Marinated aubergines with love from Sattvaland

The concept of home is a strange one. Travelling is a natural uprooting of oneself, where you learn through constant change and new experiences to challenge your boundaries and develop a concept of home deep within yourself. We leave our traditional concepts of home but to some degree always feel like we are searching for a new one. It’s rare to find such a place on the road and whilst the place plays some role in the attraction, it is completely the people that turn a lovely place into one you feel the comfort of home wash over you. 

Flutterby house in Uvita, Costa Rica, most definitely provided me with that feeling. Set perfectly close to the beach, mangroves, jungle and waterfalls whilst still close enough to moderate civilisation if you need it (a farmers market, some restaurants, supermarkets and ATMs), it attracted an interesting mix of surfers, hippies and conscious holidaymakers. I met such incredible, likeminded, special people that my 3 day stay with Sabina, turned into 2.5 months and I became a volunteer there. I bawled when I left knowing how rare these pockets of community are but feel content to always have a home in Costa Rica that I will go back to and connections with incredible humans that will continue and develop in ways I cannot begin to imagine. 

Sattvaland is another of those places. A lush haven, nestled deep in the Belizian jungle off the hummingbird highway between Belmopan and dangriga. Surely enough on my first day back a tiny beautiful hummingbird came to investigate a flower in the kitchen. As I embark on a month long permaculture immersion I am inspired by the creativity that exudes from every leaf, flower, creature and human being here. Such a land of positivity abundantly in action. 

As in most places, I migrate towards the kitchen here and love how experimentation is so joyfully welcomed and encouraged. I woke up with the feeling I wanted to bake bread, so bake it they said. My sesame and thyme wholewheat loaf is resting now, filling the kitchen with a beautiful aroma. 

I felt the inclination to marinate aubergines I found in the larder, looking to the land for inspiration. 

Using homemade pineapple vinegar as a base I grated in ginger grown on the land, garlic, half a teaspoon of cane sugar, adding 1 chopped tomato, a teaspoon of homemade fermented hot chilli sauce, a generous pinch of salt, half a teaspoon each of cumin, tumeric & curry powder, and the insides of 3 cocona (Peruvian) tomatoes grown on the land. Slathering that on top of some thickish slices of aubergines, I baked those in the oven for between 45-60 minutes until they were soft in the middle. 

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