• Glenn Wilson
    August 11, 2019
    OxBow Farm: How to turn Corn into Tortillas, Basic Recipe and Process


    Bonnie Lee Black: According to a Mayan creation myth, the gods went through a trial-and-error process in creating mankind.

    At first, they tried forming man from mud, but that wasn’t successful. This initial effort only resulted in a man that was weak and mindless and didn’t hold up in the rain.

    Then they tried making man from wood. This creature was stronger, but he lacked the spark the gods were looking for.

    Finally, after much discussion, the Mayan gods crafted man from corn, which provided him with strength, intelligence and agility. Thus, the human race was born.
    The WOW Factor Tortilla Story.

    Have you ever wondered about how to make tortillas or tamales from scratch? It is a lot more work than using prepared Maseca. It’s an artform and it takes time. A lot of time. Our friends at Cal y Maiz specialize in heirloom corn, and showed us how to make masa at high altitude.

    The heirloom corn varieties Cal y Maiz works with are grown in the small state of Tlaxcala east of Mexico City. There are a variety of colors; white, yellow, pink, blue, black and red.
    How to Make Masa and Tortillas at High Altitude

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 11, 2019

    When I first started making this dish in the United States, some of the ingredients were hard to source. Today, nearly 45 years later, the ingredients for picadillo are easily available in almost any supermarket. Starting with the bowl of ground pork at about seven o'clock in the photograph and moving clockwise, you see the raw meat, Mexican cinnamon sticks, bright orange carrots all but hidden in the dish, chiles serrano, Roma tomatoes, white potatoes, a Red Delicious apple, raisins and dried cranberries, freshly dried hoja de laurel (bay leaves), a whole white onion, and, in the little dish in the right-center foreground, freshly dried Mexican oregano. I dried the bay leaves and the oregano myself, but you can make substitutions: use ground cinnamon rather than the cinnamon sticks, store-bought bay leaves, and the oregano you normally use instead of the Mexican type; the rest of the ingredients are commonplace.

    Hash of all kinds is one of the most comfortable of comfort foods, and the hash called picadillo (the word means 'a little something chopped-up') is simply Mexico's slightly more rambunctious cousin. This picadillo recipe is always forgiving, always flexible. Prepare it with ground beef, ground pork, or a combination of the two meats. Use more potatoes, fewer carrots, an extra tomato (or two, if the ones you have are quite small). Don't care for olives? Leave them out. But by all means do try picadillo: it's a far cry from your mother's canned corned beef hash.
    Mexico Cooks! Picadillo :: Mexican Homemade Hash, It's What's for Dinner!

    If you’ve never tried picadillo before, this is a recipe you’ll want to add to your recipe collection asap. Immediately. Like, stop reading and write down “Mexican Picadillo” somewhere so you don’t forget to do it later.

    I’m serious!

    I am totally hooked on picadillo for a number of reasons. First, it’s incredibly delicious. Second, it is MASSIVE on the spiciness factor, and by spicy, I don’t necessarily mean HOT, but see #1 – FLAVOR.

    Oh Baby! Third, it’s pretty darned easy to make, and you guys already KNOW I’m a pretty slow cook in the kitchen, so if something is quick and easy for the most part, it’s that much better for me.
    Chili Pepper Madness Mexican Picadillo.

    This recipe for Mexican Picadillo is spicy and flavorful. Served with tortillas, rice, and beans.

    It’s a winning dish that is perfect for weeknight dinners and family gatherings.

    Watch the VIDEO to learn how to make this Mexican food classic.
    Mamá Maggie's Kitchen Mexican Picadillo + VIDEO.

    Lentil Picadillo Tacos by Piloncillo & Vainilla


    Lentil Picadillo is a vegetarian take on the classic Mexican recipe.

    If you aren’t familiar with picadillo, it is a traditional Latin American dish that translates to mincement. Every country has their own variation of it but they all usually have ground beef, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes. Some versions add raisins and olives to the mix.

    Hector grew up eating picadillo at least once a week. It was one of his favorites and he said there is no way that picadillo can have lentils. It just isn’t going to happen.
    Thyme & Love Lentil Picadillo.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 10, 2019

    Just after 6am, Victor Funez fills a three-gallon plastic pitcher with water from a tap in the cemetery, balances it on his head and trudges home, where his wife waits to soak maize kernels so she can make tortillas for breakfast.

    Funez, 38, stops briefly to help his daughter with some homework before heading back to the cemetery with the pink urn. This load fills large plastic milk and juice bottles used for drinking throughout the day.

    The tap is the family’s only source of water, so Funez makes the journey along the dusty dirt road 15 to 20 times each day.

    “My husband’s job is to fetch the water so I can do the housework. It’s like this every day, all day,” said Bianca Lopez, 46. “We can live without electricity – we have candles and lamps – but water, that’s essential.”

    Continue reading at The Guardian Running dry: Living without water: the crisis pushing people out of El Salvador

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 10, 2019
    Homemade Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos) is one of the easiest and yummiest Mexican foods to make. This creamy and vegetarian recipe makes a perfect side dish to any meal.


    Refried beans are a staple in Mexican cooking. The word “refritos” means “well-fried.” It does not mean “fried again.”

    Here’s a simple vegetarian recipe for Frijoles Refritos (or refried beans) that are delicious and good for you too.

    You can always buy a can of pinto beans. That is sacrilegious in my family and most Mexican families. Fresh is the only way in Mexican cooking. But, canned beans are a huge time-saver.

    Mamá Maggie's Kitchen Refried Beans (or Frijoles Refritos).

