Tuesday, December 30, 2008

El Tepozteco.

Before Christmas, my oldest son went to Mexico City for a two week vacation. Almost all of my hysband's family lives there. He stayed at his Grandmother YuYu's house. She lives with my husband's youngest sister Yazmín. Let me tell you, the family is big. My mother-in-law has five sons and five daughters. Anyway, my son did not take the camera since he wanted to be able to visit places without worryng about carrying it. So he did not take pictures of the ice skating ring in the Zócalo (biggest in the world, so they say), nor the basílica de Guadalupe, or the many other places he went to. But his Uncle Carlos and his wife Mary invited him to go visit Tepoztlán, a town about an hour and a half from Mexico City in the state of Morelos. At this place there is a massive, rocky mountain of volcanic origin called El Tepo, which people hike up. It's not difficult to go up, but it takes about another hour and a half. Carlos took his camera, and between both (Carlos and my son) they took some pretty nice pictures. With them went two of Mary's nephews. Carlos and Mary did not hike up the mountain, and my son forgot to ask his uncle for the camera to take pictures from the top. But before going up, they stopped at a really nice restaurant called "Los Colorines", and had breakfast. While the guys hiked, Carlos an Mary stayed at this place.
Here are the photos, taken by my son and Carlos.

Entrance to the restaurant.

Antique photo and many "jarritos".

Fried eggs, refried beans, and chilaquiles.

My son had to take an "after" picture.

The colors. I love it.

I never would of thought of decorating a wall
with chairs.

My sister-in-law, Mary, her two nephews and my son.

While waiting for the guys to come back, Mary had a massage.

The guys with my brother-in-law, Carlos.

These are photos of El Tepo, seen from the bellow.
The sky was so clear that day.

After coming down, they went to eat (again) at another restaurant,
where these photos were taken.

Well, 2008 is almost over. I have to say it was an incredible year for us. We got to make friends with two incredible people, Dani and Sofi, thanks for sharing your Mexican experience with us, we love you. And of course, Kopi, your love for everyone has no end. And consolidate older friendships, Lolis, Adriana, Carmelita, and many others (it would take a long time to write them all) thanks for always being there, the value of a good friend has no limit. Also, to get in touch with my loving cousin Santos (love ya!), and the fortune of having my wonderful cousin, Miguel, e-mail me everyday with thoughts and information. And my other cousins, Alicia and Eddie, thanks for keeping in touch. To be able to keep in touch with my brothers, so far away, but so much loved. Beeing able to talk to my new sister-in-law Ellie (I hope I can meet you soon). To my Mexican family (all of them) thank you for showing your affection and love to my family and me (Yaz, I'm sure you'll get a really good job this year, we are praying). I have to be thankful for the health of my husband and sons, and for how much they love me, I love you guys more. I am thankful for that, and much more. And for having the most wonderful Mom in the world: I love you and miss you so much, Mama. But a promise is a promise, we will see you in the summer.
I love you all very dearly, and I really wish you all (friends, family, and virtual friends) a great New Year 2009. God bless you!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day - Recalentado

As I posted before, in Mexico, the heavy cooking work is done on Christmas Eve, so Christmas Day is a day to relax , and most of all to enjoy the "recalentado". I don't know about the rest of the world, but here in Mexico, on the next day of a big feast, everybody knows that the food left over tastes much, much better, thus "recalentado" (re-heated). Everybody looks forward to it. So we also had recalentado on Christmas day. We always make enough food for two days or more. And as I said before, my dinner was not Mexican. A typical Mexican Christmas dinner will include Bacalao a la Vizcaína (cod fish), Romeritos con Mole (I don't know the name of this plant), and many people make turkey because of the influence of other countries. I made some Romeritos on Christmas Day. They came out delicious, even though the pictures did not come out too well.
But first, my kids opened their gifts. They got a Wii for both, and a Brain Age 2 game for their Nintendo DS. The funny thing is that my husband has NEVER had any interest in the DS or video games, but upon discovering that the Brain Age game had Sudoku, he has refused to leave it alone.
Yesterday he used that thing for three hours straight. Incredible. Let me tell you that my husband has a 0 in technology. Once, our computer broke down, and he asked me when was I going to take the PVC to get fixed (he meant the CPU).
Here are the photos (not too good, actually pretty bad).

