Archive for February, 2006

Mazatlan

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

We arrived in Mazatlan on the second day of Carnival, which is supposed to be the biggest party outside of Rio. Lucky us. Approaching in the wee hours, we were actually able to hear Mazatlan before we were able to really see it. The streets were filled with scaffolding and temporary party structures and stages. Daylight hours were spent checking the massive sound systems with whatever nightmarish pop the sound dude had on hand, restocking the thousands of cases of Modelo Especial, and clearing the debris from the night before. As evening approached, the streets along the Malecon were blocked off, souvenir stands set up along the streets lining the free side of the party and sold random crap like kewpie dolls or cowpunk hats, and by around midnight, half that Modelo had been consumed and the town pretty much went apeshit. Food stands sold gorditas (weird fat little pancake/patty/biscuit things), salted nuts, and hot dogs. We were hard pressed to find tacos and this was a shock after La Paz.

We spent a couple of days wandering all over old town Mazatlan and got near the Carnival party when after it was blocked off but didn’t really feel like entering. The crowds on the outside were enough and I was not feeling all that optimistic about the selection of live music on the inside based on the crowds of drunk and tarted up teenagers. I guess I’m officially old now.

Here are some photos we took.

Balcony Mazatlan, Mexico

We visited Mazatlan once before in 1996. After a long bus ride from Tijuana, we arrived during a torrential downpour; we waded across the street to the nearest hotel (possibly this hotel was called “The Moldy Cockroach”) and promptly passed out for several hours. When we came to, it was still pouring but we felt like we should see something of the place so we got our rain gear on and started walking. The wrong way. We ended up in an area called ‘dorado beach’ or something like that; it’s the developed tourist section of town and a long way from the main center of Mazatlan. By the time we got there, we were hungry and there was nowhere to eat except freakish mega-resort restaurants and American fast food chains. We were thoroughly traumatized by the experience and left Mazatlan the next day. We’ve held the opinion that Mazatlan is a total dive ever since but then we had no idea that we were never really in Mazatlan.

Um, the point of all that was: Behold The Quaint!! Building in Old Town.

Cool building in Mazatlan, Mexico

As it turns out, downtown Mazatlan is really very nice. The market is large and functional (actually has normal market fare and not just shot glasses and sombreros) and in a cool art nouveau-ish building. Buildings around town were varied and interesting with a lot of colonial, neo-classical, and art deco facades.

Cool Graffiti in Mazatlan, Mexico

There was some cool graffiti in Mazatlan.

Abandoned Building Mazatlan, Mexico

There were also a lot of abandonadas, many of them being consumed by their own gardens.


Mazatlan

Friday, February 24th, 2006

We arrived in Mazatlan at 5:00 this morning just in time for carnival.

Our fishing luck seems to have turned around. We hooked two sierras on our way into Playa Bonanza. We got one on deck but the other fucked off with our rapala. That thing cost $20 and only caught 2 fish. Oh well, I guess you have to expect it. Hopefully it will be a bonus for some mexican fisherman.

We left Punta Bonanza at about 7:00 toward Mazatlan and just as we were rounding the northern tip of Isla Cerralvo we caught 2 bonito. We threw one back and left the lures in the water. Later we caught our first dorado which made a great breakfast especially since we had butter. Mmmm. Butter. Mmmm. Dorado.

We left with a norther because we didn’t want to end up motoring the whole way. The wind was nice 15-25 kts nnw but the seas were pretty ugly. 6-8 ft and steep (about 5s).

Day 2 was better. Especially because we caught our first yellow-fin tuna. I had to wake up Cheyenne to steer while I reeled it in. However, cleaning the thing in those seas was a mess. I was completely covered in fish blood. Yummy though so it was worth it. We’ve been having seared tuna for every meal with no end in sight. The bonito will have to wait.


Concerning Nutella

Monday, February 20th, 2006

The best way to cut down on your Nutella intake is to first, finish off all the Nutella you have on your boat.


Salads that do not use lettuce

Monday, February 20th, 2006

“Greek” Salad, or in order to avoid the wrath of authenticalistas, “Greek-like Salad”

(Ingredient amounts, by the way, are based upon approximately a two-person serving size; two persons without refrigeration—meaning, however much I make is always the right amount and there are never left-overs.)

- 1 healthy-sized cucumber, cut into cubes (I’m on a dice/cube jag lately; cut the cucumbers how you like)
- 1 roma tomato, chopped fine
- Some onion, minced (if you have red onion, you can cut them into more aesthetic sliceys)
- Bell pepper if you have it, or some poplano, or not… Um, cut this one into nice little half-circle things (to compliment the cubish look we have going with the cucumbers)

Dressing:
-Lime juice (one small lime’s worth)
-Red wine vinegar
-Olive oil
-Garlic clove, smished
-Bit of salt and ground black pepper
Toss this all around and put a handful or two of toasted pinenuts over the top.

