Sangrita makings

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

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

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

Day of the dead altar

November 2nd, 2010

IMG_1375, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

So, I did some wandering around in Centro yesterday. As a taxi driver once told me: “Mexico is the fiesta capitol of the world- And San Miguel is the fiesta capitol of Mexico!”
The jardin is surrounded by beautiful altars. More photos here. Most of these are dedicated to historical figures of significance, and many are created by youth groups. The artwork is composed of flower petals, beans & other natural items. Then there are the offerings… everything from beer to fancy pastries. A lot of copal incense is being burned, as well.
Then, there are more personal ones, honoring family members or recently deceased benefactors (as at the library.) And there are stands all over, selling decorations made of frosting and sugar. The majority are chickens with eggs and sheep, although I saw pigs, llamas and little picnic baskets.
At least half of the tourists seem to be Mexicans- the Americans & Canadians are still in short supply. It’s really nice to see Mexican families touring a place of such national significance- this is the birthplace of the revolution just celebrated in Sept.
On Friday, I walked around the n’hood & there were little kids carrying home their art projects. Little decorated graveyards & catrinas (fancy dressed skeletons.) I am reminded- this is a very different culture, and one with a lot to share.
Hasta luego!