Sunday, March 17, 2013

Animal cookies....who knew

Bread (pan) and coffee or chocolate (sort of hot chocolate) is a meal here, it's thought of as a treat meal, a fun meal, especially when it's cold out...yeah I know it's not as cold as where you are but we think it's cold and it gives us an opportunity to have coffee and pan for supper or breakfast. The word pan translates into bread, but there is a range of bread. It can mean plain ol' sliced bread, it can mean a big sub type bun, it can be a cinnamon bun, it can be a muffin, it can be a big cookie or it can be animal crackers. Every house has a bag of animal crackers, they are very popular. I could never understand why they love animal crackers so much. I do remember them as a kid but hadn't seen them around or maybe just not noticed them. The Mexicans love them and feed them to their kids as if they are doing them some healthy favor. Maybe they are better for you than regular cookies, they might have added some vitamins in them or maybe some extra calcium, but it does seem that they know something about these crackers that I don't.

One evening about a month ago (I am so far behind in writing) we had a cold windy evening and as we were closing up the restaurant on the beach my sister announced that we would have coffee and pan for supper, everyone was excited, it was very clear that this was going to be a fun event. There is a guy that used to drive around in a Jeep selling pan in the evenings, I used to call it the dessert truck because cake and cookies is dessert to me. We north Americans have a huge supper and then we stuff ourselves a little bit more yet with dessert....makes sense to us. When the Mexicans buy pan off this truck that is all they are having for supper, that is their supper. The dessert truck guy has quit coming and we not have a guy on a bike/cart type thing but he doesn't come onto the beach.So when this pan and coffee supper got announced I wasn't sure where the pan would come from.....a bag of animal crackers was put on the table. Everyone huddled around the little table with cups of all shapes and sizes full of hot water and we had instant coffee, then they all loaded their coffee with sugar and powdered milk some even just ate a few teaspoons of powdered milk, once the coffee was all doctored up to satisfaction they would put a small handful of animal crackers in the cup and dunk them around with the spoon and then spoon them back out and eat them. Like you do with crackers in soup. You don't want to dunk them around too much because then they completely full apart into soggy crumbs....this is a slow mindful supper. Since you're not doing as much chewing as you do at a meat and potatoes supper you are able to chat and laugh and have a good time, since you are not in a rush to get up and do the dishes or whatever one is always in a hurry to do after supper, it gets dragged on a bit longer and it makes it a great family bonding meal and you do get full, it is a very satisfying meal, which surprised me. I liked it.

The other day I was standing behind an (about 7 year old kid) who had been sent to the store by his mom with a list, he wanted 10 pesos worth of fresh cheese, 3 slices (you can buy cheese by the slice here) of Kraft cheese, and 10 pesos of animal crackers and one cookie (which was his treat for going to the store, he ate it right there) that is when I noticed that you can get a lot of animal crackers for 10 pesos. So, I asked for 10 pesos of animal crackers too, the kid smiled at me and said "oh, you have a hankering for coffee and pan too?" I smiled (he was cuter than cute...and yes I know what hankering is in Spanish) I said "I sure do".

I don't like coffee in the evenings, to me coffee is just a morning thing so sometimes when I have had a late lunch for whatever reason I will have a supper of hot chocolate and animal crackers. I have written about Mexican hot chocolate before, it's made with milk instead of water and the Mexican chocolate they put in is spiced with cinnamon and very very little sugar. The milk and chocolate is heated up and then blended in the blender making it all frothy. I love sitting on my back steps in the evening in the dark and dunking my little animals and sipping my hot chocolate while listening to my neighbourhood evening noises. Oh how I will miss my neighbourhood evening noises when I go back north. The chocolate I bring back and I hope we still have animal crackers in High Level, if not I'll find a way to make some but I can't bring my neighborhood noises back with me.

 I will miss my street hoodlums most, they are a group of about 8 boys ranging from about 5 to 10 years old, they are in my street all evening long playing hide and seek, or a few different games of tag, you can hear their feet shuffling as they are trying to sneak around and their loud whispering and yelps of surprise when someone gets caught. For most part they do respect people yards, but I have a big tree out front that is a perfect hiding spot so they do sneak up there and I don't mind at all. I figure these little harmless hoodlums will one day be big teenagers and I best be their friend now. I even let them come into my yard and pick mangoes.....I have lots, they are just too high for me but these little kids are like little monkeys and  can climb anything....anything, they learn that in kindergarten I think, they must have a monkey class in kindergarten.
I will miss them, they have entertained me all winter

By 8:30 all the hoodlems go home and I am left with the natural noises, like the doves, geckos, hummingbirds, the faint sound of music coming from the house on the corner, a sudden cat fight, roosters, a sewing machine humming, (i guess that's not a natural noise) the ever present sound of the surf and always a cowboy whistling somewhere. 

Some totally unrelated photos. Market pictures were taken by a friend because I of course didn't have my camera with me. 

 You can not, can not, can not find a better lunch/breakfast in Mazatlan than upstairs in the market. Breakfast is 20 peso and lunch is 40 pesos, and that includes any fish or shrimp dish as well.

That also includes the best view for people watching and traffic watching, you just never know what you will see pass by here.....never a dull moment in Mexican traffic

A dish of  a fish fillete and shrimp zarandeado ...... both were super Delicious, yes Delicious with a capital D. 

You have many choices upstairs, this is my favorite for one reason only, they have Toni-Col is a glass bottle, I have never been disappointed with the food at any of these. 
Clean and simple....simple is what is keeping the price down, I like simple

Remember doing this...ladies. Last Friday I sat at the hotdog stand and embroidered me a serviette and we watched the happenings across the street at the basketball court,  or started one anyway, I am still not done. This is still a very popular past time here. We had loads of laughs and fun.

One evening I saw this in the sky and ran to the beach....walked, I don't run

and this was happening

1 comment:

Contessa said...

Wasn't that sunset a gift from God?

Love the pan stories, especially the little boy at the store. What did happen to our pan man? I think just not enough business. You do know that he is our daytime water guy in the blue truck!