Friday, November 1, 2013

Chocolate y pan de muerto
Tonight we are going to the Feria National de Chocolate in Coyoacan! We are excited!  Not only is the Plaza Hidalgo in Coyoacan beautiful (built in the 1500's by the Spanish, Coyoacan is where the Spanish set up their government as the conquered the Aztecs.  The buildings are beautiful, the streets narrow and cobbled, the traditions still very much Latin.)  Tonight's traditions include pan de muerto (a citrus flavored roll, covered in granulated sugar, with a little spider/skeleton shape baked on top.  You can see pan de muerto in the picture above.)  Halloween is celebrated here--the children go trick or treating, but the real celebrations are the days following Halloween--the Dias de los Muertos.  We had no trick-or-treaters last night--which was really sad.  We spent the night cooking and pulverizing pumpkins so we could have pumpkin pie and chocolate chip pumpkin nut cookies.  Not sure what it will taste like, but it took 3 hours to cook one pumpkin and osterize it.  Sure is easier buying a can at the store!  :)
We have discovered many things about Mexico.  1:  There is a limited amount of gas coming into our departmento (apartment).  If we want a shower, we can't use gas anywhere else.  If you want to use the oven, you can't wash the dishes or cook on the stove.  If you want to wash your hands in hot water, you can't use gas anywhere else.  If you want to run the washer, you can't be cooking at the same time.  The water drains and sewage system are not great--not good enough for garbage disposals, anyway.  We have wet and dry basura (garbage) and have to take it out every day.  2:  There are a limited number of kinds of beans in the dry bean aisle (which takes up a WHOLE aisle in the grocery store).  No navy beans, kidney beans, split peas, etc.  I guess that means no 9 bean soup for us!  3:  There are limited frozen foods available.  No frozen dinners, etc.  We can buy limited ice cream, no frozen juices (but they have AMAZING boxed juices by JUMEX.  4:  All milk has been irradiated and is in boxes on the shelves.  Irradiated milk is awesome.  It tastes great, doesn't need refrigeration, and can be stored in cupboards or wherever.  Unfortunately, the only flavored milk we can find is in little lunchbox size containers--all chocolate.  We are missing Shatto milk!  5:  Amazon doesn't work down here.  Who knew that Amazon was such a big part of our lives.  We keep saying, don't worry, we can get Amazon to ship it.  NO!  NOT POSSIBLE!  In Mexico, Amazon only deals with Kindles. 5:  American made/style stuff is very expensive.  We found a Bed Bath and Beyond where we can buy stuff for our home--but the stuff is expensive.  Also, electronics are pretty high here.  We needed an LCD Projector.  You can buy one in the US for $200.  Here it would be over $500.  Not a problem, we just use the President's.  7:  The Metro is fast, but if you take it during "rush hour" (most of the day) be prepared to be a sardine--literally.  People continue to push into the train even when there is NO room.  We got on the train at 9 am on Wednesday morning, squished against the doors and with hardly room to breathe.  At the next stop, 5 more people got on.  At the next stop, 3 more people got on.  Like, REALLY?  No more Metro rides before 10 am.  8:  It IS possible to find shortening, you just have to go to an importer (Aladino's) and pay $10/can.  (It is worth it.)  9: Not all panaderias have great bread--some have stale or so-so bread.  BUT, because there are panaderias, no one uses their oven (if they have one) for baking--they just buy pan.  We will probably have to buy a tabletop electric oven.  There is no other way to get our oven over 300 degrees, and Mantenimiento doesn't understand.  10: This is a beautiful place to live.  The climate is perfect--rain comes mainly at night, with warm temperatures all day.  We were told we needed coats--but the days we see people wearing coats are days when it is in the upper 50's.  The homes (inside the high walls) are beautiful and colorful.  The side streets look like they were transported from the 6th century and are charming.  There are 500 year old buildings everywhere--along with gardens, sculpture, plazas and tons of flowers.  11:  The people are wonderful.  We have yet to meet someone who doesn't welcome us to Mexico and try their best to help us.  Things are different here--but not that much.  12:  There are WAY too many cars.  Oh, for rush hour in KC!  Driving here is something else--lines on the road are truly suggestions, and lights are generally obeyed, but not always! 
Until next time! 
The picture below is Plaza Hidalgo, Coyoacan.  Notice the fountain has coyotes on it--for Coyoacan!

1 comment:

  1. Please give Elder Yancey a big hug for me!! - Pat Yancey