I’ve had food on my mind a lot lately. We’ll skip the part where I need to go on a diet and lose 50 pounds; these thoughts are much more creative and less frustrating.

UHT Milk

Let’s start with UHT milk. The first time I ever encountered it was during my year of study abroad in France. I’m sure I found it disturbing at the time…a box of milk that can sit on your shelf for half a year can’t be natural. And it has this bizarre slightly boiled flavor to it, which is understandable because that’s exactly what it is. The UHT stands for Ultra High Temperature and is processed at approximately 280 degrees.

Here in Belize, we buy it by the case because we have a baby, and I hate grocery shopping. Of course, while researching this story, I came across an article articulating the horrors of UHT milk (and pasteurized milk in general), and how it destroys the milk proteins and enzymes. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t be giving it to the baby. But if we’re going to go there, I probably shouldn’t be giving him hot dogs, Kraft macaroni and cheese or Chef Boyardee raviolis either. Moving on!

Baking Soda

Our next topic is baking soda. Sure you can use it to cook with. But did you know that it’s FANTASTIC for taking the itch out of insect bites! I’d read that a few times but only became a believer when I had a few ladies over for cocktails one night (might’ve been the Christmas Cookie Exchange, now that I think about it), and one of the girls jumped up and asked if I had any baking soda because her bites were driving her insane.

She accompanied me to the kitchen, where I produced the requested item and watched as she made a quick paste out of soda and water. I immediately followed suit and rubbed my ankles furiously. The results were amazing. I apparently now need to go buy a book on home remedies as it worked better than hydrocortisone cream or the Calagel the nurse gave me the week before.

Pizza

Or more specifically…pizza delivery! Let me share with you a quick story regarding the hazards of pizza delivery in a 3rd world country. First of all, we thank the universe that there is pizza delivery at all. That said, there are two (maybe three) pizza places in Belmopan. One is local, one is American run and the other is Mexican. I’m not sure if the Mexican one delivers as I’ve never heard anyone rave about their pizza, so we’ve never tried it. The American one used to deliver when we first arrived at post, but their driver was robbed, so they stopped.

Now we order exclusively from the Belizean pizza joint, and it’s pretty tasty! Some folks say it’s a little too greasy, but I don’t mind. The only thing I do mind is that it usually takes twice as long as they estimate for it to arrive. One day we ordered a pie at 11:45am thinking it would arrive at 12:15pm after a 30 minute quote. We finally called them when it hadn’t arrived by 11:30. They apologized profusely and informed us that the delivery driver had fallen over on his scooter (??!).

Instead of calling to notify us, he had simply returned to the restaurant with the crushed pizzas and set about remaking the orders. A redelivery would’ve put us way past the end of our lunch hour. So, after confirming that the driver was all right, we cancelled our order and had pizza for dinner instead.

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