Sunday, 30 September 2012

Treis amigos

We have been a trio since Shirley left us in Calgary two months ago to go back to Wellington.

Tomorrow we will be welcoming Shirley with open arms to our team.

Len lye sculptures have been cloned and other art...

We rode through an extensive wind farm. The aerofoils were strangely still in an area where we were expecting high winds. Winds that topple vehicles.

A gang of men were painting the landscape - using roller paint brushes to paint the gutters white.

We are now in Chiapas state. We are staying in Tuxtla Gutierrez for a couple of days. Bright Colours in the stained glass windows in the cathedral, the cathedral arches and the embroidery in the market.

Location:Tehuantepec to Tuxtla Gutierrez. 295km today. 4192km since LA

Saturday, 29 September 2012

My heart melted...

Sisters in traditional Chiapas costumes. Hand embroidered tuille.

Count your blessings...

Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you
What The Lord has done.

I could hear my mother's voice today.
She had many sayings and songs that were quoted at appropriate moments. Sometimes counting blessings changed the whole complexion of an issue.
My earliest memories include working beside my mother in the kitchen baking cakes in preserving 'Agee' jar lids in the oven of the wood stove.

My mother was a wonderful cook. She lovingly shared her skills and her recipes.

Today I observed a mother and daughter cooking alongside each other in an al fresco kitchen with a wood fired griddle.

They cooked our breakfast.
Quesadillas y champinon y quesa oaxaqueno.
Quesadillas with mushrooms and Oaxacan cheese (goat cheese, mozzarella style)
First prepare the tortillas by pressing a ball of dough in the tortilla press.

Place the tortilla on the griddle. Pull the cheese apart and place on half of the dough.

Place several spoonsful if cooked mushrooms on top of the cheese.

Select zucchini flowers...

Place them on top of the mushrooms. Add some more mushrooms if desired.

Fold the tortilla over the filling.

Cook for several minutes turn frequently to ensure even browning. Serve.

To make tortilla dough. Cook dried corn in water until tender.

Place the bucket of cooked corn in a taxi and send to the chocolateria where it will be macerated in the machines used to crush chocolate beans - to form a dough.

Here is Jacqueline, a lovely daughter.

This lady was selling a corn-based milk.

Hot chocolate being prepared in the traditional way.

A lovely man splitting a log for the fire.

He oozed sunshine.

Friday, 28 September 2012

To market, to market...

Grasshoppers, chili or lime flavoured? Mixed with peanuts?

Two design graduates from Mexico city, doing their community service in Oaxaca. They are working in different projects. One involves working with women weavers and the other with a local tour.

Fresh bread. These are huge loaves - at least two handspans across.

The bread seller. The dusted ones are named after a sea shell. At first I thought I was being told they had ground seashell in them.

Off to the fruit and veges. Chilis...





Vegetables and fresh herbs.

Meats and sausages...



Tripe and trotters...

Sheets of pork crackling and blood sausages...

And if you eat too much at the market you won't be wanting to try these on!

But he will be happy to assist.

Hot chocolate and fresh tamales.

From the cacao beans to the cup. Hot chocolate Mayordomo style.
Life is full of firsts. Here are two more for us.

The beans are crushed and ground to order in these machines.

Customers were lined up waiting for their preselected cacao beans to be ground either to a paste or to powder in these machines. A bit like waiting for your coffee beans to be ground.

Meanwhile, Martha is blending the milk and chocolate for our chocolate caliente with a wooden gizmo.

Two huge cups of frothy hot chocolate served with soft buns.

Alongside Martha, Guille is making tamales.

First select a blanched corn husk. Spread a dollop of dough...

Add some cooked chicken...

Add some red mole...

Fold the corn hush to enclose the filling...

Wrap another corn husk around the one containing the filling...

There you have it, a tamale ready to cook.

Guille happy in her work and happy to share her skills. Me gusta cocinar.