was just as splendid as everyone expected.

The bride was gorgeous with her beautiful hair and traditional clothing.

The groom’s godparents haggled long and hard with her parents before they gave their permission for her to marry.

And the groom had to promise many gifts for her to make sure she would be a woman of independent means.


Just in case everything wouldn’t work out, you didn’t know with royals after all.

Who knew what kind of crazy quest the prince would want to make the next!

There was a lot of dancing, a loads of food and most importantly, there was chicha.

Vast amounts of chicha, enough chicha for everyone and then some.


An excellent wedding, everyone agreed.

The presents were superb and people still laughed about the bedding the couple got and the jokes the princes cousin made about the use it would get.

Yes, it was a wonderful wedding.

The bride’s mother told her to make sure the house would never lack chicha and to make it just like her husband liked it.


A wise advise, people nodded, she would make a great wife to the prince.

And a great queen for the country one day.

It was sad when just after two weeks everything was over and people had to leave for their homes.

But there was food to take with them, and chicha, and even some gifts.


Most of all, there were news, and the certainty that the country was in good hands once again.

And when it would be the time for the king and the queen to retire, there would be a very qualified couple ready to take their place.


The end


This is the thirty-eight, and last, part of the story.

To read the first part of the story, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1  

To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2 

To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3

To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4

To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5.

To read the fourteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 14

To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6

To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7

 To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8

To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9

To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10

To read the eleventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11

To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12

To read the thirteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 13

To read the fifteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 15

To read the sixteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 16

To read the seventeenth part, go to the The Queen With The Frozen Heart 17

To read the eighteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 18

To read the nineteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 19

To read the twentieth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 20



To read the twenty third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - At The Mouth Of The Cave

To read the twenty fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Visiting Star

To read the twenty fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Time To Leave The Home

To read the twenty-sixth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Suitable Wife

To read the twenty-seventh part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Down In The Dungeons

To read the twenty-eight part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Savouring The Chicha

To read the twenty-ninth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Flying With The Stars

To read the thirthieth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Monster Awakens 

To read the thirty-first part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Cup Of Chicha

To read the thirty-second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Riding The Storm 

To read the thirty-third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Magic Arises

To read the thirty-fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Lightning In My Hand

To read the thirty-fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Sacrifice

To read the thirty-sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Godparents 

To read the thirty-seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - My Love Is Alive

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Amazonian Cuisine in Ecuador - Traditional Delicacies of the Jungle


Each region has its own gastronomic tradition, their own ways of preparing food and specific cuisine.

In Ecuador’s Amazonic region the food is made from the products of the jungle.

They are the result of the work of indigenous men and women, earned from hunting, fishing and working the land.

The popular dishes consumed are maito de tilapia or carachama,


The fish is wrapped in leaves that are tied and then cooked over fire or coal.

Chonta or cassava chicha, together with wayusa, are the drinks that accompany the variety of delicious foods of the region.

Among the many rarities, distinctive for the zone, you can taste the giant ants, which are eaten alive.

There are also the chonta kurus or palm grubs, which are beetle larvae with delicious coconut flavor.


These larvae are fried in its own fat or made into maito.

The dishes are full of jungle vegetables and fruits, exotic to the eye but delicious for the palatal.

Definitely the Ecuadorian Amazon has its charms and surprises in the food.

Everyone is invited to visit it and to enjoy its craziest recipes and great taste!



Maitos or Dishes Cooked Inside Leaves


One of the places you need to visit is the town of Archidona and its Plazoleta de Comidas Típicas or Traditional Food Course in the center of the town.

It can be found right next to the Town Hall, at the main road.

The cooking of food in banana, bijao or achira leaf, isn’t specific to one area of Ecuador.

However, there is a special dish cooked inside the leaves that causes sighs: maito de tilapia.


Tilapia is a warm water fish and therefore does well in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Its white meat is cleaned with lemon and seasoned with salt, garlic and onion.

Then it is wrapped in bijao leaves and grilled slowly until it has cooked in its own juices.

When it is finished the diner receives the dish with foil of bijao, ready to be unwrapped.

Inside the leaves you will find a perfectly spiced fish with firm white flesh that melts in your mouth with every bite.


It is a delicious and healthy dish, accompanied with boiled or fried yucca and salad.

Of course a tasty plate of hot sauce, or ají, can never miss from the table.

To drink, maito de tilapia is best accompanied with cold wayusa, a beverage from a plant that bears the same name, which grows in eastern Ecuador.

Besides being tasty, this drink is a symbol of the Amazonian culture, flavors and natural wealth.



Maitos Mama Eliza


Maitos Mama Eliza is one of the establishments that can be found at the Plazoleta.

It has a long history and the food they cook is exquisite.

There are many things in Ecuador that I love, and one of them, besides the food, is the people and how loving and friendly they are.


Years ago I was invited by Archidona’s former mayor’s wife to visit Maitos Mama Eliza.

She told me that it had the best traditional food in Archidona and especially the best chonta kurus you could find.

It was the first time I ever ate chonta kurus and I must admit, it was not love at first bite.

But I did fall in love with their maito de tilapia or traditional fish dish.

The restaurant is family owned and Mama Eliza is the matriarch, she is a charming kichwa lady who has a magical touch when it comes to food.


Everything is cooked with love by the extensive family and served by family members also.

They are sure to put the secret ingredient, love, into your plate to make it taste extra special.

