To the Kitchen!
One of the reasons I am excited about living in Mexico is la comida. The Food! I mean who would not be excited about discover, learning, creating, and eating such a fine cuisine?
I would not consider myself a cook. It is an activity I have participated in for many years; some phases of life more than others. Most of the time when I cook, I start off with a recipe and then adapt it to my liking. And by “to my liking” I mean, “what I have on hand”.
But all that is about to change and I am excited! I love a challenge and a challenge it will be! Here’s the general break down-
- Kitchen appliances- stove/oven, mixer, pressure cooker, and blender (a very nice blender, I might add. The best. It makes me smile just to think about it. Thanks Dad and Kim!)
- Kitchen tools- four cooking knives, a set of silverware, four eating plates and bowls, one pot, some mugs, cutting board, two mixing bowls, canning supplies, spatula, cooking spoon, cooking fork, can opener, measuring cups, and I’m sure a few more odd and ends I may be forgetting.
- Shopping a new country and a different language. My Spanish is decent, but there are still a lot of types of vocabulary that I am missing and the food (especially ingredients) category is one of them. That and things do not translate directly. For example, a clove of garlic in Spanish would translate directly as a “tooth of garlic” and Mexican rice is called “Rice Soup”. You can see how this may be confusing!
- We will be using bottled water for cooking.
- If anything is to be stored for any significant matter of time, it must be dried or canned. Leftovers must be used up quickly.
Things I have been doing-
- Recipe collection. Mostly through blogs and online cooking websites, I have found the directions for the recipes I am familiar with and know that Rafa likes. I have these neatly organized on a file on my laptop, so internet will not be need to access them.
- Menu planning- I have about a week’s worth finished and hope to have a month full by the time I get down there. With this, I can plan better how to use up leftovers, but at the same time creating something fresh. For example, Rafa loves Spaghetti, (and I’m a pasta girl myself!) and we will have meatball subs the next day. From the menu I am also going to make a shopping list and make sure that it is in Spanish, so that I can at least read and explain to someone what I need.
- Listening- One of my jobs right now is working at a Chick-fil-a. Most of the time I work in the back and most of the rest of the people there are Hispanic. They talk all the time about what they are going to be making for dinner, and take the time to explain to me how to make it. I think they may be frightened that if they do not they will have the responsibility for letting one of their fellow country-men starve.
- Observing and helping - when I have visited Rafa and his family over the past year and also in the times that I have been in my friends’ homes from Chick-fil-a.
- Actually Cooking- something that I should have been doing more of, but a lot of times other activities have won. Such as working or sleeping.
Speaking of which, I currently just finished cooking a pot of black beans for Enfrijoladas that I am making for tonight.