In Mexico they call me “guerita” but I’m really a gringa at heart. Sure I am a sucker for mole, (especially the dark black Oaxaqueño type with its 72 mysterious ingredients) and I can never turn down a street quesadilla (how does that fresh white cheese ooze and ooze so much?) but there’s something about being out of the United States that makes me yearn for certain American foods a little bit more.
Take peanut butter, for example.
Now, peanuts are big in the culinary world of Mexico. They call them cacahuates here, and they are everywhere. First and foremost, there’s plain cacahuates as a botana, or snack. Go to the markets or cheese trucks and you’ll find huge sacks of them for sale: plain, the Mexican favorite, sal con limon, (salt with lime) or the uber Mexican favorite: chile, sal y limon …Read on
Puddles of red velvet cake cookies swell in the small, yet expensive oven. “Oooh, you have a Mabe,” all the upper-class Mexican housewives crooned when I first moved here and showed off my kitchen and apartment. “Nothing but the best, Mabe,” they continued, reasserting my ignorance on the subject of Mexican kitchen appliances. I’ve heard of General Electric, KitchenAid, Viking and Dacor but Mabe, whose name screams out the fear, “maybe???” Never.
Mabe and I weren’t friends from the get go. She was too small. Too simplistic. Too foreign. Fahrenheit was out the window, Mexico being a Celsius land, I had to contend with the concept of baking in unknown numbers. I felt like a lonely American. Luckily, there are all sorts of apps for lonely Americans and Kitchen Converter is no doubt a very popular one.
Next, there was turning the …Read on
I know the last post I wrote was about a cookie and so when you see a cookie here you no doubt are wondering “Christ, woman, what has gotten into you? Another cookie story?” And I am gently reminded of my son, Jonathan, who eats the same thing for lunch, each and every day: cheese tortilla roll, sliced in half and never ever heated.
Don’t ever heat that thing or his world will be rocked upside down.
So, what’s wrong with double cookie action then?
Plus, it’s cold here in South Florida.
Oh don’t go rolling your eyes, you Minnesotans, Bostonians or Europeans. Just don’t.
If I had to turn on my car butt heater because the morning air chilled to a horrid 47 degrees, then that is cold. I don’t want to hear ice war stories. Or blizzards. Or any of that.
Even helicopters were …Read on
I am blowing my hair just like my mother used to. When I made the mental leap of letting my crew cut grow out into an eventual bob, I knew there would be many awkward moments. Six months later, the idea is strongly reconfirmed. I pulled out my dusty hairdryer in an attempt to replicate the glamorous Lady Di do my hairdresser had easily pulled off last week for a party. In thirty minutes and a spritz of hair goo, she had transformed my lame duck period into one of sophistication and awe. How hard can it be?
It’s a private affair, my meeting with maintenance. I am here with my hairdryer purchased in 1989 from a crowded Duane Reed store off of 57th Street back in my New York days when I was a budding adult longing to duplicate the …Read on
Just when you think your blood will freeze over, your nose will crack off, your lips have reached ungodly limits of chapness, you see another poor lad pass you by in the same predicament and you both turn to each other for that split second and nod in communal misery. You may even smile, risking further injury to your taut lips. You don’t know him. He does not know you. But for that instant in the universe, you both share the same moment of cold.
I am a South Florida transplant originally raised in the humid tropics of Venezuela, so, believe me, when I placed myself in frigid weather for a ski holiday in Beaver Creek, Colorado last month, I was more than aware of the shock my mind and body lived minute by minute.