Tag Archives: Mexico

Zapotec Ratatouille

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Before I came to Mexico, I made some (okay, a lot.  OKAY, TOO MUCH!) ratatouille in my crock pot.  Until we got tired of it, it was a good way to get our veggies in during the summer.  I am not always good about eating vegetables, and it’s nice to have some around to just heap in a bowl and run through the microwave.  With Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese on top, it was a meal.

There are a lot of recipes for ratatouille, but I definitely wanted to try and make it in the crock pot.  According to my computer, I either used this recipe or this one.  Because I live so close to the awesome and exotic Buford Highway Farmers’ Market, I had in the back of my mind an idea.  The idea was to make a ratatouille using vegetables and spices that come from Mexico.  I brainstormed:  Onion, Mexican zucchini, yellow squash, corn, poblano peppers, chayote, nopales, tomatillos… and I was going to use maybe epazote, dried chilies, cumin, Mexican oregano, and salsa verde to kick it up a bit.

I did a bit of searching on the internet, and of course, there are no new ideas under the sun, so I found a recipe for something called Mayan Ratatouille.  It is from Mario Martinez of A. J.’s Fine Foods in Phoenix, Arizona.  It is on several websites, so since I gave them credit, I will put it here:

Mayan Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled, cored & coarsely chopped
  • 2 chayotes (also known as cho-cho or mirliton), halved, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 2 Arbol chilies, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. achiote paste
  • 1 Turkish Bay leaf
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise & sliced
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded & diced (substitute canned diced tomatoes if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. dried epazote or 2 sprigs fresh
  • ¼ cup salad olives with pimento (or chopped pimento-stuffed green olives)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper or hot sauce to taste

Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until lightly browned. Add the chayote, peppers, achiote and bay leaf and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomato, paprika, cumin, and epazote and cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except for the cilantro, mix well, lower heat to low and cook another 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in the cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper or hot sauce. Serves 6-8.

So, here I am in Oaxaca, with markets all over the place.  I sent my husband to the local equivalent of the WalMart here – interesting that they have a Sam’s Club, but no WalMart – with a translated list of ingredients.  The ones he was not able to find, I made up at the big market called Benito Juarez.  This afternoon, I chopped and chopped, and here is what I have so far:

Zapotec Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 Mexican zucchini
  • 2 chayote squash (also called mirlitons)
  • 1/2 pound of chopped cactus paddles (nopales)
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 1/2 to 2 poblano peppers
  • 3 – 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tequila or mezcal
  • 1 – 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh epazote
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of Mexican oregano (1 tsp. crushed)
  • 1 – 2 tsp. of paprika (I sort of over-poured…)
  • 2 – 210 gram cans of Herdez salsa verde
  • 1 – 210 gram box of La Costena tomato puree
  • 1 ancho chili pepper

1.  First, crush and dice the cloves of garlic.  Then, chop up the poblano peppers and onions into a dice.  Pour olive oil in to a pan and sautee until fragrant and softened.  Add Tequila or mezcal and let it boil for a bit…

2. While you are doing the cutting, cut up the tomatoes, zucchini, chayote, and nopales (I bought my nopales already chopped).  I added the tomatoes first, then cumin and let it simmer for a while.

3.  I added a can of salsa verde to the mix, stirred a bit, then dumped the rest of the vegetables in.  They needed to cook until they are soft.

4.  Now is when I start to randomly add herbs and spices.  Epazote has a bit of an anise/licorice taste.  I chopped that up, added some parsley, then another can of Herdez, and the tomato puree.

5.  Finally, I soaked the ancho chiles in boiling water.  Then, after they were soft, I put some of the liquid in a blender, added the chiles, some cumin, and a clove of garlic and some tequila.  I used it as a marinade for the chicken I made, and then added the leftovers to the ratatouille.

Okay, so it’s not that scientific.  Obviously, I am not ready to write a cookbook yet…  But play around with it and let me know what you come up with.

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Aqui estamos!

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The airport in the daytime.

This evening, we arrived at the Xocotlan Airport in Oaxaca.  There were quite a few of my colleagues on our flight, and we were met at the airport by Dr. Stephanie Wood and Yasmin Acosta-Myers.  We all climbed aboard a couple of collectivo taxis and made our way into town.  The airport is about a 20 minute drive from our part of town.  I can’t wait to see everything in the daylight.

