Sunday, May 17, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows that I cook quite a bit - sometimes simple and sometimes gourmet. This is true on the road as well but on the the road I cook only simple. So here I am making sauteed chicken with boiled carrots and rice for dinner perfectly timed for a 6:00 meal. The table is set, the wine is poured and I go to take out my rock hard carrots and my partially cooked rice; what is going on here? I blame the uncooked carrots on the fact that Marty has cut them way to thick and the rice problem is due to the fact that I can't get a flame low enough on this propane stove to properly cook rice.

Several days later I'm making steak with broccoli and potatoes. Same scenario only this time my broccoli is rock hard and the potatoes are a little on the raw side. I cut the broccoli so who do I blame this time? I cook the broccoli for additional 20 minutes and the potatoes for 15 minutes more and serve them with the cold steak. What is going on here?

Altitude! We all know that altitude makes breathing harder since the air density is lower (less oxygen in the air). But did you know that due to this lower density air, water boils at a lower temperature than it would at lower altitudes? If you thought that boiled water is boiled water, guess again. At home, boiled water is 212degrees, here in Quito, it is only 185 degrees. So even though you are cooking something in boiled water, it is not as hot, so it will have to cook for longer - maybe even twice as long!

This is not a big secret, it's just that the people in Colorado forgot to tell me to start dinner twice as early as I would if I were at home. Thank God I didn't try to bake!

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