Cheap Thrills Away From Home

Nick proudly announces that he’d never paid more than $100 apiece for Broadway tickets. Marty insists that $409 for a single ticket to a single seat for Book of Mormon was a real bargain. That was still above my comfort zone, given that amount’s darn close to a partial pair of Ferragamos. Or a week’s worth of Skechers. Or maybe a sack of items at Sephora. I’ve got my priorities, you know. Debt and the kind of culture that generates reviews in places like The New Yorker just aren’t among them.

I’m not part of the lumpen proletariat, I do have an American Express gold card, have flown first class, have bought a Gucci purse or three, have owned French and Tumi luggage, and always check my baggage, frequently more than a single piece. I’ve never stayed at a hostel or Airbnb, because that’s just too close to camping. I prefer to stay at nice hotels, and if I can’t do as well or better than what I have at home, there’s no point in leaving home.

People are always asking if I caught some high-culture event or ate at some restaurant in TripAdvisor’s top ten when I’ve left home, even those who know me well enough to know what my answer will be. Upon returning from San Miguel de Allende, about 150 miles up the road from home, friends will ask about the great restaurants I ate at, only to roll their eyes when I tell them about the take-out grilled chicken from a roadhouse or a tapas bar at a swank grocery store.

My holidays are filled with regular things, regular meals at regular places, and souvenirs are just as likely to be regular stuff. What did I bring home from my last trip to Medellin? Shelf-stable fruit purees, cotton hand towels, antibiotics, some bar soap, a book about Frida Kahlo’s love affair with Trotsky, and a pair of porcelain monkeys. Plastic storage containers, odd condiments, bobèches, hot pads, wire whisks, hair brushes, eyeliner, and unique kitchen tools have found their way into my baggage on other trips, each bearing a tale guaranteed to bore any listener.

Shopping malls may be dying in the United States, but they’re thriving in Latin America and elsewhere. And they rank among my favorite destinations whenever I’m away from home. I’ll research what shopping malls to hit, because the mall is my version of high culture, a sporting event, and a self-guided tour all rolled into one. Malls are an opportunity to see ordinary people, local folks doing quotidian things, even if sometimes there might be a free concert, seldom lasting more than 20 minutes, which is long enough for musical entertainment anyway. Malls are microcosms of society, town centers, and harbor much more than mere mercantile.  Nail salons, beauty parlors, art exhibits, coffee shops, and nice restaurants beckon. At least one full day will be spent at a mall, no matter where I’m going.

Buenos Aires’ Patio Bullrich, Galerías Pacífico, Paseo Alcorta, Alto Palermo, El Solar de la Abadía. Montevideo’s Punta Carretas Shopping, Town Center in Boca Raton, Medellin’s El Tesoro Parque Comercial, Queretaro’s Antea Lifestyle Center, The Galleria in Houston, Honolulu’s Ala Moana Shopping Center, Denver’s Cherry Creek Center, Bogota’s Centro Comercial Andino and Hacienda Santa Barbara. I’d rather spend hours at any one of them (and have) than at the Met or the Getty Center. And advance reservations, long lines and admissions never come into the picture.

Even down-market malls have a certain appeal. The Centro Comercial Palacio Nacional is in the heart of the downtown Medellin harbors an amazing collection of the tackiest merchandise you’ll ever see, but the stores aren’t the point. Because it really did start out as the national palace, you’re really there for the architecture.

Give me a day at El Corte Ingles, and I’m better entertained than I would’ve been at the Prado. Far more exciting than a museum, a wander through Harrods’ Egyptian Hall and Crystal Rooms costs nothing. The architecture of the flagship El Palacio de Hierro in Mexico City is breath-taking. Even high-end drug and dime stores like Boots and Sanborns harbor treasures I know I won’t find at home.

I’m impelled to search out Chinatowns wherever I go: Chicago, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Calgary, London. San Francisco and China don’t have the franchise on Chinatown.

Even grocery stores, ranging from little corner abarrotes, bodegas, kioskos, to supermarkets and all the way up to Carrefour, are mustn’t-miss cultural attractions. It’s fascinating to explore new produce items, puzzle over why the meat department is filled with tons of cured meat, chuckle over the offerings over on the gourmet aisle (Pace picante salsa and hard taco shells, anyone?), gaze upon twelve kinds of quinoa, inspect interesting crackers and cookies.  I’m still sporting shopping bags from Carulla with the same pride that attaches to those from Draeger’s Market and Trader Joe’s.

