Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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Gelatina as Art
What can I can say about these beautiful gelatin desserts but WOW!
They are eye pleasers for art lovers and palate pleasers for you foodies.

They are made by a local person who has obviously spent years in her kitchen playing around in this medium.  They are works of art, almost impossible to imagine how she made each one by hand. Each miniature petal and stamen is hand made out of gelatin and arranged in layers to form these gorgeous edible flowers.  Here’s a little slideshow you are going to love:

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Not much I can say that the video doesn’t convey. The Molcajete meal at Ten Ten Pie – the bubbling one pot meal which is as good as it looks!

Molcajete Meal from Suzanne da Rosa on Vimeo.



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I haven’t done an update on Elvia’s family in a long time.  For those of  you who haven’t read about Elvia, it begins with the post titled The Novena and a Tragedy.  Other stories about her family can be found by searching ‘Elvia’

It is now just a little over two years since her husband Jesus was murdered.  Her son Beto had the operation for his salivary gland tumor and that’s gone well.  He’s in the preparatory school for one more year then hoping to go to a university to become a chef.  The girls, Karen, Teri, Paulina and little Lupita are all doing well.

Since her husband’s death, she has been living in her in-law’s home.  She has one room where she sleeps with her four girls and Beto shares with a cousin.  Thirteen people share the home, a caring environment but very close and tight.  She talked to me the other day about not knowing how she was going to be able to purchase new school uniforms and supplies for school for the four girls for the next term, as they all go to new schools this August.

She works full time cleaning and cooking at what she describes as a private home, which often has groups of people for weddings and events.  She makes 1,000 pesos per week, the equivalent of about $85.70 at today’s online exchange rate.  Her normal schedule is 9-3pm but when people are in the house they expect her to work for the same pay but from 6:30 am until midnight.  I think this is not legal and tell her so. She also cleans for me in her spare time, once a week and she cooks full meals that she sells from her doorstep every Friday night.  She is industrious, religious, and a mother hen with her children.

She came to me this week asking if I could help find her more work.  I can’t imagine how she can possibly do anything else.  So I asked her what she really needed.  The looming issue for her now is that the four girls all have to go to new schools in August and she cannot afford the uniforms for the school year, which for 2 sets, including shoes and school supplies are going to cost about $6500 pesos, or about $640 usdls.

I did the math and she would have to work for at least two full months to be able to pay for this.  Then she’d have to work double time those two months to cover her basic living expenses.  This doesn’t include the tuition that Beto will need for his coming school year in the preparatoria (like high school) which, including registration and the 10 months of fees are going to be somewhere around $7,000 pesos.  Another  extra 9 weeks of full time work.

Beto and Elvia At the All Night Pilgrimage From Atotonilco to San Miguel

The day before yesterday, I decided to post to the San Miguel lists to see if anyone would like to help this family with school expenses. We’ve had a nice response and donations are beginning to come in, and I wanted to personally thank everyone who has offered to help.  We haven’t met our goal yet, but the response is heartwarming and Elvia and her family are very moved that people who don’t even know them would be willing to help.  We are still a little short, and I’m sure we will get there, but if anyone out there would like to make a small contribution, contact me through here and I can tell you what is still needed, or if we have met our goal.

Teri, Paulina and Lupita on Viernes de Dolores

I am grateful to all because if there is anyone who deserves a little break it is Elvia.  So thank you everyone.

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February 2 – the candlemas, groundhog day in the United States, a cross quarter celebration world-wide, is known here in Mexico as the candelaria, celebrated the 40th day after Christ’s birth, the day Jesus was presented to the temple.  Never mind that the reason it took forty days to get him there was that women were considered ‘unclean’ for forty days after the birth of a child at that time.  Or perhaps women just gave themselves 40 days to recuperate, let’s hope.  But the point is, for however many thousands of years, this celebration still exists, and like everything else wonderful here, it is celebrated with total belief and passion.

This photo was taken on Christmas day when the Santo Ninos are taken to the church to be blessed and kissed by the priest.  Every family has at least one, if not five or six of these Santo Dios’ and there are hundreds of ‘outfits’ if I dare call them that, which you can buy at the Christmas markets for the current year’s nacimiento.

This Christmas, we went to church with our neighbors because the mass was also in honor of Petra’s daugher Maricela who died this year, and for her other daughter Elvia’s husband Jesus who was killed this year. The church nacimiento ran the length of the altar and to the ceiling. Local musicians with guitars were singing the mass.  Toward the end, the baby Jesus, which was resting at the top level of the nacimiento, was brought down, carried by a monk to the front of the altar, where several hundred parishioners formed an orderly line to take turns kissing the baby.  As with most of the traditional celebrations here, the belief in something bigger than you is omnipresent and something I find a wonderful relief and counterpoint to the lack thereof in the western world. (more…)

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Mexican Bakeries

In Mexico City there are bakeries that specialize in cakes.  Not just your normal birthday and wedding cakes, but cakes that tower a full story tall with multi layers, fountains, bridges, lights and a scene for every occasion from baptisms to lucha libre wrestling matches. A few years ago we took photos in a bakery which is near the zocolo.  The photos from that visit are on this link and worth having a look at.

