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Chilean flag.

After a busy birthday/Easter weekend we decided to enjoy Chile tonight. It’s always a little tighter to do it after work, but we made it.

Tonight we began with Chilean Sopaipillas with pumpkin, a bread similar to Bannock. Made with pumpkin puree, flour, baking powder, salt, and butter, we mixed all ingredients together and then let it sit for about 20 minutes. We then made into balls which we flattened and pan fried.

Resting the dough for the Sopaipillas.

These were pretty good, though I expected more of a pumpkin taste. These can also be made with potatoes in place of the pumpkin, which has been requested for the next time we make these.

Sopaipillas, fried and ready to eat.

Dinner was Pantrucas, a soup that the kids immediately compared to Hamburger Helper, a favourite dish of theirs. To make this we sautéed onion and garlic in oil before adding ground beef. We then added red pepper, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. We were supposed to add carrots at this point but forgot we needed them. Salt and pepper were added and then potatoes and beef broth.

Pantrucas simmering away.

While this was cooking we made some noodles by mixing flour, egg and water until a smooth dough forms. This was then rolled out and cut into small pieces that were placed into the soup to cook. When the soup was cooked we added eggs to poach and topped our bowls with cilantro.

Homemade noodles.

This was very good, again, similar to a hamburger soup. I enjoyed the addition of the eggs though not everyone was so excited. We’ll definitely make the noodles again, using them instead on a lasagne. I figure we’ll try the soup again as well, though I would like to experiment a bit with some of the ingredients to see what we can make.

Pantrucas ready to eat.

Dessert was Chilean Cocadas, essentially coconut macaroons. Made by mixing coconut, almond extract, vanilla extract, and corn starch and setting a few minutes before baking, I believe this recipe was easier than what I’ve made before.

Mixing the Cocadas.

We will definitely make these again at some point and will dip a portion in chocolate. We will also make sure to cook them a little shorter so they’re not as dark!

Cocadas, a little dark but still tasty!

Did you know that Chile gained independence from Spain on September 18,1810 and since 1967 it is mandatory to hang the Chilean flag in proper condition from every public building. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to 40,000 pesos.

Chile has free healthcare, the world’s largest swimming pool (you cannot swim in the centre as the lifeguard can’t get to you fast enough if needed), 20 types of succulents and cacti, and only two snakes, both of which are small and relatively harmless. They have the tallest building in South America at 64 floors.

Chile has one of the largest coastlines in the world, the second lowest homicide rate after Canada, and is the second largest consumer of bread next to Germany. The largest earthquake on earth was recorded in Chile in 1900 at a 9.5.

Finally, if a family wants to move their house the community comes together to literally move their house, using a team of oxen and logs, or ties it to a boat to float/pull it to a new location.

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