Always beckoning are antique stores and thrift shops, even more entertaining when I’m on a mission. I shop for monkeys, most often the ones impersonating humans. One friend is always on the prowl for Hawaiian shirts, another for antique brandy snifters, and yet another has yet to see a Breyer horse that she can’t pass up.

Finding yourself in an odd part of town filled with stores you never knew existed – one specializing in belts, another in dog collars, one selling zippers and only zippers, and yet another specializing in cabinet pulls with a door knob store next door—is magic. I’ve taken taxis clear across town to visit a Home Depot-esque places in foreign countries, just to see what’s selling, satisfying my curiosity about what a stove might cost, pawing through the garden department for seeds not sold where I live.

Street vendors call out to me. I rarely buy, but I always gawk. A cure-all made from live snail ooze, battery-operated electric flyswatters, lighted walking sticks, a pistol that shoots soap bubbles, cell phone time, pirated merchandise, sponge rats, fake eyelashes in fantasy colors.

The organ grinder mesmerizes me, always evoking the memory of one I saw years ago with live bear tethered to the organ.

Hippie and flea markets may be the same the world over, all surely run by some worldwide hippie market syndicate that prescribes the essentials: candles, soap, odd oils and potions, incense, chocolates, tisanes, herbal remedies, musical instruments made out of gourds by political prisoners, patchouli and El Condor Pasa wafting through the air, indigenous clothing, and some craft made from recycled materials like vinyl records or wooden lasts.

There’s a blessing somewhere for those fortunate to watch a living statue set up at the beginning of a shift and deconstructed at the end.

And then there are the hardcore markets: Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Mexico City’s La Lagunilla Sunday antiques market, which means donning combat clothing, checking anything of value back at the hotel. These are living, breathing museums where all sorts of treasures are for sale.

I don’t understand why people take guided tours when striking out on your own is so much more fun. There’s no cheaper and more interesting way to see a city than by hopping on a commuter train or bus and riding to the end of the line or until boredom sets in and then dovetailing back.

Sunday tango in the streets of San Telmo, a Cuban a capella concert in Merida, a dog show in Sevilla, the juggler playing a harmonica while riding a unicycle in Amsterdam, and a bazaar of new designs and a clown workshop in Bogota all provided lasting memories without costing a dime. Even right here in my hometown of Morelia, fascinating and free entertainment abounds. Grown people, some of them even doctors and lawyers, painting designs on fabric, the stuff I’d roll my eyes at, at least until I realized the participants, chatting away, and having a great time doing what they were doing, left me happier just for watching them. Orchid shows, caporeia exhibitions, dancing horses from Apatzingan, and the Sunday art market in Parque Las Rosas, and book fairs compete for my attention.

And then there’s the matter of eating. Too many friends plan their travel by restaurants and TripAdvisor ratings, and I’ve even accompanied them on those jaunts, forced to stand in line for the opportunity to shed far more money than the dining experience warranted.

Don’t get me wrong. I like to eat, and I like to eat well. I just resist planning and spending outrageous sums of money.

Now, I’m no fan of food trucks or street food, and where I can comfortably plant my derriere is just as important as what goes down my gullet. It’s not all about the cheap; it’s more about the timing and convenience. The rest is just serendipity.

A cup of regular black coffee served in a china cup, along with a domino cookie, for less than a dollar in a sidewalk café populated mostly by city hall employees in Envigado. A Monday meatloaf special in a New Orleans diner of no memorable name. The best cochinita pibil in Merida, located just by asking two lawyers on their smoke break where they would have an ordinary lunch. Those great and incredibly inexpensive meals are still fondly remembered more than some expensive repast at a destination venue like Commander’s Palace or The Russian Tea Room (which I dearly loved for the décor).

When I’m traveling, just as at home, my main meal is midday. The menú turístico (tourist menu) has never let me down, and it’s usually an opportunity to enjoy several courses at a fixed price for far less than a la carte. Upscale grocery stores usually have a deli with an eating area, often a great opportunity to pick up something tasty for a light supper. I’ve enjoyed duck tacos, Lebanese platters, Peruvian ceviches, and pastel de choclo from grocery store takeout.

