I am writing this blog for the love of life, food, the moon, Baja California, cooking, writing and sharing with friends, and of course for fun.
Where I am living in Mexico I have to be creative when it comes to preparing food. I laugh and call it foraging as there are only 5 tiny little tiendas( stores) here to buy food so some time each day is spent touring the stores for what is available to cook. When I say tiny, I mean smaller than most living rooms. A few do not have refrigeration, food is kept in coolers with ice they make in blocks and break over the food. In the same cooler one finds, milk, hot dogs, tortillas, cheese and bacon. It is fun to take the time to shop as I can also chat with friends, get caught up on the local news and drive around town to see if there is anything new. At times the stores are nearly empty, or at least have nothing we want. We always count on fish or some kind of sea food for the main course. We catch the fish, buy the shrimp or what ever comes to us. We have greens in the garden but not everything needed to complete a meal. For the most part we can eat wonderful whole food all of the time. We could drive 100 plus miles to the bigger towns to shop but we really have all we need here. Maybe I want scallions but I can’t have them unless they are in the garden or on Wed and Friday when the supplies come to town. I have learned to be there on those days if I want a papaya or fresh cilantro, everything goes fast. The town is growing, a lot of Americans retiring here or spending the winter, the Mexicans having children. There is always enough food to go around. We now have a community garden which I will write about. What the members pick each week is shared and the rest is given to the local people.
Living in a small fishing village and a prolific bay allows us to eat fresh food from the sea every day. Various types of fish canbe caught from a boat or from the shore. A favorite is Corvina, a type of bass which can be caught by standing on the cliff at high tide if one has developed the skill to fling them up to the top of the cliff and not loose favorite lures. We can go out to sea sometimes as near as one mile in the zodiac or from 4-20 miles out in a bigger boat. The Mexican Panga is a safe, efficient boat used by the fishermen each day to haul many kilos of fish, stack lobster traps and hold plenty of hombres and gear. The mexicans are always enthusiastic about taking a gringo fishing just for the price of gas and some Tecates. Small pacific halibut up to about 10 lbs are caught by standing at the shore and surf casting. We do the sting ray shuffle as those little ankle biters can slash your foot with a barb on the tail if disturbed in the sand in shallow water. This is not that common but we are always on the alert. It seems we each get a turn sooner or later.
Yellow fin tuna, or atun simply, is our favorite a close second is Dorado, called Mahi mahi or dolphin fish in other parts of the world. Yellow tail or Jurel in Spanish, a good fish if you are careful not to overcook. Summertime brings wahoo, a lovely tasting fish of light flesh and heavy texture. All year the verdio or green bass is caught here, a cabria now and then, pargo, snapper, bacoco with it’s armour- like skin is good if you don’t try to skin it. Just gut it and BBQ the whole thing and pick out the meat. The shrimp trawlers make their way to the bay for respite from wind and big seas and to provision so they share the bounty of the sea by selling to us, camerones, shrimp in many sizes, we prefer of course the 6 inch long fat ones called blues, or cafe, brown. The little ones are good for peel and eat. Lobster is taken here by the co-operative , we are allowed to buy the ones that are too short to sell to the broker. In the months of Dec- march we can enjoy lobster dinner now and then.
Ahhhh- AHI — yellow fin tuna is an all time favorite of mine. Starting with sashimi soon after it is caught to seared small bites we call ‘tuna bites’ and boy do I have a recipe you will enjoy if you like pepper. The versatile tuna can be spiced and cooked multiple ways. Friends in another town catch so much of it they bottle and water bath process to have on reserve. We prefer to eat it fresh if possible or quick freeze it to use later but not in the freezer more that a few weeks.
Look on my page titled Comida…..the food we love for recipes until I get this blog thing figured out !