Coyoacán in pictures

Gallery

This gallery contains 17 photos.

Here’s a few of pictures I’ve taken during my many visits to Coyoacán. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them. Advertisements

The “Tortilla Super Hot”

Yesterday afternoon my partner Beto and I went shopping. We were looking for a futon for the spare room. My brother will be arriving here to Mexico from Canada on the 17th and as it is now, he has nowhere to sleep!

We went to Idea Interior  (the Mexican answer to Ikea) at Lomas Verdes in the State of Mexico. We looked high and low in that store and didn’t find anything that was either within our budget or that didn’t look back breakingly uncomfortable. So we began to look at other stuff…

In the kitchen wares section of Idea Interior I came across what I think to be an object of sheer genius! The “Tortilla Super Hot“! Normally in Mexico, tortillas would be warmed up on a comal (a flat metal plate used since pre-Hispanic times for the same purpose), then wrapped in cloth for those who want tortillas with their meal. The problem with this scenario is that the tortillas quickly become cold and hard; enter the Tortilla Super Hot, taking the whole concept to the next level.

Essentially the idea is this; four circles of material sewn together, with space at the ends to slip in the patented self heating pads and a space in between to place the tortillas.

Click the  little metal disks in the heating pads and watch the liquid turn into the heating crystals. Non toxic and non harming, the heating crystals are actually a salt solution. (The same idea as those warming pads we used to slip into our mitts as kids in Canada…yeah, you know what I’m talking about!)

Place the activated heating pads into the pouches with the warmed tortillas and you’re good to go. The company claims that the tortillas can be kept warm for up to 2 hours, which is nothing short of a miracle.

150 pesos well spent!!!

Would you find the Tortilla Super Hot useful or do you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way?

We’re number 1!!!!!

….but not for anything worth celebrating.

One of Mexico City’s worst reputations is in regards to its traffic. We’re talking INTERNATIONALLY known and recognized as having the most horrible, stressful and nerve shattering daily congestion on the streets.

This week we were officially recognized for this…dare I say achievement.

IBM’s “2001 Commuter Pain Index” polled drivers from all over the world to see whose daily commute was the most soul crushing, based on the following factors and indicators:

1) Commuting time
2) Time stuck in traffic
3) Price of gas
4) Traffic is getting worse
5) Start/stop traffic
6) Driving causes stress
7) Driving causes anger
8 ) Traffic affects work
9) Traffic so bad driving stopped
10) Decided not to make trip due to traffic.

I live here and see the traffic on a daily basis, I’ve even driven in it on occasion. But what is shocking to me is that it is worse here than in Shanghai or New York. To take first place distinction from every other internationally recognized traffic “hell on earth”; maybe it’s time that we as residents and the government of Mexico City start trying to come up with solutions.

The question of how to prevent grid-lock remains, and according to IBM the solution lays in data. With the use of GPS and road sensors, data can be collected and traffic therefore organized more effectively. Of course this may mean staying at work 20 minutes later or leaving 15 minutes earlier, but the pay off would be the fact that traffic flows smother and less delay in getting from point A to point B.

Does data gathering seem like the most viable option to you? What would you be willing to give up or change in order to improve bad traffic in your city?

Tostadas de Lomo

On my first trip to Michoacán I had the pleasure of eating tostadas de lomo in a suburb of Zamora named Jacona. I remember when they brought me my first tostada, thinking “I’m not very hungry” and then waking up a little while later from a food induced coma and realizing that I had scarfed down three more while I was out!

There’s something about the mild spiciness of the salsas and the softness of the lomo all on top of a bed of corn tostadas, beans and crispy lettuce that I found irresistible. Long after my trip had ended and I was back in Mexico City, I found myself reminiscing about that amazing meal!

I guess my craving got the best of me yesterday because I was able to convince my partners mother to help me reproduce the recipe here at home. The results were fantastic and the flavours were exactly the same as I remembered. The recipe is so easy to do at home and definitely worth a try as an easy weekday meal or a no brainer weekend lunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 kilo of Lomo (pork loin)

Refried beans (used canned beans, they are easy and taste great)

1 kilo ripe tomatoes

1 onion finely diced

1 can Jalapeños in vinegar

Tostadas

Lettuce (washed and chopped into strips)

1 clove of garlic

Oregano

Salt to taste

Here’s how to do it:

Put the lomo in the pressure cooker (if you don’t have a pressure cooker; cook it on the stove top but be prepared to stand over it for quite a while), cook for 30 minutes. Meat should be tender and have lost its pink colour. Set aside to cool.

Wash all the tomatoes and place in a large pot of water to boil. This will take between 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft and the skins should be starting to peel away. Once cooked, place the tomatoes in a blender with a dash of course salt. liquify tomatoes with the clove of garlic. In a separate bowl empty out the can of Jalapeños, add the finely diced onion to the Jalapeño/Vinegar mixture. Add the tomato puré to the jalapeños with a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and allow to sit at room temperature till all the other ingredients are ready. Check for salt and add more if needed.

If the meat is cool enough to handle; shred with fingers. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the tostadas.

Wash and slice the lettuce.

Empty the contents of the can of refried beans into a pan, add a bit of water and heat thoroughly.

To assemble the tostadas:

Place a tostada in the palm of your hand, add as much of the beans as you wish and spread them all over your tostada. Add some lettuce, then some of the lomo and finally the salsa. It’s as easy as that, but too good to be true!

Since yesterday, I’ve stuffed myself nearly sick on these tostadas. The price for my gluttony has been a mild case of indigestion, but it was well worth it!

Let me know if you’ve tried Tostadas de Lomo before? Or are you going to try this recipe for the first time in your home?

 

 

 

One thing checked off the list

I am happy to announce that I am now the proud owner of my very own maguey plant. He stands from root to tip about a foot tall and is a beautiful bluish-green colour.

We stopped to look at plants in Cuernavaca this weekend. I was beginning to give up hope that I would find a healthy plant that was a good price (others I’d found ran anywhere from 150 to 300 pesos in the city).

As I began looking around at the other offerings I found it, hiding under some long grasses that had fallen over. The maguey was a beautiful colour and really well-formed. Bracing myself for the bad news I asked the price…

30 pesos!

Of course I bought it and have since brought it to its new home in Mexico City.

I’ve also given it a name. From here on out it shall be called Juan Vázquez Peréz Dominguez de la Rosa Henriquez y Castilla, or Juanito for short!

20110904-040409.jpg