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Food posts but not necessarily recipes. Cookbook recommendations and more.

Eating our way across Ecuador

Having read my blog posts, you all know that food is a big interest of mine. My idea of a great souvenir is a cookbook of regional cuisine. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring one back from Ecuador, I spied a slim volume in a store window in Quito but didn’t feel the book was worth almost $40.Unfortunately, it was the only regional cookbook I ever saw. Books are expensive in Mexico because Mexicans don’t buy many books due to their costs, I wonder if the situation is the same in Ecuador? Someone asked me how I rate the food I ate there. It’s better than Yucatecan food in general but not as good as the Mexican food available in the rest of the republic. If cost is your main criteria, the food is better in Ecuador. For $2.00 you get a 6 ounce glass of juice, soup, a small chop (either pork or beef) or a piece of chicken, an overly ...

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Caught cheating

Husband caught me cheating. Watching me put together a salad of kohlrabi and carrots, he asked “Is that Thai?”. I squirmed, hemmed and hawed until I finally answered “No, it’s Vietnamese.” Not only was that salad Vietnamese, but the chicken we had the other day was Vietnamese too. He forgave me, he likes South East Asian Cuisine.   This salad is especially good with beer. I put more chilies on mine after Husband went across the street and bought us a “caguama” of Sol to share. I think I am becoming addicted to the combination of chile serrano, chopped mint and cilantro. The more chiles you put in the salad the better the beer tastes. Trust me.

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Crummy tummy day

I ate some thing I shouldn’t have yesterday. I don’t know what it was, but I was miserable this morning. On our way home from Santa Elena, BK and I stopped at Eladios on Avenida Itzaes. Somehow, despite the fact we have made the trip many,many times, we missed the turnoff to Merida which we didn’t notice until reaching Muna. Due to having stayed longer than planned in Santa Elena combined with our unplanned side trip we realized that we were both starving as we passed under the arch into Merida. Spotting the Eladios’ sign, I got the bright idea that botanas would be a quick and plentiful snack. After all botana means snack doesn’t it? The waiter explained that botanas didn’t come with soft drinks but we could order a cocktail without alcohol. Piña Coladas sans alcohol sounded good to both of us. For botanas we immediately received little plates of ceviche, potato salad, Ha’Si-Kil Pac (toasted pumpkin seed ...

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What cut is that?

A lot of the times when something is written in Spanish, I don’t bother to translate it. I know what it means and until someone else asks me what the word is in English, I just don’t think about it. My style of cooking generally requires a chunk ‘o meat that gets sliced or diced before being incorporated into a dish. With the exception of chicken, I don’t generally worry about where on the animal it came from.  If I need pork, I either buy milanesa, trocitos, pulpa or chuletas. Milanesa is paper thin steaks that are generally breaded and pan fried, though I think they are perfect to use for stir fry or satay when cut into strips. Trocitos means little pieces or chunks and chuletas are chops.  Until today, I never thought about the English equivilent of pulpa. Google translates “Pulpa” as pulp, and “pulpa de puerco” as pork flesh. So hunk o’ pork wasn’t too far off. ...

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Supermarket receipt from Friday

John Calypso wrote about his grocery shopping today. I made a comment that I had just gone to Walmart and spent $1456.66 on groceries. I tried to scan the receipt but it was too long for the bed and wasn’t legible when I uploaded it. Our normal big grocery shopping used to run about $400 every two weeks, lately it’s been more like $700. This was a bigger than normal shopping trip. There were deals on some things like tuna and evaporated milk so I bought extra. I also bought what for me is an exorbitant amount of meat and fish. Included were some sundries like sunblock. I have been using Prozone which is only available in pharmacies because other sunblocks make my face itch. Prozone is very expensive, around $350 for a small bottle. I wanted to try out Nivea’s sunblock for sensitive skin. There are two types and they were on sale so I bought them both and ...