Last time I was in Oaxaca, it was 2003 and I came with my father and my husband.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, and mostly stuck to the center of town – with one trip to Monte Alban.  I look forward to living here for a month as a resident!  Our apartment is very close to where most of my classes will be, and that is why I chose it. There are, I think, two other NEH fellows staying here, too.

It’s a nice apartment, but there are a few things we found out this evening when we got here:

  • There is no microwave – that’s okay, but it’s strange to see when most hotels these days (I know, in the U.S.) have them.  The stove is gas.
  • The first big bottle of water is free.  After that, we pay by the bottle.
  • Same thing for the toilet paper.
  • If a third person uses the futon in the living room for sleeping, it costs $10 per night outside of the $695 we have already paid.  (I actually found out about that before we came)
  • There are no screens on the window, and you should close them when you are gone to avoid “visits by the cat”.

Here is the floor plan – we have one of the one story apartments in the little complex of 6 apartments.  Isn’t it cute?  And that little closet looking thing between the bedroom and the kitchen?  It’s just a “hole” in the building where they put the water tank, I think.  I had thought it would be a pantry.

Tomorrow, my husband wants to go right out and find a way to get cell phone service here.  A lot of other people have done it, so it is possible and supposed to be not too expensive.  We also are going to the market to stock up on food and supplies like toilet paper and Diet Cokes.

Our opening reception is on Sunday evening, and apparently Dr. Wood (call her Stephanie) and Yasmin are doing a lot of cooking for it!  Can’t wait!  On Monday evening, my nephew from Louisiana is coming to stay with us for a week.  He’s been taking Spanish and has only been to Cozumel, so I really am happy to be able to welcome him here in Oaxaca!

My dog is the one on the right. But they will both miss me!

Oh, our dog is being cared for by my in-laws in Atlanta, who have a great back yard and two children who are excited about having a dog visit.  That is so great of them, and they were awesome to offer.  It really makes a difference, knowing that she’s in such good hands.

The Mesoamerican Ballgame: An Interactive Website

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I just spent over an hour at a great website I found.  It is www.ballgame.org and it was the companion website to an exhibit that toured from September 2001 through December 2002.  The exhibit was called The Sport of Life and Death: The Mesoamerican Ball Game.

The website is engaging and well laid out.  The common theme is the ancient ball game played in Mesoamerica for over 3000 years.  There is information on various cultures:  the Olmec, the people of Western Mexico, the city of Teotihuacan, the Maya, the ancient people of Veracruz, the Toltecs, the Huastecs, and the Aztecs.  There are four major parts to the website, including information on the now defunct exhibit.

The first part is called Explore the Mesoamerican World.  When you enter this section there is an interactive timeline that illustrates the rise and fall of several civilizations.  The map is loaded with information on the culture, artwork, ballgames and archeological sites where the ballgame was played. Information can be accessed by clicking on the map, on the time line dates, or on the menu to the left of the map.  The civilizations mentioned above are included and there is also a segment on the Spanish Conquest.

The second part of the site is called Explore the Ball Game.  This section is divided into information about the Ball, the Uniform, the Ball Court and the Game.

The page about the ball has four components: artwork depicting an offering of a rubber ball by a priest (click on it for illustration), a slide show on how the rubber balls were made (from tree to molding), an interactive game that offers interesting facts about rubber and the balls, and a series of first hand accounts written by Europeans who witnessed the game when they came to the New World.

The Uniform page is illustrated with statues and also has a menu to explain each element. The Parade of Players has a wide assortment of clay figures of ball players and spectators that are clearly labeled with arrows.  The Mascots are various animal carvings worn by the players or used to decorate the ball courts – each figure is labeled with interesting pieces of information about the uniform, the players, and animal symbolism. The Locker Room shows more stone replicas of ball player equipment with explanations.  After learning about the parts of the uniform, one can then dress a player for a game.  Watch out – the “hacha” was tricky to place…

The Court page has five interactive parts.  First, there is video panorama of the Mayan ball court at Copan (Honduras).  Click on “Listen to an Aztec Song” and there is a three-part musical rendition of the Matlatzincayotl, which was an ancient song honoring Xochipilli – the patron god of the ball game.  There is an interactive diagram of a ball court with explanations that appear when you move your cursor over parts of the illustration. Finally, there is a gallery of artwork from ball courts, with explanations and symbols clearly pointed out and explained.  In another link to historical art,  there is a cylindrical vase that tells a story.

