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Archive for June, 2010

I told you I’d be doing a little bit of virtual vacationing, so here is my first installment.

Almost a year ago, I went to Panama with my good friend Elvera. We stayed in Panama City for about half of our vacation, relying on the hospitality of my business school classmate, Joe, and his family, including his wife and son, and his parents. Everyone seemed happy to welcome two single girls to Panama, but more on that later.

The best part of my mornings was waking up early with little Jack and sneaking him out to the porch with a bottle to give his mom a few extra moments of sleep. We would lounge on the hammock lazily lapping up the few rays of sun slowly peeking out above the horizon.

After our early-morning nap, I was sometimes greeted by a glass of fruit juice. Not ordinary orange or grapefruit juice. No, this is Panama. One morning it was papaya juice, the next watermelon blended with ice and served in a frosty glass.

When Elvera and did venture out to Bocas del Toro, our AM breakfasts always included the same fruit salad – a mix of papaya, watermelon, and pineapple. And a lot of coffee. So, when I returned to my home, with neither hammock nor little Jackito nor the coordination to make a frosty fruit beverage, I recreated my tropical mornings with the same salad from Bocas.

Panama Fruit Salad

Choose the ripest papaya, watermelon, and pineapple you can find. Scoop seeds out of papaya and cut flesh into bite-sized chunks. Cut watermelon flesh into bite-sized chunks. Cut pineapple into bite-sized chunks (leaving out the stringy core). Add a few splashes of lime juice. Mix. Eat in the sunshine.

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the midnight oil

Some of you have commented about the dwindling frequency of my posts. And the past few days, I’ve been in the office after midnight. So, I’ve decided to go on some trips. No, I don’t think I have enough vacation time to go anywhere fabulous in the near future, so I’m going to go through some of my recent and less recent travels and bring you along for a little food fun.

Of course my most recent trip was less about the food and more about the outdoors. I know, me? Yes, me! It was refreshing to pack a bag with barely a moment’s notice and throw it in the car, driving north to a land where the latest restaurants close at 10. That foreign land…New Hampshire. We did manage to find a fabulous coffee place that is worth the trip before a big hike…

…or a drive half-way up a mountain. (Mount Washington is known not just as the tallest peak in the Northeast but as having notoriously erratic weather.) We were warned at the field house that winds get so high at the mid-point plateau that we had to hold onto our car doors when opening to avoid having them ripped off. When we got to this point, as far as we were allowed to drive, I of course had to exit the car to see what this was all about. Luckily I did hold on to the door because as we walked just a few steps from the road, the wind threatened to knock me over.

We did finally make it up a shorter slope, one filled with running streams and leafy trees.  With my still healing knee, we had to keep a leisurely pace, allowing me to take in the scenery that I might otherwise rush past.

When we got to the top, we sat at the peak with a clear view of the surrounding mountains and valley. Scooping garlicky hummus into our mouths with crackers was the best meal of the weekend.

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