Food fairs, gatherings of regional cooks, celebrations of traditional cuisine, even charity barbecues have served up great food at affordable prices, and each of those was even better, because I’d just stumbled upon those events.

Even for those who aren’t fast food franchise fans at home, McDonald’s in Lima and Pizza Hut in Madrid command visits for intercultural exploration, fueling their passion more than Astrid y Gaston and Botín.

That Swarovski-encrusted car at Centro Comercial Andino in Bogota remains far more vivid in my mind that any Bruegel art, and I’m sure I’m not alone in finding Kinky Friedman more appealing than Phillip Glass. Call me easily entertained.

Previously published in Voice of Experience: June 2020, American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division.

Intentional Tacos


Growing up, Saturday lunch was usually tacos, which my mother insisted were chalupas, since that’s what she’d eaten when she went to college in Texas, some time before Pearl Harbor. We didn’t know any better, never mind that we were only about 20 miles from Tijuana. We ate what we thought were tacos on Saturdays, because they were something the Indian (Native Americans weren’t around back then) maid, who shared a surname with the Mexican president known more for the eponymous laws that set off the Cristero Rebellion than any of his good deeds, could quickly make before leaving for the weekend. Fried corn tortillas, canned refried beans, hamburger cooked with chile powder, lettuce, onion, and tomato. My job was to slice the scallions. At least the tortillas weren’t those pre-fried taco shells.

Today I’ve become one of those people who treks all over town in search of the esoteric, organic, and delicious, hitting La Ruta Natural one Saturday, and 8 days (which for you Estadounidenses, is a week) later, the organic market at Paseo Altozano, occasionally faced with a double-header if the first-Saturday-of-the-Month Mercato DaVinci beckons. And then there’s the every-Wednesday-while-school-is-in-session Mercadito CEM, which now conflicts with my passion for ordering up groceries from El Arbol over on Av. Cuautla, now that I’ve learned the secret handshake.

And then all of this hunting and gathering leads me to Sundays playing cook in my kitchen, getting out my toys for a purpose other than making MorgenFood in the Instant Pot and agua de pepino with the mandolin, coming to the realization that a food stylist on staff could be useful and that I ought not give up my day job, as if I had one. I’ll get into one kind of food, and then I’ll run it into the ground. Verdolagas were last year’s cheap thrill. At the moment I’m into tacos. Not the kind we grew up with, of course, but the kind that would photograph well, since the only purpose in creating something attractive on your plate is to upload it to Facebook, right?

So now I present you with the tacos du jour: Instant Pot pulled pork, Las Tias mango habanero chutney, Thai basil, and tomatoes, all wrapped up in tortillas de flor de jamaica, courtesy of Roberto Gomez, purveyor of all things jamaica. Everything that went into this plate came from Michoacán. Lamentably, germinado jamaica (hibiscus sprout) wasn’t available, and that would’ve been so essential. Maybe by summer’s end I’ll get this designer taco thing perfected.


A rabbit from last Sunday’s Feria Alternativa de Urandén reposes in the freezer. Butter rabbit (murgh makhana) on blue corn tortillas, anyone?

A Hot Day, a Cold Coke, and Unforgettable Pizza

One hot summer day one year more than a decade ago, around this time of year, I found myself wandering around Buenos Aires, starting the day at the Catedral Metropolitana, followed by coffee and facturas at London City and a stroll through Manzana de las Luces, then over to Monserrat and then on to San Telmo. Strolling along Defensa, or maybe another street to its left or right, I headed back toward the city center. My feet were aching, I was thirsty, tired, and hungry, and I stopped at a pizza joint, only because it was open and promised air conditioning.

Sitting at the counter and leaning behind it were a handful of sweaty old men who had less than a half a full set of teeth among them. I made myself comfortable at a Formica table, ordered a slice of onion pizza and another of a kind I don’t even remember and a Coke, and found an immaculate bathroom which was actually a little too nice for this kind of place. “It’s fugazza,” the old man tells me, “and I’m serving you only one piece now. Finish that, and you can decide if you want more.” Whatever, as long as it’s food, I figure, savoring my cold, colder-than-cold, cold Coke, wondering why we in Mexico never get Cokes as cold as they should be.

It was the most delicious piece of pizza I’ve ever had in my life. And I lingered and had that second piece. No, I did not photograph my food. I didn’t even carry a camera back in those days. I don’t even know the name of that place, and I could probably never find it again, even if my life depended upon it. But I’ll always remember that slice of a midday afternoon for the rest of my life.

