My love affair with food has been a slow, mysterious awakening.
In high school, the only thing I made well were Espresso Mocha Smoothies.
It was my college roommate turned me on to cooking as art, and through whom I first encountered the intoxication of onions sauteed in olive oil. To this day, there is no scent I love more.
When I first moved to El Alto, Bolivia–one of the highest cities in the world at 13,500 feet–my few tried-and-true recipes cringed in horror, whispering, “What did you mean by bringing us HERE?”
Even the simplest recipes were disastrous. Once, after boiling chickpeas for two hours straight without them softening, I forgot them on the stove and left the house. I returned to find my gas tank empty and the chickpeas molded to the pan like buckshot. My apartment walls smelled like burnt chickpeas for three months.
Seven years later, I now live in La Paz, Bolivia, with my hot hubby and adorable daughter. I am still far from cooking expertly at ridiculously high altitude, but I trudge along anyway, slowly and painfully figuring it out. You’re welcome to come along for the ride.
Most of these recipes will work well at 10,000-13,000 feet. If you’re baking higher than that, please tell me where!
Thanks for reading!
–Cara Strauss Contreras