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Getting sucked into the whirlpool…

Getting sucked into the whirlpool…that is the internet. Husband commented the other day that there really isn’t as much of interest to him online anymore. We don’t facebook or twitter or whatever is the newest electronic rage. Even though that is true it’s still easy to get sucked in.When you are retired it’s easy to let time pass by unmarked. I don’t like that idea at all.Then again, I have always needed a project. Completing those projects is another thing entirely. My tea party project has been put on hold, DD (darling daughter) says that there is no room for more stuff for the faux granddaughters. They have the fairy skirts and crowns that I made (but couldn’t photograph due to camera issues) and she says that is enough for now. I am thinking maybe I will make them a basic costume dress with accessories, but I don’t know if they would know how to use them. I am totally ...

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I hab had a code

Husband and I have been really sick this last week. Coughing, achy sick. Today I feel better but not well yet. At least people may be able recognize my voice on the phone now. Mr Dog has been concerned, he isn’t used to us sleeping so much, he finds it confusing, I am sure.All of this in combination with the comments to my last post has had me thinking about health. What exactly is being healthy? What is a healthy weight? A healthy diet? There are many sites touting this or that diet. The latest super food or way of eating. Then there are the new demons, trans fat, plastics, sugar and I don’t know what else. All I know is that I feel fat and grumpy and it has to end. Of course, this is all just talk, I really can’t do anything until I am over this cold. It seems to me that the culprit is unconscious calories, ...

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carless again

No not care less, car less. Plastic and heat don’t mix well, we had a friend bring us a new reservoir for the coolant, but now we need a cap. The cap is on it’s way, meanwhile we are car less again. Fortunately, just about any thing we want is within walking distance, and if it’s not, there are always taxis.Not very long ago Maxicarne opened a store near us. Tuesday, I grabbed my little plastic zalbucan and went shopping for meat. I liked it, from years of being a vegetarian, and from shopping in sanitized supermarkets, I have a hard time with the olfactory portion of shopping for meat at the mercado. Since the storefront has a large open doorway and is relativly small, I didn’t notice any odors. The girl who waited on me was helpful, I explained that I wanted inexpensive meat for Mr Dog, she offered chicken necks, but I declined because of the bones. She ...

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Oh, so yummy

I checked out Madhur Jaffrey’s Step-by-Step Cooking from the Mérida English Language Library and now I want a copy of my own! Her World of the East, Vegetarian Cooking is one of my favorites. This one has wonderful meat recipes too. So far I have made Sichuan Shredded Beef with Carrots and Chiles, Pork with Long Beans and Chives ,Chickpeas with Garlic and Ginger, Miso Shiru (Pacsadelli has Aka miso in the refrigerated section) , Easy Beef Curry and Summer Soup with Pork and Cucumber.The Sichuan Beef is really good, in fact I think it’s good enough for company. The portions were very generous so next time I am going to use half the amount of meat, and maybe more carrot. Because I was feeling timid, I only used one green jalapeño rather than the 3 or 4 red or green chiles the recipe called for. I am going to search out some red serranos and use more. I think ...

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Making spring rolls

I ran out of rice wine vinegar. Normally, I buy it at Megabalcones, which is part of the Mexicana Comercial chain. They were out, Walmart was out, Chedraui was out. Husband suggested Pascadeli. Pascadeli is a wholesale grocery outlet which stocks various foreign food ingredients. I now have what seems like a lifetime supply of whole cardamon seeds in my freezer. The rice wine vinegar however was available in a normal size bottle. On the shelf were it was located were also some other interesting including Vietnamese Spring roll wrappers. I looked in my cookbooks, I searched online, then I looked in the refrigerator. Here are my ingredients for Spring Rolls waiting to be combined, minus the soy sauce. Here are the ingredients for the sauce minus the ginger. The cute little bowls came from the state fair, they have a large metal roofed building where they sell kitchenware and blankets. I didn’t have any bean sprouts, so I left ...

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