And that’s why I’ll never look at sweaty, old men missing teeth sitting in a pizza joint the same way ever again. 

Selling My Sole to Veronique


Every fortnight (or every 15 days if you’re in Mexico), Dan Perlman of Casa Salt Shaker, Buenos Aires’ best puerta cerrada, invites friends to cook with him remotely, linked up by way of a Google Hangout. Last week’s challenge was Sole Veronique, which you can read about at Dan’s blog:

Reinventing the Whisk, #1.

Now, here’s what could’ve been done on my end to improve upon this dish:

  • Add lemon zest. I forgot, and it was sitting right on the counter next to the stove.
  • Use dry vermouth instead of white wine, but not both. I happen to think that dry vermouth makes everything better and is the ideal alcohol-based cooking medium. I tend to get heavy-handed when it comes to adding wine to anything.
  • Add lemon slices to the poaching broth.
  • Try using white pepper instead of the wasabi. (Note to self: buy some white pepper.) Maybe add a little cayenne.
  • I had briefly toyed with the idea of wrapping the filet in saran and cooking it in the electric steamer, but now I’m intrigued by the idea of cooking it in Ziploc bag. I’m assuming the freezer bag quality would work. A FoodSaver hermetically sealed bag would’ve been even better. But then there would’ve been the loss of the fish-flavored poaching broth for the sauce.

I see this dish as having a lot of room for creativity and variation. And instead of explaining to anyone who doesn’t agree that “this is how it’s done in France,” simply tell them that “you’re not in France.”

While I was pleased with the fava bean, going for some color while using locally sourced produce, brown rice, wild rice or even Israeli couscous could’ve easily worked as well.

Name That Green – Round II

And now on to Round II of Name That Green. We’ve been growing this one, nonstop, since November, but only in the past month has it really come into abundance. A hardy plant, it blends nicely with arugula and basil. This should be an easy one for well-bred and chichi to quickly identify.



Name That Green

We had never heard of this plant when we bought the seeds at a local store. But at $15 MXN a packet, we could easily take some risks. That’s what gardening is about, isn’t it?

Trying not to reveal our ignorance, we casually mentioned its name around those we thought might be more clued in. They weren’t. Of course, that left us smug, a feeling we love to embrace. After all, we were the first of our kind around these parts to grow kale, which is so last year.




Are you au courant enough to recognize what this is?




Mouth Wide Open: A Cook and His AppetiteFrom the time the owner of Bookworm, an Omaha bookstore, handed me Simple Cooking and told me to read (and buy) it, more than two decades ago, we’ve been smitten, taking him to bed with us nearly as often as we’d tune on and turn in with Rush Limbaugh. Like a good fairy tale or maybe, to others, a sonnet, his books bear reading over and over again like a good-night story.

John Thorne isn’t your usual food writer, all caught up in sous-vide (which as far as I’m concerned, Birdseye came up with long ago), slow food, ethically responsible food, whatever that is, and sustainable farming. He openly admits to a fondness for canned tamales, cilantro sandwiches, and rightly admits, as anyone with good taste food ought, that there is no better than Campbell’s black bean soup, doctored only with a spoonful of sherry. He reviews cookbooks, researches the history of important dishes from macaroni and cheese to menudo, and still finds time to experiment.

He may not have gotten pozole down just right (but you’ve got to cut a guy from New England a break), but we’re forever in his debt for introducing us to chicken with forty cloves of garlic.

We bought Pot on the Fire, Outlaw Cook, and Serious Pig, as soon as each was published, just because John Thorne had written them. Frankly, neither measured up to Simple Cooking, but that didn’t stop us from picking up Mouth Wide Open: A Cook and His Appetite—and we’re happy that we did. At last, Thorne’s back to what made him love us in Simple Cooking.


Remembering the Man who Made Gumby

It was Hanukah, and the year was 1999, when Gumby first appeared on a latke, right here in the Promised Land of Saint Mary of Guido. We kept his appearance rather quiet, knowing that millions of Gumby devotees would storm the place in search of his image. Every year after, while others play the dreidel game, count their Hanukah gelt and light the candles, we would remember fondly the night on which Gumby on a latke came into our lives. As far as we knew, we were the first house that he would honor, given that absolutely nowhere, then and now, would a reference to him appear. On the other hand, others may have likewise kept mum about his appearance.

