• 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
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    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.

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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.
  • Glenn Wilson
    August 4, 2019
    This is a Mexican flanera (flan pan). It's made of aluminum; the lid fastens down with a hinged clamp. If you have one, use it. If you don't, you can use any kind of oven-proof pan that holds about two liters. It need not have a lid. That's San Pascual Baylón, the patron saint of the kitchen, in the background. He can be especially helpful at the moment you turn the chilled flan onto the serving platter.

    Start by caramelizing the sugar in a heavy pan. This is an 8" enameled cast iron omelet pan; it's been in the pantry for nearly 20 years and, for this purpose, works better than any other pan in the kitchen. Just dump the sugar into your pan over very low heat; when you see that the sugar begins to melt a bit around the edges, move the pan a little to redistribute the sugar so that it caramelizes as evenly as possible.
    Mexico Cooks! Orange Coconut Flan :: The Best Flan Ever!

    Both crème caramel (French 'caramel cream') and flan are French names, but flan has come to have different meanings in different regions.

    In Spanish-speaking countries and in The United States of America, flan refers to crème caramel. This was originally a Spanish usage, but the dish is now best known in the United States in a Latin American context. Elsewhere, including in Britain, a flan is a type of tart somewhat like a quiche.
    Wikipedia: Crème caramel.


    All Recipes: Baked Flan.

    Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.
    In a pan, heat the cup of sugar over low heat until it achieves the consistency of caramel. It takes a while, but don’t leave it unattended and move the pan as it begins to melt. Once it looks like caramel and is melted, decide how dark and strong you want the caramel to be. The lighter the color of the caramel, the lighter flavor. But be careful because if it gets too dark it can taste bitter and can burn quickly. Take it off the heat and pour it into the bottom of a flan or round tube mold or into 10 individual custard cups. Do so quickly, since caramel hardens fast.
    Pati Jinch Orange and Almond Flan

    Also from Pati Jinch Coffee Flan with Tequila Whipped Cream. Leave out the coffee and tequila for a traditional flan.

    Want flan but don't want to cook?
    774s1upqzhdu1c7v.jpg
    Flan at Tacos Don Felix.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    August 2, 2019
    The first Saturday of every month Fábrica La Aurora hosts their open house and Art Walk.


    What used to be a textile factory, today houses canvases, sculptures and artisan products of great artists who live in San Miguel.
    Fábrica La Aurora

    84zwf41tgjfjvvr7.jpg
    I chase contrast, abhor symmetry and reject perfection. The process begins with a concept – at times vague, at times distinct – and involves discovery, observation and alteration. The process ends with a visual that is visceral, intuitive and open to interpretation.
    Dana W Ball Artist
    "You need some of his art in your house."

    In 1902 this was a textile factory and some of the original industrial machinery has been left in the renovated Fábrica La Aurora, which reopened in 1990 with galleries, furniture, design stores, a bookstore, cafe, exhibition spaces, and studios for local artists.
    Travel and Leisure Fábrica La Aurora


    The largest concentration of contemporary art galleries and design studios (mainly expatriates’ work) is housed in the trendy Fábrica La Aurora, a remodeled raw-cotton factory on the north end of town.
    Lonely Planet Fábrica La Aurora



    Atención Fábrica la Aurora Summer Event

    Google Maps | Trip Advisor | Website

    Galleries and Open Spaces
    every day from 10am to 6pm and Sundays from 10am to 5pm

    Fábrica la Aurora
    Calz. de la Aurora s/n S.M.A., Gto.
    México
    Tel. (415) 152 13 12

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