Monthly Archives: December 2011
I drew open the doors to find a shirt and El Chupacabras jumped out at me!!!
Okay, I’m a few months early for the day of fools, but here in Mexico it is observed on December 28th and it is called DIA DE LOS INOCENTES. Day of the Innocent. Someone planted the mythical monster in my wardrobe and I have strong suspicions. This is the day for all sorts of pranks and when someone falls victim to your gag you say, “inocente blanca palomita.” A white dove is the epitome of innocence.
The east wind is howling across Tecate like an evil spirit in pain and I see my housekeeper is preparing a big kettle of albondigas. No one makes albondigas like Sonia. One bowl and all the little worry-worms that crowd the mind disappear, birds sing, flowers burst into bloom and life is beautiful! I can’t think of a better reason to stay close to the ranch today. Many of my readers have asked me to post Sonia’s secret recipe along with instructions, so here it is!
DISCLAIMER: The best Mexican cooks are actually alchemists and perform their magic arts with disdain for measurements. No tsp or tbs or C – everything is “to taste” which is probably a good idea.
l kilo ground beef
Knorr tomato/chicken broth powder
stalk of celery, diced
l bunch fresh cilantro
3 small squash (your choice) diced
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, diced
Fill kettle half way with water add Knorr tomato/chicken broth powder. Place in fireplace over low oak fire. If you’re doing this on the kitchen stove set your burner to medium heat. Meantime, add “some” rice to the ground beef to bind the meatball and salt t taste. (It looked like a cup to me). Add whole cilantro leaves ( do not chop) to taste. She used about half the bunch. Break 2 eggs into the meat and mix with your hands. Mix well. Form albondigas between the palms of your hands about the size of a golf ball. When water is at a rolling boil add the prepared albondigas one at a time. When meat is thoroughly cooked add celery. Cook for 15 minutes. Add carrots and squash. Cook for another 10 minutes then add the potatoes last. Boil for an additional 15 minutes.
SERVE AND ENJOY!
On December 15th the traditional posadas begin. Las Posadas are the reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s nine-day pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Friends and family gather outside your door and sing various verses pleading for shelter. The people on the inside sing their lines ending with a joyous éntren santos peregrinos! Enter holy pilgrims! – and the party begins. It’s usually tamales, chocolate and champurrado. Jamaica punch for the ladies, tequila for the machos. December is also the time when the nativity scene is set up in the plaza. I remember last year it was decided to use live animals rather than the cardboard figures you see here. It was beautiful! It only lasted one day. The shepherds just weren’t on the job. She sheep ravaged the manger,devoured the hay and Baby Jesus lay on the grass.
I always wanted to write something for kids that would entertain and inspire so now I’d like you to meet a couple of great kids.
Teenagers Johnny and Jamie accompany their dad, Dr. Wonder, professor of anthropology at CSU and their mom, a veteran back packer, into the jungles of Ecuador. They were in search of the “lost city” of the Auca Indians, a primitive tribe of savages still living in the Stone Age to this very day. Johnny who was fifteen and Jamie who’d just turned thirteen, were lost among head hunters and cannibals for nearly two months. Jamie barely escaped a bunch of wild dudes who wanted to shrink her head down to a Barbie Doll. The Aucas thought Johnny would make a tasty dinner. It was Jamie who got him out of that one. The kids managed to stay alive only because they used their brains and because they looked after each other. Together they faced death and danger. What to eat, where to sleep and just how to stay alive were problems they faced every day. They shared the danger, they shared their laughter and their tears. It was during this high adventure in the Amazon jungle that Johnny and Jamie discovered they were more than just brother and sister. – they were best friends.
Arthur Salm of the San Diego Union Tribune made a comment.
“Rip roaring! Reminiscent of Indiana Jones as Johnny and Jamie become raiders of the lost city.”