The Game page has a video clip re-enacting a ball game from the National Geographic Special called “Lost Kingdoms of the Maya”. There are links to click on that ask “Did Women Play?”, “What Happened to the Losers?”, “The First Dream Team” compares ancient sports with those played today, and there is a depiction of the Mayan glyph for ball player.  My favorite link is “Explore this Artwork” which explains how the creation story of Popol Vuh – the Hero Twins is contained within the design on a plate. Be sure to click on the diagram and line drawing to get the full effect.

Experience the Game is a section in two parts: Watch the Game (or Be a Fan) is a narrative interpreting an elaborate clay model of a ball court with players and spectators. You can also click on the links for close ups of the model.  It is interesting, once you get used to the idea that no actual game will be played in the segment.  The final activity: Play the Game (Be a Player) is a great trivia game.  Players who answer correctly win a point for their team.  It can be played more than once – maybe three times before the questions begin repeating themselves.  These questions might also be transcribed for a quiz.

If you click on the Classroom Connections link at the bottom, there are four art projects with instructions: Make a paper face mask, Create a clay effigy vessel, Craft a headdress and costumes from paper, and Mold clay ballgame figures.  In fact, if you click on the different instruction links, there are charts and diagrams that can be printed out – information that I didn’t see anywhere else in the site.  These included a Cosmic Diagram, Story of Popol Vuh, Animal Imagery, a Pronunciation Guide, a Glossary of Terms related to the Mesoamerican Ballgame, and other printables.

This is a very rich website that should be suitable for upper elementary to adult learners (I liked it and learned a lot!).

Aguas Frescas – other than Horchata

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My first experience with trying to make aguas frescas was in the interest of my Spanish Exploratory class –  I developed this day where we ate “Crazy Mexican Sweets.”  The Klass mixes were the first I tried and it was horchata.  First thing I learned after mixing it in a bottle was that sugar MUST be added.  I had some Mexican children in Spanish Exploratory (which cannot be avoided in the scheduling world) and someone politely tasted it and shared that info with me.

So, yes, there are mixes for aguas frescas that are little more that Kool Aid.  Here is a link so you can see all of the Klass mixes.  I think that the tamarindo and jamaica are passable, but skip the limon – it is very VERY acidic.

Next on the  list are bottled aguas frescas – which are a pretty good substitute if you don’t want to take the time to make them yourself.  They are also good to bring to a tasting – for example, if your Spanish students wanted to have a food day.  Bonadea Drinks offers 11 flavors, including pepino (cucumber?) and has very clean, slick packaging.  It is sweetened with agave for you health nuts out there.  Morela Aguas Frescas has many flavors as well.  Cañita  Brands offers only jamaica and tamarindo.  Even Kern’s Nectars is getting into the act with jamaica (full of antioxidants!), tamarindo and limon.

Okay, if you don’t know what an agua fresca is, it’s basically a drink made of pureed fruit, sugar and water.  The mixture is blended together and strained to make a refreshing beverage.  For further enlightenment, here is a Los Angeles Times article on aguas frescas – and another from the L. A. Times on where to find freshly made ones.  Apparently, they take their A.F. (aguas frescas)  seriously in L. A.

Here is a Guide to Mexican Fruits from MexConnect.com.  This is for your reference.  After you have read all of the enticing and creative recipes here, you may want to personalize your own fruit!  To get you started, here is a Basic Agua Fresca Recipe with variations.  Here is another page with the basics – they call them Mexican Coolers.

What follows is basically a collection of recipes and variations I have found on the internet through hours of research…

While I was researching, I came across Rachel Laudan’s blog.  She has a lot of posts about exotic foods, but if you click on her Aguas Frescas tag, you can find several unusual drink recipes.  Here is one for Agua de Viernes de Dolores which I think is colored from beet root but it has all sorts of fruit and even shredded iceberg lettuce in it!  Another unusual agua is made with Apricot Leather – it actually has Middle Eastern provenance.

Finally, I did an Amazon.com search to see if anyone had a book out yet on aguas frescas.  I found Cool Waters: Refreshing Homemade Thirst Quenchers by Brian Preston-Campbell – This looks like a really good book with recipes for flavored waters and ice cubes.

P.S. – I did find an interesting variation on Horchata from a restaurant called Guelaguetza in Los Angeles.  It has chopped prickly pear fruit (tuna) and pecans (nueces) on top.  Yum!

