Settling In

Finally, we are attempting to get settled in. With the exception of a few things, most everything has found it’s place in our new home. We’ve already had guests, even though they only stayed one night. Homeschool, ministry, and general daily responsibilities have nearly run us ragged. There is still much to do, and it’s been difficult making time for rest. Colds and allergies for me and the kids have also been energy zappers, not to mention March is the hottest part of the year. Steve is mainly physically exhausted. Either way, when you aren’t at 100% even little things can become discouraging.

We have a cashew tree:)

We have a cashew tree:)

The main thing that has helped encourage me is the variety of plant life in our new yard. A new discovery each day for these last two weeks has made me smile. And, oh, the wonder for the potential for future things!  Gardening has always been one of my passions, and I’m looking forward to exploring and working with every square inch. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Who needs Zumba classes or the gym? There is enough to do in the yard to keep me fit. I’m already down 10 pounds. Trimming down and getting in shape will be great doing what I love.

So, during the process of getting settled in, I want to share some of the discoveries of the new yard along the way. The first featured plant is the marañón. In English, it’s known as the cashew. This tree is on the north side of the property and the fruit is beginning to ripen and fall to the ground. Here in Costa Rica, the nut is sold on the street and in open air markets in long, plastic sleeves. They aren’t very salty. I’ve come to enjoy them more since living here. Though they’ve both been processed, I can barely eat the ones in the States  because they now seem too salty.

The nut is found in the bean-shaped pod on the end of the “apple” fruit. Some Costa Ricans say the best part is the fruit, not the nut.

juice or jelly?

juice or jelly?

They enjoy both the juice and make jelly from the fruit. I’ve never had either, but now’s my chance. A recipe for cashew vinaigrette salsa sounds like a good place to start. Getting the nut from the fruit is difficult. The shells have to be dried first, and then the nut has to be roasted.  You can’t eat them raw. The nut is encased in a sap that can cause irritation similar to poison ivy. Each nut has to be removed manually. Machine processing doesn’t exist. No wonder they are so expensive!

I’ll have to let you know how the juice and fruit tastes. I may even attempt to make a small batch of jelly. But that will have to wait a couple of weeks. There’s still too much to be done. Plus, it’ll give time for more of the fruit to ripen.

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Posted in home life

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