viernes, 13 de mayo de 2011

When Life Gives You Watermelon Rinds, Pickle Them!!

It is watermelon season here in Navojoa. I do like watermelon, what I don't like is giant dripping halves of various melons in my refrigerator leaking on to the shelves and out the door. My husband likes watermelon too but instead of cutting one up and keeping it in a tupperware he chops them in half (leaving a sticky mess on the counter of course) and eats it with a spoon putting the other half in the fridge. And if he happens to get a not so great melon he just leaves the other half in the refrigerator until I magically make it disappear. When I was growing up there was only one way of consuming watermelon that I was familiar with. That was cut up (preferably with hot dogs, potato salad, or chips, etc.). However, here you can eat it cut up, with chile and lime, have it as an agua fresca, or frozen. And I am sure there are more ways of eating it.
Well, when that first giant green oozy mess appeared in my fridge this year I decided that I would have to make my peace with it. Then I remembered Christmas and Thanksgiving. On those holidays there would always be a relish plate on my mom's table and that plate always had pickled watermelon rind. It is a tangy, sweet, texture challenging food. I loved it. So I decided to try my hand at pickling (the refrigerator kind not the canning kind). I even had a giant Ball jar from one of Jose's olive purchases. They turned out great. And it is funny because watermelon is so akin to summer but when I eat a piece of the pickled rind I am transported to November/December. I guess Pollyanna was right, you just have to look for the good in something ;)

sábado, 7 de mayo de 2011


This morning while Miguel ate his plumbs and oatmeal and I had coffee I watched a short piece on Breakfast. It was formally titled "Breakfast Special" and it was done by PBS (which I LOVE). It showed us five or six different breakfast joints around the US and talked to the owners, diners, employes, and even some dogs ;). It was an interesting program which showed that people feel basically the same about breakfast and going out for breakfast. It is the beginning or in some cases the end of a person's day, people are very particular and even passionate about their breakfast, and there is a sense of community in going out for breakfast. At the end of the program the narrator asked everyone what their favorite breakfast ever was and where they had it and that got me thinking. Now, I LOVE breakfast I think it is my favorite meal of the day. However, I don't really like to make it and I don't like it much here in Mexico. I am used to American style breakfast and when I got here I was given shrimp, birria, or tacos. Don't get me wrong I love all of those things, well not really the birria ;) but I was not used to having them in the morning. I like pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, waffles, biscuits with gravy, etc. (not all at once mind you). So I started thinking about what my one favorite breakfast had been and where.
This was hard because I have been to many restaurants and worked in a very well known breakfast joint in Long Beach. But I didn't have to think very long before I remembered a breakfast at Patrick's Point one morning when my parents had taken us camping. My Dad got his dutch oven out and fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, onion, and added eggs. It was heaven. When we camped we usually had cereal for breakfast with powdered milk ;) (good but not delicious) But I think this was our last morning and my Dad was cleaning out the ice chest. Come to think of it I am sure there was cheese involved and I don't like cheese but I just loved that concoction that Dad made. I remember everything about that morning, the sunlight, where the tent was, the blackberries, but what is really present in my mind is the tanginess of the tomatoes. I can still taste them. It was much more than just breakfast.