In Coyoacan, there is a bakery that comes close to the style of the one in Mexico City, but much much smaller.  Nevertheless, it has an incredible selection of  breads, cookies, cakes, and an array of ‘gelatinas’ – in cups, with fruit, and as icing for cakes like the one in this photo. If you have ever been to your neighbor’s Mexican family birthday party, you’ll see that gelatina is almost always served with your piece of cake.

The pastries are works of art and in the case of the smaller pastries, it is mesmerizing to see hundreds of them lined up together, cut into perfect triangles squares or rounds, decorated with a dollop of cream or a piece of fruit on top.  Oh, if they only tasted as good as they look.

CLICK ON THE PHOTO to view a slideshow of the bakery in Coyoacan

As for me, I  just love these layered lighted cake towers. There was a time in my life that I would have loved to attempt making something like these cakes.  The scalloped edges and colors remind me of an old fashioned kitchen curtain. From afar, the scalloped edges could be crocheted, the roses made of plaster of paris with matching turquoise satin ribbons. Then there’s the lighted bases.  Where do they come up with these ideas?  You can just imagine barbie dolls or action figures instead of roses – or better yet, coming out of the roses. In the bakery in Mexico city they were in to icicles hanging from the edges of most of the cake towers.  Every bakery must have a theme.  I guess I should be asking, can you eat these?  And where do you begin the cutting?

Here is the link to the slideshow of the bakery in Coyoacan

And the slideshow of the bakery in Mexico City

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Chile Güero

Chile Güero
A recipe that was given to us
By Mexico Bob and his wife Gina
And this post is for them.
The movie is by us, starring us.

These are what the fresh chiles look like
They are also known as yellow wax chiles in the US
They are yellow to light green when young
Turning toward orange as they age.
About four inches long.


Click on the photo to view the movie

The recipe:
You’ll need a few chile Güeros
Some queso Oaxaca or queso Asadero
Or in the case of our experiment
You can use a soft goat cheese
Which turned out just fine.

Make a lengthwise slit in the chile
Carefully scoop out the seeds.
If you want it less hot,
Get the membranes out too.
Put a small amount of salt in the cavity
Fill the chile with cheese
Close with a toothpick
Roast the chiles on the grill until charred and soft
The grilling took us about 20 minutes
Wrap inside a tortilla and eat!

Click here if you missed the video

Regarding the word Güero,
The first time I heard this word
Was when we were remodeling our house.
There was one worker who everyone called güero.
At the time I thought that this was his name
Until one day I called him güero and everyone laughed.
I asked why they were laughing.
Fausto told me this was not his name.
His name is Antonio.
I asked if this was his nickname.
They laughed again and said
We always call the lightest skinned worker güero.
It was used in a good natured, light teasing way.

So in my then, much cruder understanding of Spanish,
I took this to mean that Güero was the word for light,
Which of course is not the case,
Because there are several words for light,
Depending on the subject matter and context.
Luckily, did not use it in conversation in the wrong context.
Pretty soon I am hearing güero used all over,
In the streets, the markets, in friend’s homes.
I also begin hearing people call me güera,
Taxi drivers  saying ‘si güera’
Which it took a long time to realize
They didn’t mean it derogatorily,
However I did hear it a few times,
Walking down the street, by men,
Sitting on the curb calling ‘Güera
Which I did take in a derogatory way,
As it was a taunt.

Meantime, back to chiles,
Another translation came up last week
As having blonde hair,
Or in the case of chile güero,
A light color chile.

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Yikes! all of a sudden two weeks have gone by.
I’m working on several posts which if all goes well,
Will be up by the end of the week –

The final movie of the sunday parade is finished.
You can click on the photo below
Or go here to read the entire post.
The movie is at the end.


Click On Photo To View Movie of the Sunday morning parade - the dancers getting ready, practicing parts of their dances, and shots of the parade route.

Fireworks and castillo tower fireworks
The final Festival of San Miguel video

Guanajuato and the Cervantino Festival

The Olga Costa, Jose Chavez Morado Museum


Dori Locos –
You have to love what they do with food here.
Complete with video of how to make these yourself.
Here’s the link to the Dori Locos Post which is finished.

After all this, a posting from Charco del Ingenio
Where I am going today to video a private botanical tour
Let by former director Mario Mendoza.
This post is done, click here to read it.

Last, but not least
As a follow up to Billie’s blog on shrimp coctail
A delicious new recipe that has NO sugar or catsup in it.

Well, I take that back –
There’s one more, a trip to Pena de Bernal
A weaving town that has a spectacular rock monument
The third largest in the world
Behind the rock of Gibraltar and Sugar loaf in Brazil.

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