Sal si puedes

When I was in high school, I read a biography of Cesar Chavez.  Great book, but I didn't understand the title at all:  Sal si puedes = Salt if You Can.  Huh?

Good book, though, and I haven't been able to eat a grape in the United States since I read it. 

However, my grape boycott does not reach all the way to West Africa, so I bought these lovely things from a woman on the side of the road in Ouagadougou last week. 

Guilt-free grapes.  Nice.

There's plenty else for me to struggle with feeling guilty about here.  Like spending $5 on a bunch of grapes for instance… 

Lump da dump dump DUUUUMP

One of the reasons I’ve been experimenting with spamlike substances lately is that my bread has not been turning out right, so I need to eat something in the evening besides sandwiches.  I think the heat here has  killed my yeast.  So, I bought a package of little yeast packets, labelled "levure chimique."   I thought that would be good, the yeast was in small pink packets, so it would stay fresh until I needed it, and I would have nice loaves of bread again.

So, I measure the ingredients into the bread machine, including my nifty new levure chimique.  It looked a little strange, totally white, and not yeasty at all, but I’m a linguist, right?  I read the package.  Levure= yeast, chimique=chemical, therefore I had chemical yeast.  Ok, so I didn’t know what chemical yeast would be,  but I thought maybe it would be some kind of yeast that doesn’t die in tropical heat.

I discerned that further research into the meaning of levure chimique would be necessary when the bread machine turned out a dense lump of something vaguely breadish but inedible.

Baking powder. 

Eggs and fakin’

FakinI interrupt this long blog silence for a very deep and terribly insightful post:

There is a new pseudobacon in my life that can actually be bought only 20 miles from the village where I live. 

Thinly sliced spamlike substance cooked until crispy does indeed resemble bacon, and is very nice with eggs.  You might not be excited, but I am. 

Baggie beverage

BeverageThis wondrous drink is called bisap.  It’s like a really sweet tea made from boiling some kind of flower in water-more like Kool-Aid, really.  It’s safe for my sensitive tummy since it’s boiled and packaged in a nice clean baggie.  There are ladies that sell it nice and cold right near my market  stall. 

People usually drink it by biting a little hole in the corner and squeezing it into their mouths.  This, however, is not a good method if you are trying to drink it while selling books, because you’re committed to finishing it all in one go.  If you should take it out of your mouth to explain the literature you’re selling, you might try to hold the hole shut with your fingers.  This is less than effective, though, so bisap runs down your arm (it’s nice and sticky with sugar) and onto your dress, since you’re frantically holding it away from the books.  Now I untie the bag and pour it into a bottle.