Sure, you’ve seen Jesus on a tortilla, the Virgin Mary on a piece of burned toast, Mother Teresa, the inventress of human suffering, show up on a shriveled apple muffin, and Buddha himself reincarnated as a Cheeto. But none of the would even resonant with us quite like Gumby on a latke.

Today we bow our heads in a moment of prayer and sorrow at the demise of Gumby’s creator, Art Clokey.


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Fill My Shoes with Pan

 Morelia 010 Morelia 009

I don’t care if it rains or freezes,

‘Long as I got my plastic Jesus.

Over at Morelia’s favorite panaderia, Hornos Ortiz, The Wise Men and their entourage, made entirely of bread dough, now play a supporting role to Wednesday’s Rosca de Reyes, in which a baby Jesus will find himself nestled and lying in wait to spring himself upon whomever is destined to serve up tamales come the second day of February.

Morelia 017

Many thanks to Lorna Dillon, who travelled all the way from Scotland to take these photos.

The Wondrous World of Wieners

Sure, you’ve seen Un Chien Andalou. But what about a Perro Caliente Sonorense? Feed your frankfurter fantasies right here. It’s the stuff Mexican people like. Except for me. Let’s just call it Hermosillo’s Revenge.


Mandatory FTC-mandated disclosure: Oscar Meyer did not give Staring at Strangers a free hot dog or anything of value. No dogs were injured in the publication of this blog.

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The Villa Montaña and Salad Dressing

All over the world, foodies are wringing their hands over the demise of Gourmet magazine. They apparently forgot the day when Connoisseur folded itself into Gourmet, more than a decade and a half or ago. Some probably don’t even remember Laurie Colwin’s column in Gourmet.

Frankly, I’m tired of food magazines. In the bodega are several boxes filled with old Gourmet magazines, and they read not much differently than last month’s. I’m tired of hearing people wax on about slow food, eating locally, politically correct food, and molecular gastronomy. Just don’t get me started on the vegans, or I may write something I’ll regret later. I’d much rather read food literature, about culinary disasters, and food science and throw a piece of meat on the fire.

And then I finally came across a recipe that I’d been searching for, well, for a long time. I knew that it had appeared at some point in Gourmet, but it never showed up on the magazine’s website. But first I must bore you, dear reader, with the history of the recipe.

Back in the 1950’s, a man from Connecticut by way of Arkansas landed in Morelia. Ray Cote was his name, and he started up a small inn, the Villa Montaña, which Texas Monthly would go on to name one of the five best little hotels in all of Mexico. That article led me to Morelia. We’ll save discussion about the Villa Montaña for another day.

Today, the Villa Montana’s restaurant is my favorite in the entire city. The menu now is elegant, perfect and costly, salads of baby greens dressed with fine truffle oils and vinegars, the kind of fare my blogging partner must eat every single day in New York City.

lettuce There was a time, not so far back, when olive oil could only be had at a pharmacy in this part of the country. Oil was oil, just plain old corn oil. Canola hadn’t become part of the vocabulary of oil. And there was vinegar, the same kind that you’d use to clean mugre from places where scum collected. There was none of this nonsense about balsamic vinegar or acids cultivated from rotted kiwi—or even anything called vinaigrette. Greens meant lettuce, available in as many as two incarnations: iceberg and Romaine.

In the old days of the Villa Montaña, the menu was good but basic. It was just good food served in pleasant surroundings with impeccable service. “American cuisine” hadn’t yet been invented. Nor did diners pine away for the food grandmother made. The Villa Montaña’s dessert might be a baked-from-scratch cake iced with marshmallow crème. And its basic green salad, served with practically every dinner, consisted of iceberg lettuce, peeled and seeded tomatoes, peeled and seeded cucumbers cut into half-moons, and topped off with a marvelous dressing. And here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for:


1 med. onion, diced

3 med. cloves garlic

1 tbsp. salt

1/4 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. pepper

3 tbsp. sugar

2 c. oil

3/4 c. apple or cider vinegar

1/4 c. water

1 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. celery, chopped

Put all ingredients in a blender and stir until well blended. Makes 1 quart.

There you have it. The world’s best salad dressing. In Heartburn, Nora Ephron shared what she insisted was the world’s best vinaigrette. It doesn’t hold a candle to this salad dressing.