Aguas Frescas: Horchata, Part 1

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I was doing some research into aguas frescas, after receiving a drink recipe ManekiNeko_horchata_jarfrom Chow.com that incorporated horchata. After doing probably too much research, I felt like I needed to make two entries: one on horchata one on the other aguas frescas.

Even though I had visited Mexico before, and had even been served a hibiscus flower punch at a friend’s party, my first experience with “making” aguas frescas was while teaching Exploratory Spanish several years ago.

I came up with this idea of having my students sample Mexican sweets and candies as cultural enrichment.  I went to the Buford Highway Farmers Market and was amazed at the variety.  Along with sweet breads, cookies, cajeta and sticky chili tamarind treats, I thought I would serve some aguas frescas.  Instead of making them from scratch, I found some convenient Klass dried drink mix packets and decided to use those.

When I prepared the powdered horchata drink for my first group of students, I asked one of my Mexican students to taste it and tell me what she thought.  She took a sip and made a face.  Then, she said, “I think you are supposed to add sugar to it.” DUH! But even after adding sugar, I realized that the horchata powder would quickly sink to the bottom.  If you shook it up and took a sip, you got a mouthful of grit.

I think I tried a liquid concentrate after that, but after having tasted horchata at my local taqueria, I realized that mixes would always be a poor substitute.  There’s supposedly a bottled version made by Rose’s Horchata that is the real thing – if I find it, I may try it.  Also, I just read that the people who make Rice Dream have added a horchata flavor. I’m all about the quick fix.

But, today I received in my Chow mail a recipe for a drink called “Squirrel Horchata”.  Briefly, I wondered about the powdered squirrel, but I quickly found that it was a cocktail made with horchata, dark rum, and Frangelico liqueur (a hazelnut liqueur). From there I quickly found some other agua fresca based drinks and cocktails.  But, today, we will only talk about horchata.

Horchata or orxata is the name for several kinds of traditional beverages, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley or tigernuts (chufas). Horchata, the Spanish way, using chufa is very different from Mexican horchata. Chufa, also called tigernuts can be ordered online. I remembered Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods trying it in Spain, and he did not like it at all.  Here is a video of his experience drinking Spanish Horchata.

Here is an article that features Salvadoran horchata, made with calabash, or morro, seeds.  It also talks about other horchatas.

First of all, here is a basic recipe for horchata (from the Food Network):

* 1 cup long grain white rice
* 2 cups skinless almonds
* 1-inch piece cinnamon bark
* 8 cups water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Ice cubes

Directions

Wash and drain the rice. Using a spice grinder (an electric coffee grinder works well too), grind the rice until fine; combine with the almonds and cinnamon bark. Add 3 1/2 cups water and let sit overnight, covered. Blend rice mixture until smooth using a blender. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and continue blending. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Strain horchata into a bowl first using a metal strainer and then a double layer of cheesecloth; finish with up to an additional 2 cups of water until it achieves a milky consistency. Enjoy over ice.

There are all sorts of variations.  Here are some of the recipes I have found:

-From Imbibe magazine, this horchata adds lime zest.
-From MexGrocer.com, a variety of agua fresca recipes includes a horchata made with skim milk.
Almond Horchata – no rice, just almonds.
-From Ingrid Hoffman, this one adds almond extract.
Brown Jasmine Rice Horchata – someone’s trying to make it healthy!
Indian Horchata with brown basmati rice and cardamom pods.
Horchata de Lima (Peru).
Horchata with Chocolate and Pumpkin Seeds from Saveur magazine
Horchata Rosa– the “rosa” refers to food coloring, not the crushed roses I was hoping to find.
White and Wild Rice Horchata from Garrett’s Table. “To make it, simply substitute 1/4 c. white rice for wild rice in the original recipe.”
-From the L.A.Times, horchata with toasted pecans and cantaloupe.
Barley Horchata – hmmmm.  AKA Horchata de Cebada (Barley).
Horchata de Avena (oatmeal) – at the bottom of the page. A picture of it is at the top.
Horchata de Venezuela – made with sesame seeds.

For a few minutes, I decided to do a search on Bubble Tea (boba tea) made with horchata.  Why not?  This boba tea recipe calls for rice milk anyway, why not substitute that with horchata?  There is also a chocolate version.

Basic Bubble Tea:
1 cup brewed black or green tea or espresso
7 to 8 ice cubes
1 cup rice milk or almond milk
sugar to taste
1/2 cup tapioca pearls

Instructions: Pour everything into a Martini shaker and shake for a few seconds. Pour into a large glass. Use this as a base and add anything you want to it such as nondairy cream, ground almond, or fruit juice.

