August 13, 2016

Today was lovely. My version of a near-perfect Saturday. I woke up early and less than two hours later we were headed to downtown for the farmers market, which is always buzzing with friendly chatting adults, giggling kids, and ecstatic canines. I’ve never been to a busier or lovelier farmers market in my life, and being there just makes my heart happy. On our short walk from the car to the market I noticed a magical looking used bookstore inside an old town house. I knew I’d have to go inside at some time, and thankfully my parents let all 9 of us cram into the darling little shop. And it was amazing. The place smelled like old books and history and the tiny lanes were lined to the ceiling with hundreds of books, some older C. S. Lewis. I found a Hamlet copy from 1939, full of little notes and underlines. It came from the University of Wisconsin. And only cost $3, which was awesome! After that we went to the base, which felt nostalgic and homey since I haven’t been in close to half a year. We came home, put away our bounty of produce and bread from the market, and then relaxed. Which looked like two siblings and I binge watching The Flash. (Barry is the cutest everyone, don’t even try to argue.) Evening included making salsa with all that fresh stuff we bought in the morning, eating chocolate chip ice cream, and enjoying a gorgeous sunset and a breeze which has an autumn twinge in it. I hope you all had an equally lovely Saturday, and I hope you all have an even lovelier Sunday. 

Charquican 

This is a Chilean meal that my Nana makes, and it’s one of my favorite things to eat! The first time she made it for us we had just been swimming and I was starving, but this satisfied my ravenous appetite perfectly. It’s so filling and flavorful, which makes it the perfect comfort food on a cold day. Don’t be scared by the squash! It’s flavor is barely there and it makes this dish a beautiful orange color. 



Nana wanted me to be sure to let you know she does not recommend peeling potatoes with a knife. 😂


The end result. Ahh, making me hungry just looking at it. 


This is the traditional butter + paprika sauce you put on top. 

This recipe really depends on how many are eating it. Plus Nana and I don’t measure much, so if you’re not sure how much to do of something go with your gut. 

You’ll need:

  • 1 butternut squash (size depends on how many are eating it) 
  • 1 med potato per person
  • 1—2 lbs ground beef 
  • 1—2 med onions 
  • 1—2 bell peppers 
  • Olive oil
  • Several Tbsp—entire stick of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder 
  • Cumin
  • Paprika 
  • Cayenne pepper 

For the sauce:

  • Several Tbsp of butter 
  • Several tsp of paprika 
  1. Peel potatoes and squash and then cut into large chunks. Put into a pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch. Add salt and bring to a boil. Boil until soft, then drain. Leave a bit of water in the bottom to keep from dryness. 
  2. While potatoes and squash are cooking, chop onions and peppers. Add to a pan with a Tbsp or two of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and then cook on medium—high until onions are translucent. Add ground beef. Generously season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook until meat is browned.
  3. Mash potatoes and squash together with some butter and season with salt and garlic. Stir in beef mixture and then test for adequate seasoning. 

For the sauce:
In a small separate pan melt the butter. Add paprika and combine. Serve drizzled over charquican. Enjoy!