Yesterday my friends took me for a drive that ended up at a Marriott resort in the province of Herradura. After that, as the sun was going down, we went over to Jaco, a town that sits on the beach and is popular with tourists and retirees. In the area of Herradura and Jaco I saw and heard more Americans than I saw in the entire month I spent in Costa Rica last year.
Jaco has some very nice things for sale, along with typical tourist claptrap. I saw many items made of wood, such as place mats fashioned from bars of wood that demonstrated many contrasting colors as well as boxes and statuary. This would be a lovely theme for a tablescape, with salad bowls and serving dishes of wood alongside the placemats, and a rustic style of flatware and dishes.
I shopped for food yesterday as well, and it is true that nothing but organic produce is raised in Costa Rica and other Latin-American countries. I am revisiting platanos as well as a brand of coffee that I tried for the first time this morning. It is called Rey cafe de Costa Rica Premium, Tueste Claro, or light roast. It is as good as any coffee I have ever had here, and we tried the five or six most popular brands. However, as a light roast rather than the more traditional robust brands, I like it better than some I tried although I don't criticize them.
The funny thing here is that our hotel manager and his family have been missing the Bernice's French Dressing that I made for them when I was here last August. My manager's wife has been trying to recreate it, but of course I will make some tonight whether they eat over at the hotel or across the street at their home. They just need to lend me their blender, or licuadora as they are called here.
If you do not have a recipe for a dressing this good, you need one. It is my Big Six-type salad dressing because it goes with anything and it seems that everyone likes it.
BERNICE'S FRENCH DRESSING
1 cup organic vegetable oil such as safflower or canola
1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup organic catsup
juice of one organic lemon or lime, squeezed fresh
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
A piece of fresh organic onion, to taste
2 or more cloves of organic garlic, to taste
Place all ingredients in your blender or food processor and mix until the consistency is smooth. Store the dressing in an airtight container in your refrigerator between uses.
You will be making this dressing fairly often once your family gets used to it. I am making it for my manager's family as well--thought I left cooking behind when I came to visit Costa Rica? Not a chance--let people know that you can cook and they are yours forever.