Saturday, August 6, 2011

Kicking back (Guanajuato, Mexico)

Thursday, July 27, 2011 Don't hate me because I'm comfortable!

Another beautiful day, cool and comfortable. I hardboil some eggs for today's and tomorrow's breakfasts. With a little salt and freshly ground pepper, they are simple and simply amazing!

Nikki's off to Zacatecas. K and I drop her at the bus stop on our way to Dolores Hidalgo. We wind our way along the picturesque mountain highway, reaching the "Cradle of Mexican Independence" in plenty of time to take in three shops loaded with Talavera tiles, tableware, and tchotchkes (translation: knick knacks -- and, no, it's not a Spanish word). K buys a bowl in a purple peacock-feather pattern. I purchase painted ceramic knobs that will, I hope, transform a blah chest of drawers into a work of art.

We stroll around the main square and pop into the church, to view its ornate, guilded altars and its bloody Christ figure. Then we pick a pretty restaurant in which to dine on entomados de queso in (a, for me, too-sweet) mole and breast of chicken stuffed with squash blossoms, in a huitlacoche (corn fungus: sounds yucky but, trust me, it's yummy!) sauce. While waiting, we eat the escabeche (pickled cauliflower, carrot, jicama, chili peppers, and a tiny potato -- quite picante!) and sip our huge goblets of aguas (i.e., fruit waters: K's is watermelon; mine is tamarind). The delicious chicken comes with a side of mixed vegetables that would have been more welcomed had they not been previously frozen. The eggy, cumin-scented bechamel-sauced pasta, also on the plate, is sinfully rich and luscious.

K wants to check prices on some tiles that she'll use to form table tops, so we step back into the first Talavera shop we visited. We return to the car, which has, thankfully, not been ticketed nor booted nor towed --despite threatening street signs warning of the contrary. Shopped out, we don't bother stopping at a large store, which sells beautiful ceramicware and foodstuffs from a women's cooperative, that K. had pointed out on our way into town.

K. drops me off in downtown Guanajuato, so I can buy my bus ticket back to Mexico City. I wander around the beautiful city's center for a while, as it's my last opportunity to do so this time around.

Back at the house, I fill a glass with clamato juice and help myself to several lychees that have appeared in the fridge. (I don't advise you to try this at home, as the combination is truly disgusting; however, they are quite good when taken separately.) K comes downstairs and tells me to help myself to anything and everything in the kitchen.

Later, I do: A slice of lovely, gamey feta cheese. Some almonds. Blackberries. A spoonful of chipotle-jitomate sauce. A few black olives. A ripe fig. A glass of mango agua. I love eating this way!

I'm sitting on the terrace, feasting, when I hear pinging on the metal roof. Finally! A much needed, torrential rain obscures the view and cools down the already temperate temperature. Should it continue, I'll sleep really well tonight.

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