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Day 11 in Chile - Jan 7th, 2011 - Going Home

I almost don't want to write this posting.  No more blogging on Chile.  Well, I will then be on to blogging other things; but it has been so nice recalling our memories from our wonderful vacation.  All the great food, wine, adventures and friends.  But all good things must come to an end so we can make room for the next good thing.  Good quote - I think I might post it as my Facebook status - ha ha.

Day 11:  Woke up early and began packing before breakfast.  Veronica and I went on our last walk together.  Given all of the stuff I bought on the trip, I was tight for space.  Juan had borrowed a large suitcase from us when he went back to Chile from the states, so he offered to give that back to me.  That was great because then I could also pack two more bottles of Chilean wine to bring back home.

We had no big plans this last day.  Juan was going to bring us to the airport at about 7:00 PM.  Our flight to Atlanta was scheduled to leave at 10:00 PM.  For our last lunch, we were going to have  Pastel de Choclo or corn and chicken pie.  It is another very traditional Chilean dish.  Julia made it from fresh corn, chicken, olives, eggs etc.  I will post a recipe I found on line but it is not exactly the same.  It smelled wonderful throughout the house all morning as we were busy packing. 

Juan Carlos had to work in the morning and he arrived back home around 1:00.  We set the table for lunch, had some cervesa, some wine and some pisco sours and then time to eat.  Nino and Loly came for lunch also.  Loly had made beautiful necklaces for Rachel and I.  It was a delicious lunch.  I had never had anything quite like it.

In the afternoon, everything was kind of in slow motion.  Juan went into town and bought two more bottles of wine for me and he also printed out some photos of our trip with our two families and put them in frames for us.  That was a nice surprise.

Juan Carlos, Coke and Veronica were going to the wedding of a friend in the evening so they were not able to bring us to the airport.  We took some final photos and said our last goodbyes to them and also to Loly and Nino.  Lots of tears and lots of hugs.

We loaded up the pickup with our bags and left for the airport at about 7:00 PM.  The ride to Santiago airport was pretty quiet.  I didn't know what to say to Juan.  It was hard to see the trip come to an end but were so grateful for the opportunity and the experience.

After our last goodbyes and hugs to Juan, we made our way to immigration to begin our departure process.  With the exception of me almost losing my shoe in Santiago airport, the trip home went very smooth.  Arrived in Marquette at 4:00 PM the next day and then the two hour ride north to Home Sweet Home.  The dogs missed us.

Thank you Chile, thank you Juan, Juan Carlos, Veronica, Josefina, Emilia, Sebastian, Loly, Nino and everyone else we met on our visit -  for the trip of a lifetime.  Chao for now, Chile!  I miss you.

Chilean Pastel de Choclo:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 1/2 cups fresh corn (or 2-16 oz.packages frozen corn, thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (Julia used bone in chicken pieces), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • cooking spray

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine milk and corn in a large saucepan, bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, let stand, covered 5 minutes. Place the corn mixture in a food processor, process it until smooth. Stir in the basil, 1 tsp of the sugar, and 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  3. Combine broth, onion, bell pepper, carrot, black pepper, garlic and bay leaves in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoons salt, chicken, and parsley. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Drain, discard bay leaves.
  4. Place chicken mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the corn mixture, sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tbsp sugar. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes. (Julia used individual pottery bowls as you can see in the photo)
  5. Preheat broiler. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy!
  6. Yield: 4 servings.

Our last meal in Chile