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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Roadkill Flat but Tasty Chicken

I can say it. I was pissed. The Chicken Man ran out of chicken last weekend.

I'll start from the beginning.

I have cut out breads and pastas and sugar from my diet in an attempt to feel less lethargic. I used to have so much energy. Where did it all go? I had my thyroid tested last month - it's fine. I suspect that the intense heat of August in Mazatlan has something to do with it, but this has actually been going on since January. I just don't feel tip top. So, off I go to yoga 6 days a weeks and a huge adjustment in my diet is just what I need to feel perky and bouncy, I think.

And I actually do feel a little better - until I cook dinner for the family. Cooking for my family is usually enjoyable - until I can't eat it. But mind of matter - I have the weekend to look forward to.

Every Saturday and Sunday are the days that we can buy the roadkill flat but tasty chicken. The Chicken Man sets up his chicken stand early in the morning. His customers line up around noon. He will sell every single one of his broke-back grilled chickens. And tomorrow, the same. Do you know how I know?? That's right - there were only a few skinny wings left when I arrived last weekend. There was a table full of customers licking their greasy fingers and sucking meatless bones - showing off, no doubt. It was all I could do not to weep in public. I stormed back to the car and resisted the urge to blame my husband.

So, watching the clock closely this Saturday Jim and I sped to the little sidewalk grill where I was finally able to buy my grilled chicken. I don't know what it is about this style of Mexican chicken that has my taste buds wrapped around it's little wishbone, but it is darn good! Juicy, smoky, not too greasy - served with a side of rice, chopped lettuce and homemade corn tortillas - it is divine.

Jim and I first discovered the Mexican roadkill flat and tasty chicken in 2006 when we did a road trip down this side of Mexico. Anytime we saw prostrate poultry out-stretched on indirect heat sources, we'd skid to the side of the road and make a run for it before the other tourists got wind of the savory flavors.

We loved this chicken so much that we made it at home when we returned. Now that our grill on the boat is out of commission, I am happy to go to visit the Chicken Man every Saturday and Sunday. They've gone up to 75 pesos an order, but a whole uncooked chicken in the grocery costs 80 pesos or so. And, I don't have to cook.

Here's a link to a recipe for roadkill flat but tasty chicken.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Fun Article I Wrote

Kathy Parsons contacted me and asked me to write an article for her website: Women & Cruising. The site is dedicated cruising women (of course) and has a lot of resources for first time cruisers in particular, but offers tips, webinars, seminars, and entertaining articles for neophytes and veteran sailors both. Kathy is well known in the cruising community for her books: Spanish for Cruisers and French for Cruisers. Yes, we own the Spanish for Cruisers and have used it repeatedly to help find boat parts in Mexico.

Here's my latest article: FEAR IN THE WAY

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day Trip into the Jungle

Yes - I finally have something to write about other than food, the humidity and the heat. Hallelujah!

Since Jim and the kids have returned from Arizona, we have been doing boat projects fairly steadily. Our plan, though loosely woven, is to head south at the end of October. By south, I mean Central America. The list is endless, it seems. Every time we mark a project 'completed', we add another three items to the list. Because we have so many things to do, Jim bought a car in the states and drove it down so we can more easily acquire equipment and manage our time more efficiently. And with a car -  Day Trips!
Carolyne enjoying the peace and quiet 

Church in Concordia built in 1700's

We took a day trip to Concordia and then Copala, the first being only 45 minutes from Mazatlan and the second being only 1 1 /2 hours. We were a bit reluctant because we have friends who went in May and the report was fair at best. But, we just had to get off the boat. Now that we have wheels, it seems a shame not to take advantage of some inland travel. Having a dog and cat on board really pares down our options and the length of time we can be away. Anyone who plans to bring a pet along cruising should really consider this disadvantage. Bailey is so old and lame now that she needs to be carried up and down the cockpit several times a day. This makes it hard to have someone care for her while we are away.
Jungle people (Tim is at the age where he doesn't like his photo taken)

Cobblestone streets

Concordia, (the town only 45 minutes from Mazatlan), is an extension of the big tourist city. Though the streets are quaint, the plaza and church a reminder of 18th century Mexico, and numerous pottery and furniture artisans are lined up along the highway in clusters - this town was a bit of a disappointment. Of course, it's not tourist season and many of the stores were closed (not that we're interested in buying anything other than food or boat parts right now), but the experience was not even marginally exciting. The American looking coffee shop was closed. Perhaps without my morning java I was a bit less exuberant and my outlook on life in general suffered.

What was very exciting was the flora and fauna. The result of all the rain we've had lately has the countryside looking like a giant terrerium. It is something out of a movie. Jim made several stops along the way so to take photos. Managing decent photos out the buggy splattered windshield was futile (with rain comes critters). The mountains, hills, valleys, dales, glens and roadsides are - very green.

We ambled up the road to Copala, a small skeleton of one of the first mining towns in Mexico. And -  yet another colonial church. This town was charming. Darling little colonial homes nestled themselves along cobblestone streets. It was picturesque and quiet. I was going to take pictures of the church inside, but a woman there tried to take my church donation from me as I was putting it in the donation box. Ticked me off so I left. (I really should have had my morning coffee!) Folks in this town were a little more pushy about selling their wares. As much as I understand why, it turns me off to go somewhere and be bothered or pestered by peddlers selling knick knacks and Chinese made plastic doodles.
Church in Copala built in 1748

Concordia is known for their handmade furniture. I think this one is a prop.

We stopped at  a mango stand along the way. For 25 pesos, you can buy yourself 12 or so large juicy mangos. We stopped so that I could take photos of the make shift stands and wooden crates of yellow, red and green mangos. I was so enthralled with the fruit and the sweet vendor that I forgot to take a photo. (Coffee!)

For anyone afraid of driving on roads in Mexico, be afraid - be very afraid. No, I'm not speaking of banditos. I'm talking about the asses on the road.
This is a familiar scene. Free range cattle are interested in eating  along the roadside.

These little burros are mildly annoyed that we interrupted their snack

Livestock is everywhere. They run wild and free and are sometimes seen turned insideout along the highways or smeared across the yellow dividing line. Our rule is that we don't drive at night in Mexico because they enjoy the warmth of the asphalt as the temps drop in the evening.