What it is? They had no idea what they would get.

Exercise for lazy brains.

They liked it a lot.

Machine vs. paper.

These are the fresh romeros. Not to be confused with "romero",
named Rosemary in english. The woody stems have to be picked off
before cooking.

Dried shrimp. The heads, legs, and tails have to be taken off.

Boiled potatoes.

Mole paste. This stuff has tons of ingredients including chocolate.
Click here to check out
the ingredients.

The romeritos are boiled in water, and then strained.

The mole paste is disolved in chicken broth.

The shrimp is lightly fried in oil.

Then everything is incorporated together, and let boil for
15 minutes while stirring.

We like to eat it hot, with bread. When I first was introduced
to Mole, twenty-five years ago, I found it really disgusting.
I never thought that a few years later, it would
be one of my favorite Mexican dish

Leftover chicken, and yep, it tasted

Pulling at the wishbone.

Laugh attack at dumb things said and done.

This photo is especially for Sofi. Look at the gingerbread
cookies you made last year. I used them for the wreath
on the door. Do you like it? I think it's
very nice.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Day. Here in Mexico and most of Latin America, the busiest day is Nochebuena (Christmas Eve). This is the day in which the family gets together for a big dinner. It is usually very late, 11:00 or 12:00 midnight. Also, many people go to Misa de Gallo (midnight mass). We are alone in this city, but we keep the custom, and have our big "family dinner", the four of us together.
But Christmas Eve starts earlier. My husband and I went out at 9:00 a.m. to do last minute shopping. We had to go to the poultry shop to pick up the two big chickens we had reserved for the dinner. I prefer chicken for a few reasons: cheaper, totally fresh, and faster to cook. My dinner was not Mexican (I will make some Mexican food today), but it had chile. I made roast chicken covered with a sauce made with dried chile chipotle, prunes, dates, and Coca-Cola (yes, Coca- Cola), and a pasta made with butter, garlic, sour cream and fresh parsley. It's something like an Alfredo sauce, but without the flour.
Anyway I will leave you with photos of our day. *Caution-many, many photos.

Downtown of course. I love this small street "Berriozabal".

There is a flower shop.

Sidewalk café-restaurant "Las Cigarras".

Small gallery-shop.

The café house where we used to go with Dany and Sofi.

Such a simple window, but elegant.

This is a restaurant-store calle Sanborns. It's been in our city for about a year,
but it's a franchise that started in Mexico City in 1908. I like the fact that they
took an old downtown building and hardly changed it.

The inside has old-fashined fixings.

My favorite part of the store- books, books, book. My husband bought
my Christmas present here (2 books).

Right acress the street a friend of ours has a sidewalk restaurant, and the shop next door is a bridal shop that belongs to his wife. His name is Dagoberto.

In the early evening, our neighbor asked us to go to their house to
"put the Baby to sleep". Almost everybody has a "Nacimiento" (Nativity), and at 12:00
midnight, they put Baby Jesus in a cloth and rock him to sleep while
singing songs. They did this before midnight because they were going to some other place.

Laura and Irene rocking the baby.

Naty and Sergio (today is her birthday, thus the name "Natividad").

"A la ro ro niño, a la ro, ro ya, duermase mi niño, duermaseme ya...."
Rock a bye baby.....

Everybody kisses the infant before laying him down,

This is my Nacimiento. I put everything up after we got back from downtown.
I didn't have any time before yesterday to put up the tree, and my kids were
frantic. This Nacimiento is a very old one I made about 16 years ago. It is made of
parchment paper. I couldn't find my other statue nacimineto. That's
what I get for doing things at the last minute. But I think it's pretty nice.

More decorations.

Now here are the big guys. Just before pouring the sauce. It has carrots,
celery, chile poblano, and cambray onions.

All covered with sauce and ready for the oven.

While the birds were cooking, an official portrait.

Right out of the oven. Really good, although it wasn't
spicy/hot enough for our taste.


And digging in.

Enjoy your day.