Remember to try the maito de tilapia with wayusa.

And if you are feeling adventurous, chonta kuru kebabs or pinchos.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Simple Delicious Au Gratin Potatoes


I love potatoes, cheese and cream.

So what could possibly be better than put all these together!

This is a very simple au gratin potato recipe that my son also enjoys.

I like it even better with some garlic, so if your family enjoys garlic, don’t forget to add some to the recipe.

This classic French dish combines the creamy cheese sauce and the tender potatoes in to a deliciously addictive experience.

It's a great side dish with roast pork loin or beef tenderloin.

Add a green salad and fresh bread, and you have found the magic path to a man's heart.

Or at least I have found the magic path to my son’s stomach ;)

The three cheeses here are my favorites but experiment with different cheeses for variety.


Au Gratin Potatoes
(For four)


6 large potatoes, sliced into ¼ of inch slices
1 scallion, sliced into rings
2 cups of cream (or milk if you prefer)
2 table spoons of cream cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (and garlic paste if you wish)
1 egg
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of parmesan cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the potatoes into ¼ inch slices and put them to a greased 2-qt. baking dish.

2. Mix the cream, cream cheese, salt, pepper, egg and the scallion. (Also the garlic paste if you wish to add it.) Pour it over the potatoes.

3. Cover the potatoes with the shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.

4. Cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover the dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.


ENJOY!

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Queen With The Frozen Heart - My Love is Alive


Amarun took a small breath and Sisa felt herself shiver all around.

He was alive!

She held his hand and watched his face while he struggled to wake up.

Behind her she heard a sob when his eyes finally fluttered open.

Sisa turned rapidly and smiled to the Queen, then her eyes were back on Amarun.


- Where am I, he asked, why am I so hungry? And what happened to my father, and his men? And my mother... I think she was here... And Sisa... What happened?

- You have a lot of questions, Killa the moon laughed aloud.

- He was gone for a long time, Sisa defended her loved one.

- My son has gone through a lot..., the Queen cut in at the same time.

They both smiled and nodded to each other.


- You were turned into the winged snake, Iluku answered, do you remember that? It was my magic but it got all mixed up with your own magic and went wrong.

- My magic, Amarun cried, what has happened? I can't feel it!

Everyone looked around, trying to find the great bear that was always close to Amarun but it was nowhere to be found.

There was a silence, the warriors moved warily around them.

- Your magic died when you turned into the monster, Killa said kindly, just like Sisa's magic died when she revived you. The balance must be maintained and a sacrifice had to be made.


- The important thing is that you got your father free, Iluku chimed in, and your mother's heart has thawed, so the country can heal now.

Amarun took Sisa's hands into his.

- Did you sacrifice your magic for me, he asked in an awed voice.

- It was no sacrifice when I knew I could get you back, she answered blushing pink.

- Thank you, he held her hands and gazed into her eyes.


There was another silence and finally people started moving around, giving the lovers space and privacy.

The King took Iluku's hand into his hands and bowed down.

- Thank you for all that you have done for my family, my kingdom and me, he said. I can never repay it to you.

Then he bowed to the moon.


- My greatest thanks to you also, he stood awkwardly, I do not know how to show my gratitude to the moon...

- Oh, just remember to tell that it was me and not those two braggers over there, the moon shrugged his shoulders and pointed at Kuyllur and Lusiru standing quietly by the Warriors side.

The Queen blushed.

- We are among legendary people, she bowed down. I do not even know how to address you. If there is ever anything in our kingdom that you want, it is yours, just ask.


- We need nothing, kind lady, the star brothers answered smiling, the important thing is that the humans have been freed from the plague of jaguar men and can now live in peace.

- You are true heroes, the King bowed...

- Oh shut up, Killa shouted, I knew they will get all the fame and I will have to do all the hard work! It's not like this is the first time...

He sprang from the ground and started to gradually change his form and move further and further away.


- Husband, don't fret, Iluku changed into the grand white owl and flew behind the moon to the sky.

- We better leave too, Kuyllur explained nervously; hopefully stepmother can convince father that we didn't mean to take the glory away from him.

- He can be a bit vain about these things, Lusiru added.


The brothers turned into a flaming ball white fire that shot through the sky.

To be continued...


This is the thirty-seventh part of the story.

To read the first part of the story, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1  

To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2 

To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3

To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4

To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5.

To read the fourteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 14

To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6

To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7

 To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8

To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9

To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10

To read the eleventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11

To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12

To read the thirteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 13

To read the fifteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 15

To read the sixteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 16

To read the seventeenth part, go to the The Queen With The Frozen Heart 17

To read the eighteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 18

To read the nineteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 19

To read the twentieth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 20



To read the twenty third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - At The Mouth Of The Cave

To read the twenty fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Visiting Star

To read the twenty fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Time To Leave The Home

To read the twenty-sixth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Suitable Wife

To read the twenty-seventh part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Down In The Dungeons

To read the twenty-eight part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Savouring The Chicha

To read the twenty-ninth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Flying With The Stars

To read the thirthieth part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Monster Awakens 

To read the thirty-first part, go to 
The Queen With The Frozen Heart - A Cup Of Chicha

To read the thirty-second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - Riding The Storm 

To read the thirty-third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Magic Arises

To read the thirty-fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Lightning In My Hand

To read the thirty-fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Sacrifice

To read the thirty-sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Godparents