You can make a chocolate almond variation by omitting the tapioca pearls and adding 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons ground almonds.

Horchata Chai sounds good, too!

-Variations on horchata at this website include “plain”, chocolate, and strawberry.
Strawberry Horchata from the California Strawberry Commission.
Peach Horchata from the Food Network.
This recipe uses cartons of organic vanilla rice milk and organic almond milk.
Cantaloupe Horchata uses the seeds of the melon instead of rice and almonds.
Coconut Horchata – really just fresh coconut, milk and sugar.
Yerba Mate and Horchata – okay… I was actually looking for green tea and horchata.

While searching, I also found horchata used in various dessert recipes:
Horchata Cupcakes
Frozen Horchata dessert
Horchata ice cream
Horchata ice cream With Canela and Pecans
Horchata Pudding
Cinnamon Horchata Cookies – second recipe down
Tonka Bean and Cinnamon Horchata Sherbet

Loteria Artesania, Part 3

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Okay, here is the rest of what I found up until now.  I had a really good time looking at all of the cool sites on Mexican Folk Art.  La Fuente Imports was my favorite!

34 El soldadoThis tin soldier, although it may not count because it was manufactured as part of a set on the Mexican and American War… but this paper mache soldier is hand-made.

35 La estrellaThis star lamp was the first one I found on my Lomini - 023teria journey.

36 El cazo – Now, some people translate it as “the bean pot” and others as “the ladle”: this miniature copper pot looks like the picture, so it will do!

37 El mundo (The World) – they have all sorts of suns, moons, and stars, but I haven’t found this yet!

38 El apache (The Apache) – I don’t understand why it’s an Apache – I may substitute with an Aztec warrior.

39 El nel alacran huichol beadedopal –  Here is a tin mirror and a painted tin ornament.

40 El alacrán – I looked around a lot, and found this beaded Huichol egg (ornament?)

41 La rosa – Check out this Tehuana embroidery – this is called a huipil. Here is another one.  I was also finally able to find some paper roses.

42 La calavera – I really loved this groovy skull tile, but here’s one in paper mache that’s pretty traditional.

43 La campana – Here is a little bell – it’s a tin ornament.la campana tin orn

44 El cantarito – This is a gorgeous blown glass pitcher.

45 El venado – So many to choose from – here is a Oaxacan carved alebrije.  Here is a Huichol yarn painting of an ordinary gray deer, and here is my favorite – the magical blue deer in a yarn painting.

46 El sol – Finding a sun figure was not difficult at all – it was narrowing it down that was difficult!  Here is a paper mache sun and here is one in Talavera.

47 La corona – I found this – it’s used to “crown” saints statues in churches.  Maybe this one is more el sol talavera 1 large“crown-like.”

48 La chalupa – I haven’t found many options.  I may replace it with  la muneca.

49 El pino – Here’s a Christmas tree tin ornament.

50 El pescado – Here’s another coconut creation (it’s not really a mask) and a Oaxacan carving.

51 La palma – Yet another tin ornament.  Next project:  the tin ornament loteria!

52 La maceta – Here’s a Talavera pottery flower pot.la rana pmache

53 El arpa (The Harp) – coming soon!

54 La rana – Finally:  the frog in paper mache.

Now I may spend some time on another project – but this was fun.  Later, I will talk about the riddles that come with the loteria and how you can write your own (also an excellent classroom activity!).

Loteria Artesania, Part 2

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Sorry I missed a day – I thought I would be able to access the internet at Callaway Gardens, but I could not.  Still, I have had a pretty good run at NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).

Here is the next group of Loteria images I found.  As you will see, even after so many hours of searching images (I’m embarrassed to tell you how many), I have some missing.  That means substitutions.  Let me explain:  the idea behind this Loteria exercise was to come up with a traditional number of cards – that would be 54.

