Monday, December 17, 2007
Guess who messed up at the market today?
I guess it would make more sense to do some homework before I hit the market instead of just spontaneously going and trying to make stuff up, but where would the adventure in that be? Although I still have shrimp in the freezer (1 kilo is a lot of shrimp) I decide I want to make spaghetti and meat sauce....yes I need to attempt to buy ground beef for that. So I wandered through the meat market once, checking out what was available and who seemed friendly (don’t want to get a cranky meat man) and of course I didn’t see any hamburger, just the usual big pieces of cow and pig. I thought the word for beef was “carne”, so I asked a guy for carne, he pointed to his selection of cow pieces (I thought it was cow) so I pick a chunk and ask for 1 kilo, he whips out his machete and chops my chunk off, weighs it....a perfect kilo (not his first day on the job) I figured that if I chop it into really fine pieces it will be almost like hamburger. All is good until I start to fry it and it turns white....it’s “the other white meat” pork. Turns out that “carne” means “meat” any kind of meat, goat, cow, and pig, dog.......this could really have been much worst. “Carne de res” is beef. My pork meat sauce was really good; I may even make this again. Also.....I found out since that all the meat guys will make hamburger for you right there, you just have to ask, but you have to pick out your meat first, what part of the cow makes good hamburger? Any part? All, in all, not a bad day at the market. So far, according to my research I still think it is cheaper to eat out than cook. Just outside my bedroom window is a street vendor that BBQs something every weekend, he’s not there during the week, but to get to him I have to walk about 3 blocks even though he is just out side my window. If I had a very tall ladder I could climb out my window, then I would need to scale a fence with barbed wire on top and there I’d be...but that’s not going to happen, last weekend I just stood by the window and inhaled the wonderful smell and watched other people walk away with big take out containers....I was just dying to know what was in them. This weekend I was not about to wait another week, nope, I hightailed it over there and found whole BBQ chicken on his grill and a menu of the usual tacos, quesadillas, carne asada etc......I bought 2 bean tacos (empanada style) with a side of rice w/2 different salsas for 14 pesos.....yup 14...at first I thought I had misunderstood and gave him 40 (which would have been reasonable as well) he gave me back my 20 and 6 pesos change...14. All the way home with my precious takeout container I felt like I had robbed the man and kept looking over my shoulders for him. I think this is where I will be eating every Saturday night from now on.....defiantly cheaper than cooking. On Friday I also stumbled on to something very yummy. I tell you, Mexicans are geniuses when it comes to food. I discovered “Alote” you see alote pots on almost every corner, I had just never taken the time to really check it out. It just looked like a pot of corn, kernel corn....while I do like corn I wouldn’t stop on a street corner for it. I decided to stop and see what the attraction was, well.....it is a pot of normal kernel corn, she asked me what size I wanted, I choose small, she dumped a small cup of corn into a small pot and asks me if I want creama.....creama! yes I want creama por favor....I love creama. She pours in creama, do I want cheese...I take a little very fine shredded Chihuahua cheese (this is not clumpy or gooey cheese) do I want salt? I pass on the salt, do I want hot sauce? On my corn? I think not. (Not today) She stirs it all up and dumps it back into a little cup and gives me a spoon, I walk away very pleased with myself that I have found a new way to take in more creama (I need calcium you know) This only for 20 pesos, the cup was a regular paper cup. Next time I may upgrade to large and try it with hot sauce. Genius I tell you. Wait until I write about the papas locos, Tostitos locos.....I’ll need pictures though, so you’ll have to wait, the last time I had them (remember it’s been a year since I had them) I was so excited I didn’t get a chance to take pictures. Next time I’ll take pictures... and post them for you.