Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Happy Virgin of Guadalupe Day

Today is a national holiday. Fireworks have been shooting off since four a.m.  The brass band has been playing in my neighborhood since six. Chico hates the band and is sitting in my lap, shaking. This is a very noisy time of the year. Happy Virgin of Guadalupe Day everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Morning Thoughts

I have forgotten about my blog for awhile. Thinking about this big rent increase my landlord has landed on me. Either I pay one third more for my apartment or else I have to move. So, I have been looking around at rentals. Very discouraging. Inexpensive rentals are extremely difficult to find these days. 

Plus, my neighbor is getting into the Christmas spirit, which means he plays his music full blast day and night. So loud that I am driven out of my apartment. With all of this going on, the blog has taken a back seat. I will write after things settle down for me. In the meantime, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE. I hope things are going better for you than in my life at the moment. Chaotic here in my world.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Greek Yogurt

These cold mornings have kept me in the apartment lately. I have been looking at cooking shows on Netflix and trying out different things. I love yogurt, especially Greek yogurt. I couldn't find a yogurt maker or cheese cloth for straining it or even a thermometer. So I experimented.

I bought a plug-in light socket and an extension cord and rigged up a warm spot inside of a large cooking pan. I did that by putting the light inside the pan and covering it with a towel. I guessed at the temperatures needed for the yogurt. I put the scalded and cooled milk along with half a cup of yogurt into a glass canning jar. Then I tucked the glass jar which had been wrapped in a wash cloth, inside of the pan with the light. Covered it and left it with the light on, inside the pan for eight hours. It worked. I had a jar of yogurt which I strained through a paper coffee filter in the frig overnight. Ended up with Greek yogurt. This first batch has some blueberries in it. Now it is on to the next batch. Living in Mexico where many things can't be found, leads to lots of creativity. 

Here is a photo of a small portion of the first batch that I made, with a few blueberries. No sugar. Delicious.

Maybe a picture will be worth a thousand words. Below is the Yogurt maker. Since I also couldn't find a light bulb less than 25 watts, I had to separate it from the yogurt by using my vegetable steamer and a microwave safe cereal bowl. 

I used a big glass canning jar like the empty one in the photo, but with the lid on. Below is a photo of the yogurt which is straining out the whey. I put it in the frig like that overnight and will come out like my first batch in that first photo. 

I need to figure out something to make with that whey. Maybe a soup? Don't want to waste anything. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Fish Veracruz

This morning Chico and I walked to the fish market on the carretera near Colon. I bought a big piece of fresh Mahi Mahi. Next door to the fish market is a nice vegetable market. I bought some small yellow peppers, onions, mushrooms, cilantro, mint, and a piece of nopal cactus. I made the fish Veracruz this afternoon. Here are a couple of photos. I am not a very good cook but I think I have perfected this dish.  Chico liked it too. Just the fish, no veggie sauce. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Morning Thoughts

San Andres festival is finally over. But the beat goes on. Today is Inauguration Day, a national holiday. The new president is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, for short known as AMLO. From today's news I learned that he is the most left wing president Mexico has had in recent history. Lots of fireworks have been going off this morning, and yesterday, and nine days before that. San Andres holidays became Inauguration Day. 

Poor Chico. Some days he just wants to sit in my lap. He is a Mexican dog so usually these loud fireworks don't bother him but this has been a very long stretch, including three mornings of waking up to a loud brass band at our front window. When will it end? In Mexico, there seem to be more days of celebration than working days. 

It has also been very cold here in the mornings. I looked at the weather report and it is supposed to get nicer now. Yesterday Chico and I took a walk to the fish market. I bought a big slice of Mahi Mahi that was just delivered to the shop. I made fish Veracruz. It was the best fish Veracruz I have ever had. 
(Every restaurant where I have ordered it here serves a thin, soggy piece of fish that has been frozen and thawed.)

I have been spending a lot of time at home, looking at cooking shows and practicing my own cooking. Doing this makes me extremely critical of local restaurants. My friends don't like to eat out with me because I look too closely at the food, the service and the prices. Wish I had a nice enough place so I could invite them to my house to have some fish Veracruz, made with a beautiful piece of fresh Mahi Mahi. 

Goodbye brass band-----for now. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Morning Thoughts

I woke at seven in the morning to the sounds of a band playing outside. I took a photo through my screen. And then I quickly dressed, went outside, and took the rest. They didn't stay long. Just long enough to totally freak out Chico. When I got back in the house, he insisted on sitting on my lap for awhile. This must be part of the San Andres celebration that is in full swing now. 

Check out what they are wearing. It is cold in the mornings now. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving day 2018

I just returned from the spa. I was the only one there for over an hour. What a treat. I took these photos after I got out.

As I got off the bus near my house I saw the new sign that went up at the restaurant that was once Salvador's. I miss Salvador's. They had the best buffets  in town for holidays. Now it will be Spagos... I thought it would be expensive because they have been spending loads of money all these months remodeling it. I looked it up online. A Wolfgang Puck restaurant. It had four dollar signs. I guess that means it will be expensive. Makes me sad that we lost a wonderful local restaurant and hangout. But life goes on, keeping up with the times and another indication that this area is becoming just another overpriced expat spot. Maybe I will have to move on soon. I will miss my friends and the spa.  

Morning Thoughts

I am going to the spa for part of the day. I decided to spend this Thanksgiving doing the thing I enjoy the most here, swimming, and skipping the overeating.  I told a friend that I am taking an apple to eat today at the spa and that shocked her. Just an apple? On Thanksgiving?

But that is what I eat after swimming. It is always appreciated. No other time do I enjoy eating one as much as after swimming. I am going to swim, sit in the sun and think about everything in my life that I am thankful for. 

I feel blessed to be able to live in Mexico in the warm sunshine. I saw in the news that the Northeast part of the USA is in one of the coldest spells in history. I imagine it is global warming that has caused so much chaos and destruction up there recently.  

The Revolution Day celebrations have passed and now we are in the nine day San Andres holidays. The loud cohates have been going off night and day and will last throughout this celebration. Sometimes I wonder if the Mexicans have more holidays than working days. I don't like all the noise but I am thankful for living around happy people.  I don't often see a grumpy Mexican. I love to hear them walking past my window and greeting everyone. They often stop and talk with their friends. I like hearing that. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I am thankful that for now I am healthy and my family members and friends are healthy. Good health to you too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Ajijic Plaza and dancing horses

I missed the Revolution Day parade today for the first time in years. But I walked to the plaza in the afternoon and saw the dancing horses and preparations for the evening celebration.  San AndrĂ©s celebration starts tomorrow. I think it lasts for nine days. No sleep for me for awhile. 

Above horse was dancing

Horse is dancing in above photo

Hat trick.

Sunday, November 18, 2018