So, while I could have approached it several ways, I was trying to stick with images as close to the names of the cards that I could.  And – they needed to be some form of Mexican Folk Art.la guitarra toy

17 El bandolón – I couldn’t find a sitar (or mandolin?), so I used la guitarra instead.

18 El violoncello (The Cello) – still looking.

19 La garza – I found this Oaxacan wood carving (alebrije).la mano nicho

20 El pájaro – I like this Otomi embroidery swatch, or this Talavera bird.

21 La manoThis milagro (but it’s not large) and this hand nicho – I like it because it’s unique.

22 La bota – It wasn’t easy, but I found these Virgin of Guadalupe boots.

23 La luna – I love this paper mache moon.el borracho pap mache

24 El cotorro – Here is a paper mache parrot.

25 El borrachoHere is a drunk man made from paper mache.

26 El negritoHere is a traditional wooden carved and painted mask called El Negrito.

27 El corazón – I have soooooo many kinds of hearts, but I like this one in wood with milagros.

28 La sandía – a lovely coconut shell mask with a watermelon on it.

el tambor huichol29 El tambora Huichol yarn picture.

30 El camarón – haven’t found one yet.  I may replace it with this elefante (Oaxacan carving).  I have already asked for it for my birthday.

31 Las jaras (The Arrows) – Not yet.

32 El músicoa painted tin ornament of a musician.

33 La araña (The Spider) – Nothing yet.

More later!

Loteria Artesania, Part One

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Yes, summer’s ending, and what am I doing?  Creating loteria decks in my head.  Here’s the deal.  What I do when I am bored is to, well, uh, instead of counting sheep… I look for rhyming words.

I can see your confused looks – It’s very simple.  I choose a phonetic ending, let’s say “-ait”.  Then, I go through the alphabet, looking for words that are spelled with that ending, or that sound (you know: -ate, -eight,…).  That would be ate, bait, crate, date, eight, fate, freight, gate, gait, great, etc.  What can I say – it keeps my mind occupied.

I don’t think I have OCD – I can stop whenever I want.

That has sort of transferred to the whole Loteria thing.  I have already started one post on “Making Your Own Loteria Deck“.  So, this is the logical next step.

I chose the theme of Mexican Folk Art – Here is Part One:

1 El gallo – I found three possibilities:  a Oaxacan carvinga painted clay rooster,  and a painted tin rooster.el gallo clay

2 El diablito –  a coco mask

3 La dama –  a huichol mask or  a clay miniature.

4 El catrín –  a clay figure of a smoking man.

5 El paraguas –  these oilcloth dishwashing gloves (to keep the water off your hands – I know it’s a stretch… or this clay day of the dead beach figurine.

6 La sirenaa painted tin mirror

7 La escalerathese primitive ladders or this Aztec temple tin ornament (it has stairs).

8 La botellaa set of Cuervo bottle tin ornaments.

9 El barriel arbol de vida 2lthis balero toy is shaped like a barrel.

10 El árbol – either this arbol de la vida or this one.

11 El melón – this one’s a long shot: a paper mache pumpkin.

12 El valientethis tin ornament.

13 El gorrito – no bonnets – I had to go with this sombrero or this sombrero pinata.

14 La muertethis clay figurine.la pera laque

15 La perathis silver leaf gourd.

16 La banderathis popotillo plate with the eagle on a cactus, like the Mexican flag, or this papel picado which is like little flags, or this tin soldier holding a Mexican flag.

That’s it for part one.  Yes, I don’t have much to do right now.  More tomorrow!

Now, About Chilaquiles

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chilaquilesverdesI love chilaquiles – but luckily for me, I don’t get a chance to eat them that often.  I don’t make them myself, because I am afraid of frying things… sort of.  I don’t order them from restaurants any more. They are good, but they are always made with meat (usually chicken) and I just don’t think that’s necessary.

The first time I remember having chilaquiles was at the Mansion Iturbe in Patzcuaro, Mexico.  It was part of my breakfast, and accompanied by fried eggs and refried beans.  Awesome – two summers ago, when we went back to Patzcuaro, that was the first thing I was looking forward to.

That, and sopa tarasca – but that’s another entry.

Here are a couple of links to recipes for chilaquiles:

I wish I could buy this house!

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corazonduraznopic

I was doing a little research on chilaquiles when I came upon a blog by a guy named Todd – he has a lovely picture of his breakfast chilaquiles.  He lives in Patzcuaro, Mexico – where I think I would love to have a house one day (boy, I hope my husband and I agree when the time comes… hee hee).  I am too tired to synthesize all of my chilaquile info, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime – you’ve got to see the pictures this guy has taken of Michoacan – they are inspiring.  The name of his blog is Life in El Corazon.

Also, he has this gorgeous house for sale – it’s just outside of Patzcuaro and it’s called Corazon de Durazno (Heart of the Peach).  It must be a sign – moving from a place filled with Peachtree Streets to a Peach HOUSE?  I wish!