Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today was something completely different. No cycle ride to the estuary; no meditation on the beach. I had told Maria I would go into Guaymas this morning with the cooking class. This is the third time I've made that trip with her class, and I've been to the mercado many times on my own, so I don't really need to go - but I enjoy Maria's company, and I meet some interesting people by going to the classes. Today, there were only four of us - quite a change from the 28-30 in the last class! Being such a small group, we didn't go straight to the mercado - we stayed on the bus a few blocks longer, so Maria could show us the plaza and the kiosko. We saw the church in the background, but didn't go in. Chantal and I took the bus to this area last year (there are photos back there somewhere), and it was fun to see it all again.

Our group walked back to the market. On the way, we encountered friends of Maria who, it turns out, have just opened a Keop's in San Carlos. (Remember Keop's? That's the place where you can't just get a cup of coffee.) Then we did the obligatory circuit of the market, visit to the tortilleria, peek at the taqueria next door. This time, nobody ate tacos, because it was a little too early in the day. With our purchases in hand, we caught the bus back to San Carlos.

I decided to make guacamole for this afternoon's salsa party - and also to do a dried chile salsa, because I had never actually run my dried chile salsa past Maria (sheer cowardice). I made the salsas, put them away, and went over to get Sadie the dog for her afternoon walk. I found the area around her rv in an uproar. She was locked inside. The air conditioning was on, so she was in no danger, but she really wanted to come out, mostly because of the small crowd gathered around. Unfortunately, Sandy's husband Ray had the rv keys in his pocket, and he was nowhere to be found. Sandy knew he had been up at Tony's with a couple of other men from the park, but apparently the three of them had gone off somewhere (and why not?)

Meanwhile, a very unpleasant man from the next row of rvs had come over and given Sandy a hard time about the noise the dog was making. (I could barely hear Sadie from time to time, if I listened carefully, but she certainly wasn't making a lot of noise.) This guy was quite irate, and Sandy was really, really upset. Along with a couple of other neighbours, I tried to reassure her, but she was pretty spooked. Marcie and I got into Marcie's car and drove up the road, checking inside all the bars and restaurants, to no avail. A few minutes after we got back, suddenly Ray and his buddies turned up. Sandy called Ray over and told him what she had been going through, and Ray headed over to confront the evildoer. I went home to get my salsas and head to the palapa for the salsa party - a much safer place to be, I thought.

The party was fun. The four of us all tasted and enjoyed each other's salsas, and we chatted for an hour or so. My tongue is still intact, because I haven't tasted thirty different salsas this afternoon.

Speaking of tasting, I've had pozole twice in two days, now. Yesterday, I went to JJ's (a fun and very informal outdoor "tacos y cosas" place up the street). I was with Roger and Terry, but they had gone over to the pharmacy across the road, and would be following me. So I walked up to JJ's. JJ himself came toward me, crying "I need you!" Then he threw his arms around me and said again, "I need you!" "Well, thank you, JJ..." I started to say, and then he said "I need your money!" I started to laugh, joined by all the people at the nearby tables. A visit to JJ's is always an interesting experience. The pozole was great.

Whenever Maria takes her class to the market, she buys a serving of pozole-to-go from a particular vendor, so today I did the same, to compare his pozole to JJ's. I decided I like JJ's better, but I'm itching to work up a recipe of my own. Pozole, in case I haven't told you this before, is a pork and hominy soup with a chile broth. It's absolutely delicious.

Roger, Chantal, and Terry all seem to be feeling better, due, I imagine, to the amoxicillin they started taking yesterday. This is good, because Roger, Terry, and Robin are going to go diving with Russell tomorrow, first thing in the morning. I have two loaves of banana bread in the oven, to send along to the guys who own the boat. They really liked my banana bread last year, so I thought I'd send some home to their families.

Hey, the guys are going to be gone all day tomorrow. Chantal and I should think of something interesting to do while they're gone. I think I feel a window shopping trip coming on.

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