Archive for August 2012

Afflicted with Hope   Leave a comment

Dear Readers, I want to introduce you to a website called “Afflicted with Hope.”  It is a project that relays life stories of Salvadorans.   They are positive and beautiful, and I encourage you to visit their site; you will enjoy these biographies.

I will let these quotes from Caroline and Don tell more about their project.

“After returning from my initial trip to El Salvador, I allowed time to assimilate the Salvadoran experience and let my meandering thoughts that were percolating deep within me begin to take hold and gel into a plan.  The feeling that kept haunting me was to create an oral history project of some of the intriguing life stories people had shared with me in order to 1) preserve them for posterity and 2) raise the awareness within readers who would otherwise know nothing of these people.  I wanted these stories to be told in first person.” – Caroline J. Sheaffer

“It is our hope that the details of each life, forcefully and truthfully told, will allow you to see the spirit of the teller.  There is neither an attempt here to offer a prescription to the world you will see, nor a polemic to the unfairness that life can bring.  The world seen through the lens of the lives here told will painfully spell out resentments, negativity, pitfalls of bitterness, wounded pride and more.  Against this backdrop you will see lives that kept on growing in goodness, service, generosity, and love beyond belief.  In hearing these stories, I came to understand the saying “to be born Salvadoran is to be afflicted with hope.” – Pastor Emeritus Donald J. Seiple

Posted August 21, 2012 by El Salvador from the Inside in Living in El Salvador

Need to post, again   2 comments

Hi all, I’ve been focusing on affairs offline, so that’s why ya’ll haven’t seen me lately.  Promise to post again, soon.

Posted August 21, 2012 by El Salvador from the Inside in Living in El Salvador

Jilote, Elote, Mazorca – las fases del maíz   3 comments

Spanish FridayIt’s Spanish Friday today.   Post is in Spanish, English version at the bottom.

Para la gente que provienen de países latinoamericanos, esta entrada será graciosa, porque (creo que) la mayoridad ya sepan bien de las fases del maíz.   Quizás para algunos que creaban en la ciudad, será algo nuevo.  Ojalá que sirve educacional, o por lo menos divertido.

Después que la plata de maíz crece suficiente, empieza dar el fruto.  Aparecen los jilotes, que son mas pequeños que el elote.  Esta verdura aparece en Norteamérica en muchos platos de comida china, y se llama “baby corn.”   Les diré la verdad, los jilotes son mucho mas sabrosos cuando sean frescos; creo que todo los “baby corn” que he comido eran de lata.  Aquí en El Salvador nos gusta comer los jilotes en una sopa de gallina india. Tambien se cocinan en un guiso.  Ayer hice un giuso con pipianes, y luego mi esposo aggrego los jilotes de la milpa alrededor de nuestra casa.  Bueno, aunque la milpa es jodida este año, por lo menos hemos comido algunos jilotes y elotes bien frescos.

Cuando la milpa en El Salvador aun esta verde, se comen el elote del maiz.  Aunque el uso alimentario mas mayor de las plantas de maiz el para maiz seco,  los paisanos acá disfrutan mucho comer los elotes antes que se doblan la milpa.  Lo mas común manera de comer el elote es asado, con limón y sal.  También se meten en sopas.

En varios lugares por el internet he encontrado paginas que refieren a un sentido intercambiado entre ‘elote’ y ‘mazorca’, sobre esta parte del maíz.  Aqui en Chalatenango, El Salvador, cuando la gente dicen “mazorca,” están refiriendo al elote maduro, que se pondrá a maíz en granos, para hacer masa, y echar tortillas o tamales.  No se sacan la mazorca hasta después que se dobla la milpa.

Porque se Dobla La Milpa?
Los agricultores doblan la milpa, o sea, doblan cada planta de maiz cuando ya esten maduros todos de los elotes.  Se hacen eso para prevenir la pudrición del maiz.  Si no se dobla la planta, los aguas de la lluvia caerán encima de las mazorcas, y se quedaran mojados, y de alli se pudren.  Doblando las planta deja que el agua cae al suelo, no atrapado dentro de los elotes / mazorcas.

Vicio – no estoy segura del ortografía, pero he oído esta palabra de personas Salvadoreñas cuando les explique que pasó con una espiga de un maíz enfrente de nuestra casa.  En vez que ponerse como espiga normal, con gránulos pequeños, los gránulos crecían hasta muy grandes, apareciendo como granos de maíz, y algunos agrandaron al tamaño de un fin de dedo.  No encuentro esta palabra por el internet, entonces sea palabra de los lugareños o de náhuatl, pero si existe la palabra y la verdura. Se dicen que los Mexicanos comen la espiga cuando crezca así.

—  English Translation —

For people who come from Latin American countries, (I think) this post will be funny, because most of them already know the phases of maize well.  Maybe for some who grew up in the city, it will be something new.  I hope that it serves to be educational, or at least entertaining.

After the maize plant grows enough, its starts making its fruit.  Baby corn appear, which are smaller than corn.  This vegetable appears in North America in many Chinese plates.  I’ll tell you the truth, the baby corn have much more flavor when they are fresh; I think all the baby corn I have eaten were from a can.  Here in El Salvador we like to eat these young corn in a nice soup of free-range chicken (called ‘gallina india’, a nickname for chicken from the house, or free-range).  They are also cooked in stews/sauces. Yesterday I made a saucy dish out of pipianes (similar to zucchini) and later my husband added the baby corn.  Well, although the milpa is screwed this year, at least we’ve eaten some ears of fresh and baby corn.

When the cornfield in El Salvador is still green, fresh corn is eaten.  Though the primary food use for maize plants is  to generate dry maize,  the countrymen here enjoy eating fresh ears of corn before the cornfield is folded over.  The most common way of eating the corn is grilled, with lemon and salt.  They are also put into soups.

In various places on the internet I’ve encountered pages that refer to te and mazorca as  interchangeable meanings for this part of the maize plant.  Here in  Chalatenango, El Salvador, when people say “mazorca” they are referring to the mature ear of corn, which will become maize in grains, to make cornmeal, to cook tortillas and tamales.  They do not take the mazorca off the plant until after the cornfield has been “folded”

Why is the Cornfield folder over?
Farmers “fold” the cornfield, that is, they fold each maize plant over when the ears of corn are mature.    They do this to prevent the maize from rotting.  If the plant is not folded, the rain will fall on the ears of corn, they will stay wet, and then rot.    Folding the plant lets the water fall to the ground, so it is not trapped inside the ears of the corn.

Vicio – I’m not sure of the spelling, but I’ve heard of this word from Salvadorans when I explained what happened with the tassel on a corn plant in front of our house.  Instead of becoming a normal tassel, with small grains, the grains grew to be very big, looking like grains of corn/maize, and some enlarged to the size of the end of one’s finger.  I don’t find the word on the internet, so then its a local word or one from Náhuatl, but the word and the vegetable do exist.  They say that Mexicans eat the tassel when it grows like that.

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