Monday, March 05, 2007

I come bearing gifts, both photographic and culinary. The photos are courtesy of our trip to the estuary with Roger and Chantel yesterday. I was able to take a few photos from the canoe, and Roger got a lot of very good bird photos, which will come later.

As for the culinary gifts, I promised Chantel I would write out some of the salsa recipes I got from Maria the other week, and that reminded me that I haven't put them in here yet, so I'll start that process today.

First, the estuary. I don't know whether you can read this sign. I think it's big enough. If not, somebody please let me know. I had never noticed it before, and it made me laugh right from "Don't trash is UGLY." And you would think the last paragraph would go without saying, wouldn't you? There's no accounting for campers, I guess.

We rode over to the estuary in the back of Roger and Chantel's pickup truck, an adventure in itself. That's a very common mode of transport here, but it made me just a bit nervous, twitchy Canadian that I am.

Once underway, though, I lightened up and enjoyed the experience. It reminded me of childhood hayrides.

On the left is a picture of Chantel (well, Chantel's back) and Blitzen, the enormous German Shepherd. Blitzen is very happy these days. He has basically adopted Robin into his pack, and now he has both Roger the Alpha Male and Robin the Beta Male to play with him and go on outings. On this occasion, Robin and Roger went off together in the canoe and left Blitzen with Chantel and me, which was, let's say, an interesting experience. The dog jumped and lunged and barked and whined and carried on something awful as the canoe moved away from us. The guys headed straight over toward the fish camp, where there are at least three dogs - I don't know whether they belong to the fishermen, or are feral dogs hanging around looking for a handout. In any event, they came loping over to the edge of their sand bar to see what all the commotion was about, and when they saw how excited Blitzen was, they got excited too, and they started barking and lunging.....It was very hard on Chantel's back, trying to control this great beast, so we dragged him over to the other side of our sand dune and kept him there until the canoe was well out of sight, then went back to the beach.
When Robin and I were out in the canoe, I got to float along, trying to take pictures, while he did all the paddling. It felt very weird. I think that a strap for the camera just went onto my shopping list. I couldn't put the camera down at all, and I kept envisioning us capsizing, me falling over the side and trying to keep the camera (camcorder) out of the water at all costs. It would not have been graceful. I managed a few bird photos, including these of an egret and a heron, respectively. Roger told me that one of the birds I was admiring was an ibis, and he also saw some spoonbills, which I haven't managed to spot yet.

I was more comfortable taking pictures from the safety of the shore. I caught this one of the two Rs when they were coming back from their voyage.

In all, it was a great day.

This morning, Chantel and I went to Guaymas. She had never been to the mercado, so I got to play tour guide. I bought another (2 quart(ish)) cazuela, just the perfect size for cooking beans, and I bought some Mexican oregano, which is very good indeed. While we shopped, the menfolk took the truck and went to a canyon north of town (I think). I saw a video later, and decided I want to take that field trip too. It looked like a beautiful place.

Before I close, I'll add the first salsa recipe - I think I'll start with pico de gallo, since pretty well everybody likes that.

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients: 2 jalapeños, 1 medium tomato, a little bit of white onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, juice of one lime.

Probably 1/4 to 1/3 of an onion will do, depending on the size. The garlic and cilantro are to taste.

Remove stem from the jalapeño, but leave the seeds in, if you want your salsa to be authentic. Dice all ingredients except the lime. Toss together, add lime juice. If the lime is large, use only half. I´ve been playing with the recipe, trying to come up with the ideal size of the dice. I think I´ve decided on about 1/4 inch for my taste.

Pretty simple. You should make only enough to last two or three days. Buen apetito.

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