Tuesday, January 26, 2010

snapper again

beginnings of the sauce

I've been trying to acheive a crispy skin on the snapper. This last attempt was better but not great. Flavors in the sauce included citrus, coriander, anise. The kale was lightly sauteed with anise and the carrots were roasted in butter and honey. Dessert was mamay with peppermint and orange supremes and recalled the taste of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mercado Merced Bounty

11 bucks.

"Scratching Post"

Teva has been scratching the corner of the blue couch in our livingroom. Our roomate said we had to do something about it, so I made a cardboard guard to cover it. Thank GOD I had a background in art and design. She is such a handfull!


Sunday, January 17, 2010


I'm back in Spanish classes, and the demographic this time around is about a third Korean, a third Japanese, and a third "Estadounidense". The teachers face an interesting challenge in translating vocab words because there's no common language besides Spanish, so they draw pictures and jump around the room trying to act things out. I just laugh the whole time.

In the afternoon conversation class, our teacher wanted to know about holidays special to our home countries. The Koreans definately won for quantity. They had a day for little girls, little boys, teachers, grandparents... They even split Valentine's Day into two parts: the men give gifts on February 14th, and the women give gifts on March 14th. The Japanese won for "most special". They were saying something about a New Year's tradition where families prepare a special food that keeps for a while, so mom doesn't have to cook so much in the first week of January. Isn't that sweet? They also get an honorable mention for including "Earth Day" in their list of important holidays. Team USA, my team, struggled to produce the variety and nuance of our competitors. On New Year's Eve we get drunk. On St. Patricks Day we wear something green and get drunk. And I tried to explain Groundhog's Day in my broken Spanish -a total disaster.

As the discussion progressed to summer, things got a little tense. The Japanese brought up Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which made me feel guilty/sad, and then the planets aligned on the date August 15th. That's when the Japanese commemorate the end of WWII in a somber day of reflection, the Koreans celebrate their independence from Japan, and we won the whole shebang (V-J Day). By the time December came around, and class was running overtime, I decided against mentioning Pearl Harbor. We had already been through so much.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bosque Jurassica

In case you can't tell, it's a jumbo-tron mounted on a flatbed truck (stuck in traffic) playing a dinosaur movie. The prehistoric shrieks and growls were deafening and freaked out most of the pedestrians including me.


Pink Zone

Mexico City's mainstream gay neighborhood is called the "Zona Rosa" (five to ten blocks from our apartment). The streets are packed with gay and lesbian couples holding hands and showing affection just like in the Castro district of San Francisco. It's home to many fancy shops, cheezy bars, and techno dance-clubs. There's just one thing that doesn't quite make sense...
The public sculptures are so aggressively heterosexual! It's pretty funny. I bet some concerned politicians a while back saw what was happening in the neighborhood and thought that a little art could change the tide. Nice try!
But seriously, forks, we've been surprised at how accepting this place is. Just last month, the city government passed a law to legalize same-sex marriage (making it the first city in Latin America to do so), and it comes into effect in a few weeks. I'm sure there will be lot's of hooplah, can't wait.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Flor de Calabaza

squash blossom risotto with saffron, sauteed chard, crispy tofu, roasted garlic lime sauce

Flor de Calabaza is a common ingredient in Mexico, often sauteed and stuffed in quesadillas. I used the male flowers which grow on stems, as opposed to the females which are attached to the young zucchini or whatever squash. I loved the bright gold flecks of flower petal in the risotto (made with a short-grain brown rice).

Bathroom Archaeology

We found this bottle of jalapeno shampoo with garlic extract deep in the bathroom closet.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Holiday Magique

This is cotton candy stuck to the tree. Vendors shoot it out of their machines into the air for kids to jump and grab. It's all over the place.

It's too bad the holiday season has come to an end, because they really know how to do it. The police close off big chunks of downtown every night for pedestrian pleasure, something U.S. cities should do more often. Families are out late, neon light-toys zip around, and there are so many sweet treats to snack on (like gooey plantains with condensed milk, crema, and strawberry jelly). My favorite activity is snatching cotton candy out of the sky before all the short children can reach. It's actually quite mesmerizing how it floats in mid-air. These photos show bits of evidence from our nightly magique in the streets.

Every kid except me had one of these 6ft. pencil balloons. I wanted one in the worst way...

Last night we, along with the rest of the world, celebrated New Year's. A friend was telling us about the Mexican tradition of shoving cash in your right shoe, standing on your left foot, and popping grapes in your mouth and making wishes during the countdown. It sounded like a pack of lies to me, but sure enough, when the moment arrived, our host passed out prepared cups of 12 grapes each (one for each month). We gathered around the TV, and it was funny how the "Happy New Year!" moment was kinda quiet because everyone's choking down grapes. The newscasters just stood there trying to smile and swallow. In the next few minutes, everyone at the party greeted everyone else saying "feliz ano". (I didn't have the heart to tell them that they were missing a word. )


upstairs birds