Papaya Salad a la Jasmine

Salad recipe without lettuce

My ‘food porn’ photos need some work. Objects in the photos are tastier than they may appear.

We were over chatting with Jasmine and Shannon once and ended up staying for an impromptu early dinner/snack/late lunch that was so elaborate that it included two different salads!! This recipe is a variation on one of these; I’ve adjusted it a little to accommodate ingredients that I seem to have (or not have) around.

- 1/2 papaya cut into cubes (set aside a spoonful or so of papaya seeds)
- 1/2 jicama cut into smaller cubes than the papaya cubes
- 1-2 chives, sliced finely
- Generous handful of cilantro, chopped
- If you have red or yellow bell pepper, add some of this, sliced finely; I sometimes use poblano or just leave it out
- 1 avocado, cut into chunks and added last

Dressing:
- Smish the papaya seeds with a mortor and pestle. They’ll look fairly nasty.
- Smish one clove of garlic
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- A bit of sugar or honey (depending upon how sweet your balsamic already is), a little salt, and black pepper to taste

Mix everything together, except the avocado. Add the avocado at the very end and mix gently once more. It’s good if you have some roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to put over the top.


Let’s Cooking! = Salsa

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Fresh Salsa Recipe

Here we are in Mexico and eating Mexican food when out and about. Then we bring back veggies and market goods to the boat and make… Mexican food. Or a variation thereof. I’m not sure why but I don’t seem to be terribly homesick for American food, unless you count sushi or pho, which is what we typically ate back in the states.

Breakfasts on the boat consist usually of egg tacos. We actually regularly made these in the states so this is not a “We’re in Mexico and going to make tacos” phenomenon. I don’t seem to get tired of them and we stray from this paradigm only maybe twice per month.

Egg tacos: (Very very simple)

* Tortillas (warmed, of course)
* Scrambled eggs (we do these plain because Joshua is a maniac for unadulterated eggs; scrambled is pushing it by his standards.)
* Salsa.

We’re salsa fiends here and so on very plain days, the salsa variety will consist of some bottled variety (‘hot sauce’ like Tabasco, except we don’t have Tabasco; we have Tapatio’s—my current favorite, a habanero, and a chipotle open), as well as a canned variety. In Mexico you can buy 6oz cans of various salsas (usually mild in spiciness) like salsa casera (cooked mild tomatoey salsa), verde (tomatillo), 5-chili (made with dried chilis and vinegary), chipotle, etc. We stock these things regularly and go through them. If we’re (I’m) feeling fancy, I’ll make some sort of fresh salsa. And I’ll also put together some sort of guacamole, if there are avocados about. And possibly a couple of cabbage leaves chopped finely to sprinkle on top; that’s pretty good. Maybe a lime wedge or two squeezed over the tacos might be nice (keep that scurvy away!!).

** That’s it! Now put them together. The only trick maybe is timing; making sure everything (except the salsa) is warm is a good start. I’m not sick of these yet and we’ve been eating them for years.

When we do not have egg tacos for breakfast, it is usually because we ate an entire package of cookies while drinking our coffee and feel sort of sick. Or else I made oatmeal instead. Oatmeal consumption, however, will surely go down now that we discovered that maple syrup, when not refrigerated, will grow a funky powdery mold over the top and begin to taste funny. Maple syrup had been our preferred oatmeal topping. So sad!

Some salsa recipes

Here are a couple of salsa recipes made from ingredients that are commonly found in the typical Baja market.

Salsa Number One:
1 roma tomato, diced
2 cute little yellow peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (those yellow peppers have zero hotness)
1 green onion, sliced finely
Cilantro, one handful, chopped finely
–Put all this into the salsa bowl, then add:
Juice of one Mexican lime (that means the little kind)
Healthy toss of chili powder
Dash or two of cumin
Salt to taste.
–Nice and mix, nice and mix.

Salsa Number Two, which is VERY different from Number One:

1 or 2 small roma tomatoes, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 or 2 jalapenos (depending upon how hot your Poblano was), diced
Some minced onion, whatever you have around
(You can add cilantro if you have it, but I’ll leave it out just to stress how VERY different from that other salsa this one is)
–Put all this into the salsa bowl and add:
Juice of one Mexican lime, chili powder and cumin (equal parts), one smished garlic clove, and salt.
–Then add one half to one avocado, chopped into cubes. Adding it at the end keeps it from disintegrating into the salsa. However, I do like it to disintegrate so I add it usually after the jalapenos; it gives the salsa a creamy consistency.

Fresh Peppers

These are the peppers I normally buy. The bell peppers don’t keep very long so I generally go with the poblano (that’s the dark green warped one). The light colored yellow pepper is very mild but tasty and the long medium green one is also mild.


Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell