Saturday, March 10, 2007

I went to the mercado today and bought a small metate, so now I won't have to use my coffee grinder to grind cumin and coriander and such. This evening Roger and Chantal came over and we put together a communal meal of fish tacos (Chantal brought the fish, and she helped me make the guacamole and the pico de gallo to dress the tacos.) I cut up a jicama and served that on the side, with lime juice. For dessert we had flan, which I had bought at Ley. Everybody had a good time, and we confirmed that you can make really good fish tacos without batter-frying the fish. Chantal just sauteed the flounder in a little butter and olive oil. It was delicious.

Everybody has gone home now, and I've been reading my discussion boards. I read a post about stinky cheese, and it reminded me of something that happened a long time ago. As it relates to the way I'm living here in San Carlos, I think I'll reproduce my post here:

Many years ago, when I lived in Toronto, I did most of my shopping at Kensington Market, which was only a five-minute walk from my house. Kensington takes up several blocks, and consists of many small markets/stalls selling pretty well anything you might want. It was there that I developed my preference for that kind of shopping over the sterility of the supermarket (a preference I indulge here in Mexico).

Anyway, after a few years I moved out of the neighbourhood, but I retained the habit of shopping at Kensington. I would take the streetcar there and back, about 20-30 minutes each way.

One fine summer day (Toronto is very hot and humid in the summertime), I rode over to Kensington and did the week's shopping. My last stop was at Daiter's Creamery, where I bought yoghurt, butter, and a big block of five-year-old Cheddar. The clerk wrapped my purchases. I put them in one of my shopping bags, and I trudged to the streetcar stop.

Shortly after boarding the streetcar, I noticed that *somebody* smelled bad. Sheesh, I said to myself. I hope whoever that is gets off soon. Well, people got on, and people got off. People got on, and people got off. After a while, it sank into my heat-befuddled brain that the stinky one was the woman sitting in my seat. I knew I had showered that morning, and at my worst I don't smell like rotting onions - and that's what I seemed to be smelling. I finally traced the odor to my shopping bag. It was the cheese.

When I got home, I took the Cheddar out of its paper, put it into a plastic bag, put the plastic bag into a Mason jar, and put the Mason jar in the refrigerator. That pretty well tamed the beast, as long as nobody opened the jar.

But let me tell you, that cheese was GOOD. Not only was it splendid as a snacking cheese, but I melted it to make Welsh Rarebit with Newcastle Brown Ale instead of milk. We would treat it like fondue. One of the bakeries at Kensington, Perlmutar's, made a fabulous flat bread with onions and poppy seeds on it, and we would sit around the fondue pot, dunking hunks of "pizza bread" into the rarebit. I'm pretty sure that's where my cholesterol problems started. ;>)

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