Archive for November, 2010

tequila 101

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

tequila 101, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Due to popular requests (OK, it was Brad O), I’m including a primer on tequilas.

Here’s the best explanation I’ve found. But I beg to differ on a couple points. “Silver” “Gold” and “Reservo” are for suckers. If you want to mix, go for Blanco. To sip, you want either Reposado (my favorite) or Anejo. Mixto is for idiots. If you want Mezcal, order it. (and don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

To get an idea of what’s going on w/tequila, if you’re in Seattle, get yourself to the Mission Bar & Grille in West Seattle, and order a “flight” of tequilas. You can get a flight of Cazadores, which would include a shot each of Blanco, Reposado & Anejo & decide for yourself. I have to say, my sons introduced me to Mission, which proves I’ve done something right.

As I’m on a budget, and can’t afford Warren Hardy Spanish School, I get my Spanish lessons from taxi drivers and Don Juan de la Boca. His lesson on tequila & margaritas is not to be missed. Although, I’ve heard more swearing in a CA schoolyard recess than 3 months in San Miguel. Maybe they swear more on the coast?

I did nearly use the “P” word today when I couldn’t find a taxi & some Mexican cutie nearly hit me in her LandRover… Luckily, I had some reposado & sangrita waiting for me when I finally reached the casita.

Sangrita makings

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Sangrita makings, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

I had never heard of sangrita (no, not Sangria) before coming to Mexico. Having tried it for the first time, at the Cafe Iberico in San Miguel de Allende, I knew I had to try to duplicate in the casita.

“Sangrita” means little blood. Probably the closest relative would be Bloody Mary mix. But in Mexico, sangrita is consumed three different ways:

  • On its own, as a spicy tomato drink
  • Mixed with tequila, it’s called a completo
  • The most common way, sipped alternately with a glass of fine sipping tequila (try Cazadores Reposado- expensive, but worth it.)

So, yesterday, I found a recipe to tamper with (from a newsstand cookbook- Better Homes & Gardens Ultimate Mexican) and came up with what I think is pretty darned good.Yes, I know the grenadine is weird, but it works- trust me.

2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 TB grenadine syrup
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1/2 TB San Luis hot sauce
1/2 tsp chile-limon powder

Stir and chill. Sit on your patio in the sun & consume whichever way seems best to you.

TGIF #39

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Official garbage collection, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

So, you think you’ve got the worst job? It could be worse; you could be a Mexican trash catcher.
The way it works… One guy drives the big truck, jockeying with taxis, buses & ATVs up & down the narrow cobblestone street. Four guys ride in back with the trash, one banging on a metal triangle. People come out with bags & buckets of trash that have been moldering & hand them to one of the guys. Then they throw it up to the one guy still in the bed of the truck, who arranges this whole stinky mess.
What’s really strange, is that everybody (even the “catcher”) is having a terrific time & joking around.

I love that readers are starting to send me links for Fridays… Let me know if you have some good ones to add:

Breakfast at Juan’s cafe

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Juan’s cafe, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Today after visiting the Library’s Bodega de Sorpresas (kind of a Thurs garage sale fundraiser), I headed across the street to Juan’s Cafe (its real name is Cafe Etc.), one of the other centers of culture in San Miguel.

Rest assured, he’s still offering the full breakfast special: latte, OJ, choice of entrees for 60 pesos and all of the other wonderful things we know and love. I personally credit Sr Juan with saving my sanity in last year’s ¬†unusually rainy cold winter, when all there was to do was hole up in the casita with a dvd. (Or snag a last-minute trip to the beach w/Vagabundos, which I did.)

It’s early enough in the season that Juan actually had a chance to chat as I made my selections & he ground my (fantastico!) Chiapas coffee.

I’d heard this summer about the terrific conversational Spanish classes offered in his side room by Sr Jose Roque. Last year, they were only for advanced Spanish speakers & involved reading accounts from newspapers & conversing- things of that nature.

This yr, there’s also an intermediate group, so I’m going to see if maybe (maybe!) I can keep up with that.

The suggested donation is 30 pesos (which is incredible for a 2 hr lesson), and here’s the schedule:

Advanced: Mon or Fri 10-12 & 12:30-2:30

Intermediate: Wed 10-12