Archive for September, 2008

Corn smut is a disease

September 30, 2008

Things are really busy around here right now.  My boss is coming to town next week, so I’m spending all my time coordinating his schedule and harassing my students (don’t forget this thing, and that other thing, and please respond if you want to do this, or that, and one more thing…..). 

Meanwhile, Adolfo took down the clothes line and hung up a hammock!  Now I have to figure out the correct posture for writing emails while laying in a hammock.  (my life is sooooo difficult!)

Also, we’ve run out of cookies, which constitutes a household disaster.  But I don’t have time to make any right now, so frozen banana nut muffins will have to do.

I bought some huitlacoche at the Abastos market this weekend, so I need to read up on my Diana Kennedy to see what I’m supposed to do with it – and just how do I clean it – and how do I know when it’s clean since it is black like dirt.

By the way, I’m not sure I would want to eat this stuff if I were first learning about it on the Wikipedia page.  “Corn smut is a disease…”

Without referencing my Diana Kennedy, I also bought a couple handfuls of squash blossoms, two poblano chiles and some cream.  I think we should be able to mix this all together somehow and eat it in tacos.

And speaking of which, the other day a friend was telling me how she cooked up some interesting looking mushrooms with some onions and a little chopped tomato.  When I asked her if she ate it with pasta, she looked at me, with her head cocked to one side and said, “No Della, I’m Mexican, we eat tacos.”  Ever since then, the phrase has popped into my head with regularity.  No Della, you’re in Mexico, eat tacos.

vote, vote, vote

September 22, 2008

We received our ballots on Friday and I’m going to mail them today!

Diego & Monique

September 19, 2008

Last night we went to see a free movie.  The Historical Archive at the UdeG was showing a movie called “Un Retrato de Diego Rivera” or a Portrait of Diego Rivera directed by Diego Lopez Rivera and Gabriel Figueroa. 

The story behind the movie is really the big deal about this documentary.  Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was a well known photographer in the 1940s and he was also friends with Rivera and Gabriel Figueroa (father), he shot about 40 minutes of film of Diego Rivera but never completed the project.  Cans of film of Rivera were found during the process of cataloging the photographic archives of Gabriel Figueroa (1907-1997) after his death.

Rivera’s grandson, Lopez Rivera, was involved in the project and together with Figueroa (son) they finished the film.  This documentary was released last year. 

There are amazing shots of Rivera sketching in marketplaces, watching people haul calla lilies, paiting while Dolores del Rio poses, and other famous Rivera paintings come to life.  All the film shot of Rivera is in color, but without sound.  I loved the scenes of Rivera sketching women in the marketplace while groups of men silently stand behind him, watching.

It was fascinating to watch Rivera.  It is rather shocking to see someone move who has always been a still photo or a painting.

After the movie we walked over to a cafe recommended by Adolfo’s mother.  Monique is what would happen if you had a Jewish great-aunt, who turned her living room into a restaurant.  Although Monique’s is known for the coffee (which was very good) and the cake (which was also good), I was SHOCKED to see corned beef and pastrami sandwiches on the menu.  I haven’t had corned beef since we left the states.

To complement the atmosphere, there was a little old man playing piano behind us for most of our meal.  He even fulfilled the request of one diner to play “Noche y Dia”.  As I hummed along to “Night and Day, you are the one….” while munching on my corned beef sandwich, I was transported somewhere far, far away from Guadalajara.  (Although, I’m not exactly sure where! Perhaps it was a Fred & Ginger movie.)

I really liked the place, but Adolfo had the sensation of being a small child in the living room of a great-aunt who wanted to have long visits with his parents, and all he wanted to do was escape.

Monique is on Av. Union #410 in the Colonia Americana.

New Favorite Cookies

September 14, 2008

For those of you who have the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book, we have a new favorite cookie here. I made the “Nutty for Oats Cookies” last week. The only change I made from my first attempt (this was my second attempt) was to cut the amount of chocolate chips in half and add a cup of chopped pecans.

Verdict: The night I made these, Adolfo ate six, had no dinner and went to bed with a stomach ache.


September 6, 2008

So, there have been some requests along the way for a recipe you can make with ingredients that are easily available up north. Today, I made picadillo for the second time and I think I’ve got it right now. I received the original recipe from Adolfo’s mother.


1/2 medium onion, diced
1 -2 ribs of celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork, or several strips of bacon, diced
2 T. tomato sauce (not paste)
2-3 medium potatoes, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
2 apples, diced (or 1/2 c. raisins)
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. slivered almonds (or sliced almonds)

Fry the first three ingredients in a large skillet, or wok, with a little oil until translucent. Add ground meat and cook until the juice from the meat has evaporated and it is beginning to brown (this takes a while). Add the tomato sauce and the rest of the ingredients and enough water to barely cover, about 4 cups. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the water has evaporated and the potatoes are cooked through.

This recipe is easy, but takes a while to make.  I’m freezing the leftovers so we can have some during the week.  I think this picadillo is somewhat similar to Hash, but more intricate and interesting.  We ate ours in quesadillas, but you can make tacos or eat it over rice with some hot sauce, it’s pretty versatile.