    Mexican Refried Beans. How to Make Mexican Refried Beans

    Jauja Cocina Mexicana

    If you use a Pressure Cooker to cook the beans:
    There will be more cracked beans than pinto beans cooked on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.

    They are also more mushy, but if you’re making yummy and creamy refried beans or sticking them in a soup, this isn’t a problem.

    Full natural release is better than quick release. It will help prevent all of the above.

    Mamá Maggie's Kitchen Instant Pot Pinto Beans NO SOAK.

    Also see There were beans, beans, as big as…

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 9, 2019
    gpuy8742heolzig0.jpg
    Calzada de la Aurora near Mario Talavera.

    Joseph Toone: Gamboling with my ferocious (pun intended, he’s a walking stuffed toy) dog, Jasper, on Aurora today I noticed the parking lot was for sale that features my favorite historical mural. Before it disappears I wanted to explain how what appears to be a typical San Miguel parade is really a Reader’s Digest version of local history.

    Naturally the parade starts at the Parroquia, named for the town’s namesake, St. Michael on whose feast day the Battle of Barbarians ended in 1530 gaining the area our moniker, San Miguel.

    Beneath the church is a profile of man, typical indigenous art of the Pre-Hispanic era. The lad is being devoured by a dragon. Specifically St. Martha’s dragon, a world-wide legend that came over with the Spanish, of how St. Martha represented the Church destroying all previous and pagan religious beliefs.

    Continue reading at Joseph Toone Tours Fun History in Murals,

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 8, 2019
    Regular reader, neighbor, and good friend Madeline Poley sent me the link for today's recipe with the note: "Obviously not vegan, but an easy, tasty recipe your might want to put on FAQ." Maddy knows a thing or two about food, so here is Summer Bolognese.


    Think of this weeknight-friendly pasta recipe as a lighter take on the classic Italian ragù that features cherry tomatoes, a red chile for some heat, and tons of fresh basil. It will also take you under an hour to make!
    bon apetít Summer Bolognese.

    "Obviously not vegan ..." But, with a few changes for those so inclined ...


    "with nooch replacing parm"? What the Heck is Nooch?

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 7, 2019

    ... Le Potager de Charlotte, where a signature appetizer is the avocat facon oeuf mimosa, a “deviled egg” avocado with turmeric-yellow hummus taking the place of the mashed yolk, and toasted squash seeds for crunch. I serve a bunch of them on a platter, with spoons for eating, for brunch; they look so appetizing and are always the first item to disappear.

    More, including the recipe at Deviled Avocado.

    I haven't tried this recipe but I have had avocado with hummus in a tortilla. I've also tried it on toast. A nice combo, but rather rich for my taste to serve "with spoons for eating" without something to spread it on or mix it with.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 7, 2019


    As night falls on Laguna Azul, an ecotourism lodge on the outskirts of the Mexican hamlet of Nanacamilpa, it looks like rain, and a group of eight tourists nervously watch the sky. Their guides look unconcerned. Cold rain makes for a miserable walk, but the fireflies love it.

    A younger guide introduces himself in a strong voice as an older one looks on, leaning on a thick walking stick. The guide lists the basic rules of the tour: walk only on the path, no wandering, no music, no alcohol, no insect repellent, no lamps, and absolutely no cell phones. Any light, even that of a cell phone display, can distract the fireflies.

    National Geographic How Fireflies Are Keeping This Tiny Mexican Town Alive

    "Generally the season is from the last week of June until the first week of August."
    Hacienda Ixtafiayuca Firefly sanctuary FAQ
    Just missed it? Maybe next year?

    For many, fireflies are harbingers of summer, their tiny twinkles of light softly illuminating warm evenings. Their magic goes beyond simple wonder. Scientists have put the beetles’ alchemy—they’re not actually flies—to work in the lab, too.

    There are fireflies on all continents except Antarctica, but not everyone has experienced this phosphorescent phenomenon, and if recent trends are any indication, the firefly population is in danger of fading away. (Though this year has been a good one, at least in the US, for fireflies.)

    Let’s shed some light on these enchanting insects.
    Quartz Obsession Fireflies.

    More in the category Nature.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 5, 2019

    At sunrise, the misty fields around the village of Guior are already dotted with men, women and children sowing maize after an overnight rainstorm.

    After several years of drought, the downpour brought some hope of relief to the subsistence farmers in this part of eastern Guatemala.

    But as Esteban Gutiérrez, 30, takes a break from his work, he explains why he is still willing to incur crippling debts – and risk his life – to migrate to the United States.

    “My children have gone to bed hungry for the past three years. Our crops failed and the coffee farms have cut wages to $4 a day,” he says, playing nervously with the white maize kernels in a plastic trough strapped to his waist.

    “We hope the harvest will be good, but until then we have only one quintal [46kg] of maize left – which is barely enough for a month. I have to find a way to travel north, or else my children will suffer even more.”

    Continue reading at The Guardian Running Dry: 'People are dying': how the climate crisis has sparked an exodus to the US.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 5, 2019
    This space is available to promote your group, club, event, charity, art, business, rental, sale, lost pet, etc. SMA FAQ currently has over one thousand members and subscribers plus many non-registered readers.

    Any member can create a new post, like this one, and comment on existing posts. There is no cost.

    It is pretty straightforward, but if you want detailed instructions see Creating Discussions and Comments. If you have questions or need technical assistance let me know. I'd be glad to help. You can leave a comment here or you can send me a direct message by clicking on my name then Send a Message.

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