Archive for October, 2008

Gingerbread

October 24, 2008

I made the Dromedary Gingerbread last weekend and Adolfo HATED it.  

The gingerbread was green and fuzzy this morning and I had to throw it out.

Ice Cream

October 19, 2008

I made ice cream for the second time, first time vanilla custard, second time chocolate custard. Sometime around the beginning of the summer I decided to stop buying ice cream. The majority of the ice cream in the grocery store is not very good. They do have a selection of Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, but they cost something like $7 USD per pint. (This supermarket selection is not to be compared with the ice cream you can find in the street or in ice cream parlors. That ice cream is excellent – fresh and natural (mostly).)

I don’t eat a lot of ice cream, but sometimes I like to have a spoonful after dinner. This was ok when I was working like a crazy person, I would buy the really expensive imported ice cream and it would last me about 3 months. But, now I have a much more relaxed schedule and I need to think more about saving money.

In the first ice cream experiment, I tried to use the Harold McGee’s “Ice Cream in a Bag” recipe (sort of). I was more interested in a custard-type ice cream than the egg-less one he offered. I used the salad spinner bowl and everything else he recommends, and the ice cream did not freeze.

I think I just don’t keep enough ice on hand to do this. I tried to make some more ice cubes of unboiled water, but then I had to remember to keep the unboiled from the boiled (non-potable vs. potable). And, after the experiment, it made me really sad to throw all that water down the drain – it was way to salty to put on the plants.

So, I had to finish off my vanilla custard ice cream in the freezer, which seemed to work just fine. Still in the zip-lock bag, I took it out of the freezer every 30 minutes and mushed it up and stuck it back in the freezer as flat as I could make it. When it was about the consistency of soft-serve, I put it in a freezer box and stuck it back in the freezer. I stirred it one or two times more after the transfer to the freezer box. The next day we tried it out – and it was really good!

Since I recently finished the vanilla custard ice cream, I decided to try again – this time in chocolate and no ice cubes. This also worked, it probably took longer, but I didn’t have anywhere to go, so getting up every hour to mush the zip-lock bag was not too terrible. I think it took half a day, but I wasn’t keeping track.

All in all, if I’m doing this every 2-3 months, it’s not bad. The ice cream is really tasty and much cheaper than the grocery store offerings.

Virgin de Zapopan

October 12, 2008

This morning Adolfo and I got up at 4:30 in the morning to go to mass.

I know this is not the sentence you were expecting to read when you opened this site, but there you have it. We may have gone to mass with one and a half million people, but it is kind of hard to count when it’s 5 am.

Adolfo’s students are doing a project on the Romeria for the Virgin of Zapopan. So, I went with them and we caught the last half of mass, in the plaza across from the entrance to the cathedral. The square was packed, and silent – because we were in mass – and the venders were quiet, it was really dark, and it was really fascinating.

The cardinal was giving mass on a microphone that was loud enough for us to hear in the plaza and follow along, and we could also hear some of the drummers in an adjacent square for the estimated 600 aztec dancers.

Once mass ended, the Virgin-mobile started up (on what sounded like a lawnmower engine), the bells of the cathedral started to ring (we could see the guys ringing them!), the church-goers were singing, the drummers upped the volume and the party began. This pilgrimage is a celebration because the Virgin is returning to her home at the Basilica in Zapopan.

We saw the VIPs leaving mass (including the Governor of Jalisco who was mobbed by photographers as he left). The Virgin’s body-guards assembled and the Cardinal came out under heavy security to check out the Virgin before they started the pilgrimage. The heavy security was probably due to two things, during the independence day celebrations last month there was an attack in a public square in Morelia (which is in a neighboring state), and Adolfo told me that the previous Cardinal was assassinated. So, there were lots of serious-looking guys in suits who appeared to not be paying any attention to the Virgin.

Once the pilgrimage starts, the Virgin takes off pretty fast and the Cardinal and his companions start walking at a pretty good clip. Then everyone in the plaza starts moving toward the street and the media says about 3 million people walk with the Virgin to Zapopan (about 8 km). We, however, went looking for breakfast.

Which sadly we did not find – apparently 7 am on a Sunday is not a good time to look for a snack. Also, many businesses close today for observing the Virgin’s day. So instead, as the sun was coming up this morning, we went back to bed. At 11am when we got up for the second time this morning, we made eggs with chorizo and potatoes.