Mexico, by Hilary

Saturday, 21January, 2012

Mexico, by Hilary

by beckerich

Coconut milk on the beach

It’s been a month since I have posted to our blog.  Many many thanks to Lauren for her weekly posts and for picking up the slack while I was away.

I have just returned home from 21 days of travel.  Tim and I have been on a whirl wind tour through the states to visit family over the holidays.  After that we treated ourselves to 10 amazing days in a small village in the Mayan jungle called Chemuyil, about 10 minutes outside of Tulum.

Our private pool

We rented a beautiful palapa.  A place called Rancho El Teterete that was built by the lovely Josephine and her husband Theo. It’s a magical place surrounded by dense tropical vegetation where you fall asleep and wake up listening to the sounds of the jungle.  We had a private pool with a fountain, a huge stone area with fire pit and my favorite, an outdoor kitchen where I spent most of my evenings.  Well, between that and the outdoor lounge area where I forgot about time and read a book or wrote.

Our nights were filled with cooking dinner in the kitchen followed by our many games of dominos until we finally got tired and went to bed.  Our days were filled with either snorkeling the cenotes (underground freshwater caves) or lounging on the soft white sand bright blue beaches.  The water still practically bath water warm.  We would swim, relax and when we got hungry stroll down the beach and find the perfect place to eat lunch while listening to the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore.  We were typically pretty healthy on this trip minus our two margarita lunches.  At the moment we are having mild mid day tequila withdrawal.  But you can’t help it! It’s beautiful and sunny and hot and they are just sitting right there, all cold and limey and salty and just calling your name.

Of course I found all of the outdoor markets in Tulum.  Once you can get past the fly’s buzzing around the hanging slabs of meat there is a treasure trove of amazing fresh fruit, veg, dried peppers, spices and always the large stuffed animals hanging out front of the markets.  Not sure why but we didn’t get one.  I was tempted.

In the mornings we ate fresh papaya and banana with lime and in the evenings always some sort of vegetable tacos with fresh pico de gallo that Tim loves to make and guacamole.

Pico de gallo

Though I am a huge fan of street food, in the last 12 years of being vegetarian it is really difficult to find anything without meat in it.  Especially when you’re traveling in a country where you know only few words.  And even though I do know how to say vegetarian in just about every language, what vegetarian means in every country is a bit different.  Usually that just means no red meat so I end up with a mouth full of Chicken or fish.  Or, to put the cherry on top of the cake and end my risky street vendor escapades, when Lauren and I were in Budapest I ended up with a mouth full of lard with bits of bacon on bread.  And I HAD to eat it as the very sweet little old Hungarian woman who made it was standing in front of me smiling and nodding her head in excitement as she gave it to us, eyeballing us waiting for us to gobble it all up.  So… after that experience and a belly full of lard which is probably still floating around somewhere in my arteries, I shy away.  That said… in Mexico they have fruit stands!!  No question there.  No meat, no lard, just fresh mango, papaya and melon drenched with lime and chili served up in a big plastic cup for 50 pecos.  We did not find a better bargain anywhere.  Except for the ice-cold Horchada stand we found ( a Mexican drink made with rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla).  The other food I constantly test myself with when in Mexico is the cactus.  We had an amazing cactus salad though for me, it’s a bit gelatinous and I’m not entirely sure how to un-snot this vegetable.  The Mexicans have it figured out and we had an amazing cactus and tomato salad though when I tried to do it back at the palapa… it was snot city.

Cactus salad

So… though I was not able to master the cactus, I did manage to make quite a few things.  I packed in such a hurry I forgot my Mexican cook book so just attempted to get as creative as I could.  You don’t need much when you have fresh fruit and veg every day.  I found keeping it simple was the way forward, and that is just what I did.  During the entire holiday with food and with how we spent our days.

Now we are back in England and even though it’s cold, gray and cloudy, it’s really good to be home.  I love England and love our home in the countryside.  Were all snuggled up in bed with our cat and a downloaded movie while I buzz through my phone updating myself on all my missed instagram and facebook messages.

If your ever wanting to visit Tulum think about staying at Josephine’s place.  It’s truly magical.  I’ll never forget it and we will absolutely be back!   We miss you Josephine and Rancho El Teterete!!!  http://www.mexicoholidayhouse.com/

Here are a couple of simple things you can make, even when you are not in Mexico.

Pico de gallo

  • 1 1/2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapenos
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

Put all in a bowl and toss together.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper

Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl

Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness.

Serve with tortilla chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

travellinlb January 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Tonight was mexican at our house, with fish tacos with mango salsa and made your guacamole, as there were some good mangos and avocados at the market!

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