Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Shopping, cooking and photographing

Since I stopped partying the afternoon of January 1, I've been cooking. And doing a bit of photography. This image is across the street from the house. And this is the neighborhood telephone booth. A lot of my neighbors don't have telephones in their homes and this one is well used.
On the 2nd while buying brussel sprouts and carrots to go with a milanesa de res, we noticed that the eggplants were looking good. I was trying to think of how I might use them. I checked out some of the recipe websites but nothing appealed to me. Still I wanted eggplant and thought I would use it with pasta with or without a recipe.

First stop was El Tomate for the eggplant and a wonderful loaf of a sourdough bread. I also paid dearly for a small jar of "Greek Olives" that I felt I would have to have for my eggplant dish. Then into Espinos. I wanted to see if they had a canned pasta sauce. They had Prego at $4 a jar. I was going to pass on using a pasta sauce but then I saw a Campbell (made in Mexico) Italian pasta sauce for $2. Unless you like sweet pasta sauce, you can pass on the Campbell sauce. I think you could add some eggs and put it in a pie shell for a tomato pie dessert it is so sweet. At the vegetable stand outside of Espinos, I bought a big beautiful portobello mushroom. This dinner is beginning to come together.

I stopped at La Cava deli to see if they might have any Italian sausage. No, no sausage. I don't know why we can't get Italian sausage here. I seldom ever find it at any stores, even over in Queretaro. So Italian sausage won't be part of my recipe.

From there I walked down Umaran to the San Juan de Dios Mercado. It is a steep street. Not only are you going downhill at a steep rate but it also has steps at places along the sidewalk. I'm sure glad that I don't have a house at the bottom of that street. Going down is bad enough but up.....I don't think I could walk up that hill and talk at the same time.

I wanted to check out the San Juan market because in Atencion, our English newspaper, there had been an article about January 6 and all the toy booths selling toys around this market. This could be another photo op. So far only one or two toy booths. Probably another case of mis-information from Atencion.

In the vegetable markets you will find the vendors chopping up vegetables and putting them in sacks. Your ready soup mix....except these vegetables have not been disinfected and they are not sealed. I'll chop my own soup mix, thank you. I bought tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and tangerines. By this time my backpack is full and I'm happy to run into Ned who has been out shopping for a small pair of scissors. He takes on the backpack for the walk up the hill to Casa Mercer.

While the veggies are disinfecting I started a pot of soup with leeks and some bony pieces of chicken I've been saving. The zucchini and carrots will go into the soup base today for a hardy chicken vegetable soup. I might garnish it with some chopped tomato, avocado and Ranchero cheese. That should give it a Mexican flavor.

This was our pasta dinner. Tomato and Eggplant. These are approximate measurements. I just chopped and cooked.

Chop up 3/4 cup onion, 3 cloves of garlic 3 roma tomatoes, 1/2 a large eggplant. Saute the onion, add the tomato and eggplant. Cut up 1/2 a large portobello mushroom. Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add about 1/2 cup canned pasta sauce. Cook Rotini, spoon sauce over the pasta and top with grated parmesean. Serve with a green salad.

And people ask me what I do in Mexico!


Brenda said...

Hi, is the disinfecting of the vegetables there absolutely necessary or do you do it as a precaution? Here I clean the veggies in tap water and then rinse them with potable water and that's it. We have had no tummy troubles at all thus far. Before coming I had read about disinfecting all veggies and we decided to try without and see what happened-so far nothing. Or are we leaving ourselves open to something other than tummy problems?

BillieS said...

Brenda, I don't know if it is "necessary" but we do it all the time. Especially with leafy vegetables. With the global economy and the way veggies travel across the world, maybe I shouldn't worry about it...but a lot of our produce is grown locally. I guess I just feel better safe and sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ladies: We use the little drops that disinfect for all fruits and veggies - we do this in the US as well.

Great photos Billie! I like the idea of a photo a day from you ;-) (or more!).


BillieS said...

Noooooo.....I haven't committed to a photo-a-day. But I'll try to put up photos on the days I do photograph. A photo-a-day is difficult for me. Too much pressure and I'm retired!

Brenda said...

Hi, since posting that I chatted with the landlords wife and she was amazed that we hadn't gotten sick. She disenfects their stuff all of the time and so does the neighbor across the street. They just shook their heads and laughed at me for being either so foolhardy or brave. We haven't been sick yet anyway. They laughed and said,"sometimes luck is better than money!" Landlady then showed me one of her herbs growing in a pot which she said is good for tummy troubles. I told her that just because we had talked about it I would probably get sick shortly.
Thanks for your input.

Heather said...

Wow! Looks like you had a great time cooking. I'm very jealous. Everything looks and sounds great.

BD said...

I am doing the photo-a-day project. I like the photo on the street. Great work.