Snorting Jell-O

Popcorn lung is the new black lung. The next time you pop open a bag of butter-flavored Orville Redenbacher, you might consider the plight of the poor factory worker who’s now hacking away with half a lung just so that you’d have something to munch during the HBO special. Popcorn lung is insidious enough to attack ardent popcorn consumers as well. Oh, so they’ve gone and reformulated microwave popcorn while I was away? Well, that shouldn’t stop you from feeling guilty and scared, just the same.

Just around the corner lurks another danger. You’d think Jell-O, the state dessert of Utah and the entire Mexican Republic, wouldn’t hurt a soul. Think again. Snorting Jell-O could be dangerous to your health. Or not.

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Everything Good is Bad for You

I deplore broccoli. The sight and smell of ham and eggs send me fleeing from the scene. If chocolate fell off the planet tomorrow, I’d shrug. But I could perform unspeakable acts of depravity for marzipan. And I’d sell my soul for ginger, Coca-Cola Light (a.k.a. Diet Coke in other parts of the world), garlic, and beef, although not necessarily in that order. 

I’m sick and tired of the politically correct gang placing the blame for the world’s woes on beef cattle, tobacco, caffeine, guns, and other fun and necessary drugs. These folks could use a few more doses of trans-fats to offset the wimp factor of their tofu and polyester. Did they ever consider that the preservatives in a single Hostess Twinkie also act to preserve and prolong the lives of the humans? Don’t get me started on the matter of “organic.” Garbage and dog feces are organic, too.

You’ll find out soon enough that we are right, and you are wrong.


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Chicken with an Impressive Amount of Garlic

While my blogging partner has been busy ranting about the economy and the weather and Obamawama’s Blackberry, I—I—I have been derelict.

To atone for my silence on this blog, I now will share with you my Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe. Ever notice how that dish is always called Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic or Chicken with 20 Cloves of Garlic and not Chicken with 39 Cloves of Garlic? Are people supposed to be impressed by round numbers? The truth is that this dish could be made with any number of cloves of garlic between 25 and 99 and still be damn good.

Pay attention closely, because I’m only going to repeat this recipe once. Wait. I’m only going to say it once.

2qtsouppotbl-01Get out a LeCreuset or Chantal covered pan. You know, the kind everyone had back in the 80s  when we all had money. Today I deployed the Chantal 2 quart soup pot in classic cobalt blue with a glass lid. This color, incidentally, was the first color Chantal marketed in the U.S.

Wash and dry a chicken. It doesn’t matter whether the chicken is whole, halved, in pieces, with the skin on, or skinless. It could even be a Cornish game hen. Pouring some olive oil in the pan, brown the chicken slightly. Well, maybe until it’s golden, which wouldn’t really be brown, now would it? Chop up some celery, maybe six or eight ribs, depending upon how much celery you’ve got, how long the celery’s been hanging around in the refrigerator, how much chicken you’re cooking, and how much everyone likes celery. Throw that into the pan, making a bed underneath the chicken. Add peeled garlic, over, under, and around the chicken. Pluck some thyme and a couple of branches of rosemary from the garden, and place that over the chicken.

Now, here’s where some real decision-making comes into play: whether to settle for lemon or juice it up with Noilly Prat or Cinzano Extra Seco. I like cooking with dry vermouth, because the stuff’s got the shelf life of a Hostess Twinkie and all of the spices and herbs are already added. Think of it as an elegant form of Lipton’s onion soup or Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup or whatever the proletariat’s using these days. Just a few splashes will be sufficient. Cover and bake at around 325 F. until it’s done. You’ll know it’s done when the garlic is soft, buttery and sweet. While you’re waiting, bask in the wonderfully seductive aromas of garlic.

Oh, and if you’re ever in need of a most excellent chili recipe, go to Dallas personal injury lawyer Bob Kraft’s P.I.S.S.D. blog.

The Most Beautiful Plum Pudding in Mexico

Pastel Navidena


Estadounidenses call it fruitcake. In our part of the world, we call it pastel navideña. The Merry Olde English would have you call it plum pudding. Sometimes we lose ourselves in translation.

Inside will be a thimble, a ring, and a silver coin, and that means that someone will become single, another will get married, and someone will just get lucky. Come Christmas Day, we’ll know.

Yes, it came from Horno Los Ortiz. Where else?