It’s pretty apparent that I’m not really into blogging these days. Sorry about that but it just doesn’t seem like we’re doing anything blog-worthy. Not that were not doing anything, we are. I’ve been changing out all of the standing rigging and I’ll write a blog about that later. Lulu’s is refinishing the woodwork that’s been gobsmacked by the sun. We’re also going to the cultural talk every week at Se Habla La Paz. Se Habla La Paz is the immersion Spanish language school that we attended for 3 weeks back in 2002. Every Tuesday they present a 45 minute or so talk in simple Spanish. The talks cover various Mexican subjects like Making Tequila, El Dia De Los Muertos, Mexican Myths, Origins of Mariachi Music, etc. The talks are all in Spanish but the presenter uses simple words and speaks slowly enough that it’s pretty easy to pick up what’s going on. Some weeks we come out and say, “I think I got pretty much all of that!” But sometimes we come out and say, “Man! She lost me there towards the end but I think I got most of the rest.” We’re really wanting to start learning to understand spoken Spanish when we hear it. Toward that end we thought that maybe we should pick up a telenovela (Mexican soap opera) on DVD and watch an episode every evening. Didn’t have much luck finding a telenovela but I did find a copy of the first season of Desperate Housewives in Spanish. Actually we could probably switch most of our DVDs to Spanish but I hadn’t really thought of that before. Anyway, we figured that we know the story, more or less, so it should be a good exercise to try to follow it in Spanish. Well! We came away from the first episode completely addled. Those women talk fast! We mostly had absolutely no idea what they were saying. The next night we added the Spanish subtitles and that helped. We mostly were getting our comprehension from reading the subtitles but we probably picked some up from the spoken lines as well. Trouble was, different people translated for the dubbing and the subtitles. They almost never used the same words. Even at the beginning, when they say, “Previously, on Desperate Housewives”, the spoken words used previamente for previously and the written words used anteriormente. And that’s just the very first word!!! We suffered through the first 8 or 9 episodes before we threw in the towel. One of the big problems is that, even if you do hear what they’re saying, if you don’t know what the word means, what good is it? And, unless we wanted to pause nearly continuously, we don’t have time to look up all the words we don’t know.
We also tuned our Sirius radio in to CNN Español and listen to it once in awhile. That’s somewhat helpful but we need to listen to it more. Unfortunately, we also like listening to music and even silence sometimes. I ordered a program called Destinos from Amazon. It’s a telenovela that evidently aired on PBS sometime back. Our night class Spanish teacher in Silverton also used it in class. It’s designed as a teaching aid and comes with a workbook, etc. This way we should be introduced to the new words we’ll be encountering before we actually hear them. We’ll see. Wish us buena suerte.
But what does all this have to do with Bangers and Peppers and Mash? Absolutely nothing!
Bangers and Peppers and Mash is a dish we kind of invented tonight for dinner. It’s so easy that “invented” seems a little strong but my thesaurus is at the cleaners so what are ya gonna do? Anyway, it’s generally been much too hot and humid to cook down below lately and we can only go out to eat so many times before we just don’t feel like it anymore. Last night we solved the problem by eating crudites (raw vegetables) with Ranch dip for dinner. We ate lots of vegetables: cauliflower, zucchini, red and orange bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and Anaheim peppers. Very tasty and no cooking involved at all. But tonight we wanted something at least a little bit different. And so, Bangers and Peppers and Mash was born. If you make this, feel free to use real mashed potatoes instead of instant. Remember, we were trying to keep the heat out of the cabin. We also wanted something really, really easy. And, although they’ll never compare to real mashed spuds, we like the taste of Idahoan instant mashed potatoes for what they are. Tonight we used the 4-cheese flavor. Anyway, without further ado:
Bangers and Peppers and Mash
- 1 (about 1 lb.) Polish sausage cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 Anaheim peppers, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 caribe peppers, cut into bite-size pieces. If you can’t get caribe peppers, use an extra Anaheim
- 1/2 onion, sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds and then separated into rings.
- 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced.
- Olive oil, salt, pepper
Spray the bottom and sides of a 7 x 11 x 1.5 baking pan with cooking spray. Distribute the onion rings all over the bottom of the pan. Distribute the peppers on top of the onion rings, followed by the sausage rounds. Finally, sprinkle the garlic slices evenly over all.
Now drizzle olive oil over the top and add salt and pepper to taste. I actually used Johnny’s Seasoning Salt but that’s up to you. Cover with aluminum foil and bake. Wanting to keep the heat outside, I baked mine on the gas grill in the cockpit. I had the burner on low which, I suspect, is equal to about 300-325 degrees in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes or so and serve over mashed spuds (or rice, or noodles, or grits). The juices from the vegetables combine with the olive oil to make a very pleasing sauce.