Monday, March 25, 2013

Slices of Life from Belize: March 25, 2013


Here in Corozal, it's common for vendors to travel the local roads hawking their wares. And by their wares, I mean they generally are trying to sell veggies, fruits, sandwiches, seafood, and those kinds of things. Most get around on their bicycles, but there is one guy who has a car outfitted with a loudspeaker. You can hear him coming from miles away shouting, "Tamales, tortillas, orange juuuuice." Cracks me up every time I hear him.

Up until about a month or so ago, we didn't get anyone stopping by trying to sell us anything. It wasn't surprising, when you consider we are literally off the beaten path. But about two weeks ago, a guy showed up, on his bike, selling fish...freshly caught and cleaned...and in his backpack.

We ended up buying this handsome specimen:

When we asked what kind of fish it was, we were told "it's a seafish." Ummm, not exactly helpful, but it was clearly fresh and weighed probably five or so pounds. And as we had just been talking about getting a whole fish and filleting it ourselves, just to see what would be involved, well, why not? If anyone cares to venture a guess on what type of fish this is, feel free to shout it out in the comments section below.

David got to work filleting and skinning it, which went better than we expected, and we ended up with three lovely fillets:

While I could have just popped them into the freezer, I decided to cook them that very night. One of my favorite ways is to saute them in a beer sauce. I know, it sounds weird, but it really is yummy.

First you saute some onions in a bit of olive oil. When soft and translucent, pour in a bottle of beer. I use Belikin, because after all, it's the beer of Belize.

When the beer has reduced by about half, lay the fillets on top and place a few slices of tomato on top of each and season to taste:

Pop the pan into a pre-heated 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes.


I made some recado seasoned white rice to serve alongside and placed the fillets, with their tomatoes, on the plate, spooned some of the onion beer sauce over the whole shooting match and garnished with a bit of chopped parsley. 

Seafish -- it's what's for dinner.

Solar Attic Fan

As I've mentioned in some previous posts, it gets hot here. I mean, HOT, especially during the summer. (Although as a quick aside, we had abnormally steamy weather yesterday. The temperature was somewhere in the 90s, and the heat index was triple digits. No one we talked to could remember it being that hot this time of the year. Must be that danged climate change stuff.)

Anyway, when the sun hits the back of our house, it can be brutal. We learned very quickly last summer to shut the back door and kitchen window louvers no later than noon. If we forgot, you could feel waves of heat rolling in that would almost knock you over. And if I got the yen to do any cooking with the range top or oven? Oh man. I know, if you can't stand the heat...but seriously.

To help address the problem, other than using our ceiling and floor fans, David bought a solar powered attic fan, which we had shipped down to us from the States, and is now located on the roof above the kitchen window (props to Dave Waiting for lending his expertise and time).

You see, our house has a small crawl space area in the roof area and air vents in the front and sides. And while those vents help some, the air in the back of the crawl space was kinda' stuck. The hope is that the solar fan will help suck that hot air out and bring the inside temperature down a couple or few degrees. And believe me, every degree of coolness you can get can make a difference to your level of sanity.

So while I have documented my penchant for being a clothes horse, there's another thing that I have an addiction to: purses. Can't help myself; I see a cute purse and the next thing I know, I'm reaching into my wallet to make a purchase. I thought I kinda' moved past this addiction when we moved here. I had quite a collection in my State-side closet, most being made of leather. But knowing that leather doesn't generally hold up here very well (i.e. mold), I gave all but a few away. I packed some nylon tote bags and backpacks and figured they would do the trick.

And they did, until my friend Colleen introduced me and few other ladies to a woman she knows that runs her own little company, Chill's Creations, and sells handbags that she makes by hand. Before I knew it, the addiction was back.

I had intended to only buy two bags, but when I saw her stock left over from a local arts and crafts fair, I couldn't resist and ended up with three:

This one has a zip pocket at the top, as well as the one on the front. The strap is long enough to cross the body and is a great size for when you don't want to haul around a ton of stuff.
I fell in love with the color and design, not to mention the handy little purse that comes with it. The main bag has a zippered closure at the top and a zip pocket inside.
Great sized shoulder bag -- not too big, not too small. Like the one above, it has a zip top closure and zipped pocket inside.

The material used on these bags, as well as all the others she offers is good quality and the craftsmanship is superb. And get this: I snagged all three for $65 BZD or $32.50 USD.

Hopefully these beauties will keep my addiction at bay for some time, as long as Colleen doesn't tempt me with any new additions to Chill's catalog.


  1. What you purchased in my opinion is one of the best tasting fish that swims. Whether you know it or not, your decision to skin it save you fish. You cannot eat a Snook with skin on, it taste like soap. Sixty years back it was call by local people in Florida Soap Fish. The correct name is Snook which variety, I am not sure. It looks exactly what I catch in Florida. you should have several enjoyable meals from this Snook.

    John O.

  2. Hi John,
    Thanks so much for giving this fish a name! After some quick research, I discovered it's also known as a sergeant fish or robalo. Also, thanks for passing on the tip about its skin. It was only pure luck (and ignorance) that we decided to take it off before we cooked it.