Thursday, October 29, 2009


Is it really October?

Flat Cookies, a Bike Pump's Gift and a Trip to Merida

I'm sitting in my very hot kitchen sipping a cup of coffee, waiting for my oatmeal raisin cookies to bake. I found baking soda - you'll never guess where - at the pharmacy! They don't cook with it here, just clean with it, still that seems like an odd place. Anyway, having found both light brown sugar, and baking soda I'm feeling these cookies will be a culinary success.

They need to be tasty because I'm taking them to a get together tonight. There are a great group of women that are all friends that meet each Thursday night and drink wine and snack on fun foods and talk and laugh and sometimes dance all night long. I was out until 3am last week and the woman that I know the best has a 5 month old baby who slept through all of it. Even through the loud karaoke singing in Spanish and Portuguese to YouTube music videos. What a little trooper. I love that people bring their kids to everything here. Though when he gets older he probably won't be out that late! The women call themselves "The Subversive Women of Tulum". I'm not sure what that implies exactly and how they are subversive yet, but they seem to have a lot of fun. I spent most of the night very confused as to what was going on and what they were talking about since it was all in Spanish, but I occasionally I got the gist of the conversation. Normal girl stuff: Food, Boys, Babies, Work, Recycling...

Anyway, I just checked on the cookies and I think the temp must be off on my oven because they just look flat and melty, not done. Hmm..

Something really funny just happened....I heard a knock on the door and there was the neighbor kid from a few doors down who I know has a crush on me. He's always gazing at me all googly eyed and once took my hand for a few moments when I was confused about what he was saying. He looks like he's about 17...

Anyway, tonight he wanted to borrow our bike pump. When he returned it, all smiley, he handed me a small napkin of something. I said, "Gracias!", closed the door and examined my little gift. Sure enough, it was weed! Hahahaha! Now it's sitting next to my laptop still gently wrapped in the napkin. There's quite a bit of it. What do I do with this? I don't smoke, but nearly everyone here does... do I toss it or bring it to my ladies night? A moral dilemma. But a really funny one. Only in Mexico do you lend someone a pump and get weed in return!

So, tomorrow I'm taking myself on an adventure to Merida. Merida is the capital of the Yucatan state. It seems to be a delightful colonial town and the biggest city I will have been in for months. Also, this weekend are the Day of the Dead (Dias los Muertos) festivities. A totally strange holiday where alters are built for dead relatives and all kinds of offerings are laid on them, poems are sung, a lot of scull shaped candy is consumed by children... I guess it's really not that much stranger than Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fresh Chicken

I bought a chicken yesterday that was so fresh it was still warm. Kind of fantastic and creepy. I ended up with 3 chicken feet as well, two attached to the bird and one random one. Also some organs I wasn't familiar with. Hmm. When I got home I had to saw it all apart with a very dull knife to make Coq au Vin. I did consider the machete from our back yard, but it too needs to be sharpened. I would have felt very Rambo-like slashing my way through warm bloody chicken thighs!
I had the most joyful afternoon cooking and singing along to Joni Mitchel at the top of my lungs. We had our first dinner guests. A couple, Sabrina and Diego and their little baby, Nicolas. They own a great little restaurant here called "Elemental", which Caleb and I frequent.
Lots of wine, a successful Coq au Vin, a little green salad, and coconut macaroons for dessert. We had a great time talking and laughing in the back yard and even little Nico seemed to enjoy himself camped out on our little couch, snoozing.
It felt really good having some friends over, feeding them and enjoying their company. Many of my favorite memories are of the times I've had a houseful of guests and cooked a huge meal, both in Seattle and in Providence.