Apr 102011

Yellow Flower

We’ve have been busy.  Today is a rare, and much needed, rainy day.  A great day for our garden to soak up some water and for me to write a few words of what we have been up to for the past few weeks…

Pink OrchidsWe opened the pizzeria right on schedule, and although we sat the whole first day by ourselves, the idea of being in our own restaurant was excitement enough.  Since those very humble beginnings, we have had a number of satisfiedguests visit us and try one of Mary’s many creations.  We’ve whittled down our restaurant hours to Thurs.-Sunday, noon until 3pm, but we still open outside those hours with a previous reservation.  We love the work, we love the food, but we hate sitting around waiting to share all this goodness!

Our flexible schedule has allowed us to spend a lot of time in our garden where the tomatoes have come in quite nicely along with the cherry tomatoes and the Romesco cauliflower.  We have had some rainy days in the past few weeks which has allowed us to run our entire operation solely off of the rainwater we harvest.  Right now we have about 6000 liters stored in our tanks thanks to today’s constant rain.  Its still warm outside/inside but I think I might go put on a long sleeved shirt once I finish writing this little post.  Brrrr.

The month of March was a real treat here in the garden.  Spring arrived in Barichara full of birds, bees and all sorts of flowers.  The most spectacular orchids bloomed in the garden this month, lasting anywhere from a day to a week.  The Mirto, normally the messiest tree in the house, added to my sweeping duties by sprouting beautiful white flowers that had all our beehives buzzing with activity.  Not only that, but they also filled the house with the most delicious perfume that all our guest remarked upon as they entered our home.  The messiest tree this month was the Roso Nogal: the tallest tree in the garden standing about 10 meters tall and visible from every lookout around town, old Roso threw out the prettiest pink flowers this month.  And not just a few dozen, but thousands of flowers.  I would sit in my hammock in the afternoons and watch these flowers literally rain, non-stop on the garden below.

Blue White Orchid

I sweep the paths in the garden every morning and normally fill a bucket for our compost pile with leaves, flowers, twigs and scattered fruits.  In March, I was filling three buckets every day just with Roso’s flowers.  And by the time I had made it from one end to the garden to the other, it already looked like I had not even swept!  Beautiful.

I wonder what other surprises this garden has for us.  I think the mangoes will be ready this month.  They are already the size of an average bowling ball.  The grape vine is also almost ready for harvest… grape jam anyone?

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Feb 252011

greengoes pizzeria
I shouldn’t have to say anything else. The pictures tell the whole story; we are opening a pizzeria and Mary is letting her imagination run wild.  What’s that, taste-buds?  Ah, yes, this is the best pizza in Colombia.

We have been a very busy pair indeed these past few weeks.  We traveled to Bucaramanga (a 3 hour bus trip) to buy a pizza oven and carry it back here on the bus.  Across the Chicamocha canyon and into Mary’s Test Kitchen.  Our tables are currently being crafted out of an old wooden door and our sign should be ready soon since it is almost a week behind ‘schedule’ (right on for Barichara Time).

Of all the wonders on offer here in Beautiful Barichara, there is a serious lack of vegetarian food.  And pizza.  But not for long, thanks to our Cookin’ CEO and Greengoes’ newest venture; pizza for the masses (or at least the tourists) should be filling bellies and lightening moods within two weeks.

My already Best Job Ever has been improved with a new job title to add to my burgeoning list: Pizza Taster.  I’m not one to brag, but my lunch can beat up your lunch.  Any day.

I have been enjoying Mary’s latest warm-cheesy creations for a week straight and can honestly tell you that this pizza should be reason enough to come to Barichara.

Sure, you can visit this town and stroll through its rock-paved colonial-era streets taking pictures of the almost 300 year old Cathedral, the whitewashed houses with their bright colored doors and windows and the various flowering trees that spill into practically every street.  You can visit Barichara and visit the various different artists’ workshops around town, the Casa de la Cultura, and our small-town food market.  Take a short hike up to one of many (some secret) look-outs around town and measure yourself against the mountains that watch over us from across the river.  Visit the nearby towns of Guane, Cabrera or Villanueva, all accessible through a centuries-old stone pathway through the surrounding hills and past picturesque ‘fincas’. Make this your peaceful base from which to take day-trips out to the breath-taking Chicamocha Canyon, the cool Pescaderito River or any of the adventure sports offered in nearby San Gil.  And whatever you do, don’t miss your opportunity to relax, chill-out and rest in this peaceful town.  There is nothing like a night in Barichara to help you slow down and smile.

But whatever is on your list of reasons to visit Barichara, from now on your number one reason should be to come savor, sample and salivate at Greengoes Pizzeria.

Eat at Greengoes!


 Posted by at 8:36 pm
Jan 192011

una gran escuela

We’ve made it through our first “temporada” (high season) and, what have I learned?

Wow, so much…but let me start in the kitchen, where I’ve been spending most of my time.

I’ve learned that it isn’t so hard to make many of the “processed items” that one gets at the grocery store.  Bread, tofu, marmalade and yogurt making were great mysteries before we got here two months ago, and now, I’d say they are reasonable endeavors for even the weak of heart in the kitchen.  Surprising, no?  We’re thinking of offering classes on how to make these things.  Are you interested?

I’ve learned that sometimes, you have to sacrifice a batch before you get a good one.  For me, the making of a good marmalade came with this sad fact.  My first batch of mandarine marmalade was bitter…i mean puckered up-painful-without cure-BITTER.  It hurts me to even write the following words…it had to go to the compost!  I asked for help and, when I did, Angela, my kitchen angel, gave me a large batch of the best tasting mandarines I’d had to date and a second chance.  The second batch turned out to be well worth the effort.  Come on down and I’ll let you try some…if you like it, I’ll even sell you some!

I’ve reaffirmed that all natural is the best way to go.  Physically, I feel healthier than ever.  To this end, we’ve been planting our organic gardens.  We’ve got so many hopefuls here at the house:  parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, bok choi, kale, romesco cauliflower,  padron peppers, mystery peppers, red cherry tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes and garlic.  We also planted at our friend, Osvaldo’s, farm – okra, green squash, yellow squash, radishes, onions, leeks, corn, basil…my mind runs wild at all the possibilities of what we are going to eat and best of all it will all be fresh and organic, whatever choses to flourish here in beautiful Barichara.

Out of the kitchen, most importantly, I’ve learned that generosity is rewarded.  And that we have some neighbors that really like to party.  Thankfully, they keep it mostly to temporadas.

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