12 November, 2017

Benefit of Paying the Paradise Tax

One of the benefits of paying the paradise tax (See the post,, is that sometimes you get a real benefit that happens as a result.

For example, a couple weeks ago, the dogs erupted, as they do, to announce either someone riding by Casa Winjama on a bicycle or perhaps someone stopping at the gate. I looked up from my iPad to see what the ruckus was all about.

There were a couple of teenage girls with their bicycles at the gate, hollering "Good Ahfternoon," the way most Belizeans do. So, I shut down the iPad where I had been deeply engrossed in  Neal Stephenson's SciFi novel, Seveneves.

When I got to the gate, I wasn't sure if they were looking for a donation to some cause or the other, or were looking to sell me something, which could be, based on our past experience, anything from artwork, in the form of wood carvings or paintings, babysitting, the odd iguana or crocodile, or perhaps rice and beans with stew chicken dinners to support a school, church, or similar organization. You just never have an idea of what may come up when you approach the gate.

It was a nice surprise this time when the girls asked if I wanted to buy some pork, as they were butchering a pig the following day. This took me completely by surprise. I almost said 'no thanks,' but luckily, I maintained a bit of presence of mind and said "sure." This was simply because I happened to think of our chest freezer, which I had just, a couple of days before cleaned a lot of ice out of it and wiped the insides down with bleach water and a sponge, so I knew it was empty and ready to be restocked.

The next question they asked was, what I wanted. I was so nonplussed, I really couldn't think of any cuts of pork, so I asked for some 'leg meat.' Now, in the States, that would have probably earned me a sneer and a "What kind of cut is that?" - type question. Here in Belize, the girls simply asked how much I wanted. I replied that about three pounds would be nice.

They then told me it would be $6.00 BZD per pound and that it would be delivered tomorrow around 11:00 AM. They asked for my name, and away they went.

Move forward to the following day. I hear a couple of voices out by the gate calling "Mr. Dave, Mr. Dave." It was the girls from the previous day. I noted that our crack security team didn't even let out a peep. They must have decided that since I talked to the girls yesterday, that they were now old friends and didn't need any alerting to the household.

Anyway, they had my three pounds of 'leg meat,' nicely bagged in a black plastic shopping bag. I gave them the $18.00 BZD and took possession of the bag of meat.

They asked if I wanted anything else. This time, having talked to Dianna, I was able to sound a bit more with it, when I asked if we could get a rack of ribs. They answered sure, but not until Saturday, when they would be butchering another pig. Did I want the whole rack was the next question? I said sure to this as well. They told me it would cost more. I understood and that was ok. And, away they went.

Saturday comes, and so does 11:00 AM. No girls. But, it's Belize, so no need to panic. Along about noon, I hear the girls called once again. My pep talk to the security team paid off, with a rousing round of woofing as I walked to the gate.

They have a five-gallon plastic bucket full of a coiled rack of ribs that was huge. It had to weigh on the order of 25 or 30 pounds. Tons of meat. It cost $122.00 BZD and was a bargain at that price. I transferred the rack to a large stainless bowl that is part of my InstaPot Pressure Cooker. Having no other place to keep it, I plopped into the freezer. I rinsed out the girl's bucket and gave it back to them for orders for Christmas hams and such. Perfect.

Our friends, Bruce and Colleen were coming over later in the afternoon to play Mexican Train (a dominoes game). Dianna and I had talked earlier in the day, that if the ribs showed up, and they were OK, then we would have ribs for dinner. Otherwise, we'd order pizza from Blue's.

Several days before, I had stumbled on a recipe online for instant pot baby back ribs that for whatever reason, had intrigued me. It took me a while to find it again (, and then to print it out.
Ribs Coming Out of the InstaPot
Photo Thanks to Bruce Steege

Ribs Ready to Disappear
Photo Thanks to Bruce Steege
This was a to-die-for meal, and an extremely easy recipe to use. Two-thumbs up on the recommendation for this one. Thanks to Bruce for helping prepare the meal and to Colleen for taking the lead on clean-up, and to everyone on the consumption part of the thing.
Three-Fourths of the Crew - Colleen, Dianna, and Dave
Photo Thanks to Bruce Steege (Behind the Camera)


Vivien said...

Looks like a wonderful meal!

Winjama said...

Hi Vivien,

Oh, you wouldn't believe. Each rib had so much meat. We probably broke every meat-cutting rule there is, but who cares? It turned out so good.

And really, the best part is we have ribs to spare, and other pieces of pork to cook up. Bruce and I bagged at least seven or eight meals worth of pork. I threw the whole bunch in the freezer.

We'll do something like that when you and Denis are here.