Breakfast: It was my last day in Costa Rica and I still did not have one of my favorite foods there, Pejibayes. They are a relative of the coconut and grow in clusters on palm trees. Pejibayes are brightly colored red, yellow and green and about the size of a plum. You find them raw at fruit stands and in stores you can buy them already cooked. You prepare them by simply boiling them in salted water for a few minutes. After they’ve cooled you peel them and eat them. They are very rich and creamy and quite filling. The flavor is a little like the combination of chestnut and pumpkin. Beth had left early to play tennis with friends and so I took a walk around the neighborhood in search of food. It was about 8 AM and nothing was open yet. I passed a small fruit stand and there they were, the cooked pejibayes. I bought a small bag. I had some for breakfast and saved the rest for traveling food.
Lunch: I was taking the MUSOC Bus back to San Jose. Near the station is the
Kafe de la Casa and Beth thought we might have a bite their while waiting for the bus. Her son Buddy met us. We ordered and waited. And waited. The service was very slow and no one was in the restaurant. I ordered a black tea and salad. I had not had black tea all week. Unfortunately it was terrible, but then I am a bit of a tea snob. We only had about 45 minutes and my salad arrived 35 minutes after we had ordered. I had ten minutes to eat. For some strange reason the server gave me the salad in a to-go box which ultimately came in handy since I couldn’t eat it all and had to take it with me on the bus.
Snack: After a 3-hour bus ride, I got a taxi to the airport. I have a tradition with myself to eat a papaya at the San Jose Airport after I have checked in my baggage before going through security. And that’s what I did. It felt a little primal, cutting up chunks of pink papaya flesh and devouring it, without a table or a plate. Afterwards I cleaned up in the bathroom and went through security. I used to love sampling the coffee and Britt chocolates in the airport gift shop but the Britt chocolates have gone up in price and down in quality and none of the products are vegan. A lot of their chocolates are coated in shellac (a resin secreted by the female lac bug) and contain butter. I thought I’d pick up a bag of macadamia nuts but they had BHT! Blech. I got a bag of organic coffee to bring home to Gary.
Dinner: On the plane I ate some of the leftover black beans and purple cabbage I had made on Beth’s farm. It was a short flight because I was not flying direct. I had a layover in Panama. The Panama airport is not very inviting. I was hungry and tried to find something good to eat. First I passed a Subway. I knew I could get a vegan sandwich there but I wasn’t into the bread. I walked across to the other side of the airport and there was a local fast food chain with nothing appealing. It took me a while to get my internet going on my phone and then I discovered there was a food court on the second floor. By the time I checked it out it was 9:30pm and they were all closing. Panama is an hour later than Costa Rica so it felt like 8:30 to me and still a good time to eat. I ran back to the Subway and sure enough they were closing too. It was not the end of the world. Gary promised me an amazing breakfast when I would arrive home.
Okay, Gary, one last day without me. What did you prepare for yourself? I am ready to come home!
Thank you for allowing me access to your blog this week. I’ve missed your physical presence but feel I’ve kept in touch with your incredible spirit, strength and courage and that’s kept me going and somewhat sane. I am always humbled at your adventurous spirit and your zest for life. You are truly an amazing and inspiring human being. I can’t wait to cook you breakfast in Queens, NYC!
My breakfast was cooked oatmeal with dried apricots. As a rule for cooking oatmeal I use 2 parts water to one part oatmeal but today, in honor of you, I was feeling adventurous too. So, I did 3 parts water, 1 part oatmeal, and 3 Tablespoons of Polenta. Then I cut up about 8 apricots and cooked it all in a big pot for about 20 minutes. It was harrowing but I got through it. And boy, it was so good and, how you say, “Gooey”. I garnished the hot oats with a generous dusting of cinnamon.
I spent the rest of the day cleaning the apartment, grocery shopping, writing my book, memorizing my lines, listening to records (literally), and trying to change a light bulb that refuses to unscrew. How many vegans does it take to change a light bulb? Hopefully just two, me and you!
When I got home from my run I made some string beans in the corn chowder broth from the Cha Cha Chickpea Chowder I made the other day that’s waiting for you in the fridge.
On my run I thought about the very exciting journey you’ve been on and yet the toughest part is still ahead— landing in New Jersey at 5:00 AM, taking a bus from Jersey to Port Authority in Manhattan, and then taking a subway to Queens. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your journey through customs is swift, your bus ride is smooth, and there’s not a long wait for a subway home to Forest Hills, Queens, NYC on a Sunday.
Okay, see you soon for breakfast! xoxoxoxoxo