Dave Looks for Plants

Journal of a plant explorer

Rancho Mastatal – Part 4

By Karen:

f02-CobWallUnderConstruction.JPG (110127 bytes)This is a new house under construction — and the top of Timo’s head. f01-CobWallArtistry.JPG (100787 bytes)A cob wall roughed out.  More coats of cob to go. f03-NewDormUnderConstruction.JPG (114632 bytes)Typical Roof Mode
f05-SeedpodChandalier.JPG (125824 bytes)And a chandelier made from seed-pods.  They always have artistic little touches. g01-Escuala1MastalConstructing.JPG (131640 bytes)A classroom, also under construction. Some of the people working for the Rancho do construction. g03-Escuala3.JPG (144289 bytes)A variety of classes will be taught here, botany, Spanish, as needed, for the visitors/students who come.
The following day, Robin gives us a lesson in feeding all we guests – how to make seven loaves of bread and four batches of bagels.  The electric mixer is a prized possession, driven down from the United States.  It is expensive to obtain appliances out in the hinterlands, in part due to very high import taxes and customs regulations.  Unfortunately, the mixer is beginning to wear out.
f00-Breadmaking1_RobinReneeKaty.JPG (71383 bytes)Robin at the mixer, instructing Renee and Katey. We used a large quantity of whole wheat flour, which has to be bought up in Puriscal.  f01-BreadMakingEarthenOven.JPG (77008 bytes)The Rancho folks built this earthenware oven, and also one down in the village.  Burn wood inside to get the bricks hot, scrape out the embers and ashes, and then the radiant heat from the bricks bakes the bread. f02-Bagelmaking_RobinKatey.JPG (107341 bytes)Patting out the bagel dough, and letting it all rise.
f04-BagelBoiling.JPG (76466 bytes)Bagels must be boiled before baking. f06-BagelMaking_ReneeKristen.JPG (110890 bytes)Renee and Kristen applying an egg wash and sesame seeds. f08-BagelsInOven.JPG (80141 bytes)Bagels in the Oven.

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