Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year’s Eve

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Credit: "I'll Never Grow Up"

Well, I’m going to spend a fairly quiet evening in the casita. Fairly quiet, b/c I’m already playing Matt Darey podcasts, as my contribution to the neighborhood celebration. I’m certain they’ll enjoy that.

I made a tour of the market today, gathering supplies… Stopped & got some gorditas @ the tortilla stand. They are about 5″ round & nearly 1/2″ thick, and you slit them like a little pita bread, fill them w/good things & then grill them.

Then stopped at Pollo d’Daniel (Daniel’s Chicken) to get rotisserie chicken that is out of this world. There is a lot of salt & garlic involved, and it’s crispy as all get out.

Let’s see, also got some chopped nopales (cactus pads) now that I know how to make salad. I am really really missing lettuce salads, but I’m not that foolhardy.

Stopped @ Senora’s no-name tiendita for Oaxacan melty cheese, tamarinds & other stuff.

Oh, and mashed up the black sapotes & mixed w/oj, honey & cinnamon for a kind of raw chocolate pudding.

So I will be eating well, at the very least.

I’ve cleaned & boiled the tamarinds, & tomorrow will try my hand at my first agua fresca.

Oh, hey, that’s the neighbors now, coming to tell me how much they appreciate the music! See ya!

Astrology alert!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Well, there’s all sorts of strange stuff going on up there. Yes, it’s another darned Mercury Retrograde (my favorite), until Jan 15. So I will just apologize right now for all the bizarre emails & twitters you’ll be getting. Note to self: the send button is not your friend.

I know there are positive aspects to these retrogrades. Risa D’Angelis, of Night Light News, who is one smart cookie, calls it a chance to reassess & review what’s happened since the last retrograde. (She also says not to make big expenditures, or start new ventures!)

Also, tomorrow, has a bunch of wild stuff. Yes, it’s the last day of the year. It’s also a blue moon (second full moon in a calendar month) AND a lunar eclipse so get out there & watch it!

Astrogrrl has a pretty comprehensive take on all this. Astrocenter seems to think that b/c the lunar eclipse (letting go) is in Cancer (home & family) it will be about divesting in those areas, cleaning up physical & mental clutter.

There is also a little extra tension here in MX. I’ve heard several Mexican nationals say that b/c there were revolutions in 1810 (independence from Spain) and 1910 (kicking out dictator Porfirio Diaz), that they hope 2010 will be quiet.

Yes, astrology may be a bunch of hooey, and you may think I’m a nut. But… you can observe a lot just by watching, as Yogi Berra said.

Sazon Market Tour & Cooking Class

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Sazon Cooking School- Chef Fernando Padilla

Well, as many of you know, part of my goal in San Miguel is not just to eat the food, but learn to create it. So today was my first cooking class.

My landlord is a chef in the Bay Area- Agustin Gaytan– and he actually helped found the Sazon school. The class I took  was a market tour and then bringing back our finds & watching chef make several recipes, and then eating them.

The regular chef was on vaca, so they tapped Chef Padilla, of Hotel Atotnilco el Viejo, a very upscale resort just out of town. Chef Padilla has training from the Culinary Institute (the other CIA, in NY), great patience, and (thank goodness) a sense of humor.

He led us thru the whole market, introducing us to all kinds of unfamiliar foods, waiting for me to take photos & buy coconut meat (yum!) and answering all kinds of bizarre questions (where can I buy agave nectar?) (more…)

Feliz Navidad

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Baby Jesuses

Baby Jesuses

This week, everything is about Baby Jesus. I kept walking past stands of fancy baby clothes, but it took a while to realize that they were for the plaster Baby Jesus dolls. Evidently, each year, a family buys new clothes for their baby jesus & parades said baby around the house on Christmas Eve.

Baby Jesuses can range from the size of an actual newborn to about 4″ long. Very cool. It’s now about 3:30 PM, & has been very quiet.

I’ve been working on a tan & a bottle of Chilean red. Do not expect much sleep tonight, before a walking tour & brunch @ a fancy restaurant.

Feliz Navidad, y’all.