Monday, March 30, 2015

A day on the beach in Barra de Navidad

Big waves and GeoTubes

It seems the whole west coast is being pounded with big surf. Surfers love it here and in famous places like Puerto Escondido. The beach and vacationers ... not so much. Most of the many visiting Barra for Semana Santa favor the lagoon side of the Malecon because there are no waves. Much safer for weak swimmers and little kids.

I wasn't aware of the 5-6 new GeoTubes they have installed. 3 or 4 more parallel to the beach out several hundred feet and 2 perpendicular but on the beach. I believe the perpendicular ones were meant to stop sand moving down the beach toward Melaque but the one below has had unexpected consequences. It has channeled the waves directly at the built up beach behind and laid bare the stone "breakwater".

After spending too much time walking the beach and Malecon looking at the surf and the Semana crowd it was time for some shade, a beer and something to eat. Our usual place is Nacho's who have Estrella and Pacifico and a very nice shrimp brocheta which is nothing like Italian bruschetta. It's simply shrimp and veggies on a stick. I usually don't like most Mexican rice but theirs is dry and very tasty. Picked up a kilo of shrimp at the local seafood store and will enjoy over the next week unless neighbors find out I have them ;)

Turbulence behind the GeoTube

Rocks laid bare

From the Malecon - new GeoTube

Up to 10 surfers out at one point (sorry, no zoom)

Nacho's with waiter Paco

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chimole Picante

Thinking chimole would mean only one thing I looked it up with Google and it has many meanings. All the meanings are food but the only similarities are it's salsa like. Lorena says the literal meaning is chile molido but molido is usually dry ground to powder but not in this case.

There were about 20 ripe cherry tomatoes yesterday and Hugo said perfect for chimole so into the blender with a couple green chilies, garlic and a little water. Very good but very spicy and the sweetness of the tomatoes disappeared making me think any tomato would work. The chilies were from my garden too.

Cherries

Very good and very spicy

Made some duros for the kids to sell

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lets make some bread

I've been working on this for a couple days and the first try was embarrassing, the second was a lesson and the third was decent but needs a lot of improvement. Talking while making attempts would have been like a certain woman in Melaque telling everyone she was quitting smoking and then she couldn't quit. Better just work on quitting and talk about it later. So I made some bread and quit smoking ;)

So the first one didn't rise and I have no idea. The second was way too wet and didn't rise much but it did make a couple of bricks. The third try was a lot drier, rose a lot and resembled a loaf of bread. What I found was parchment paper is heat resistant but not moisture resistant. The paper tears easily when damp and it stuck to the bottom of the loafs. So I'm thinking it's almost a moisture guide for the dough. Maybe an oiled pan but the paper makes it easy to transfer to the oven. Also think my old oven's temperature does not match the dial. A little hotter next time.

It's hard finding the right utensils and materials to work with in Melaque. I'm sure Manzanillo would offer more choices but I'll make do for now. I bought some plastic wrap and it was thinner than thin and totally stuck to itself. I had to throw it out and use a plastic bag. Can't find a good rubber/plastic spatula. No heavy all metal cookware. Pyrex like glass ware are all the wrong shape and size. My local small store had that bread knife and I think she sold it to me for 20 pesos because she'd had it for years and couldn't get rid of it.

Time to take a break for a couple days, maybe look for a few more things in Cihuatlan and try for a drier dough soon. Also need to find some yeast or levadura. I didn't bring a lot down from Seattle. Does corn meal exist here .... we'll see.

My bricks

Just mixed

Rise after 2 hours

Very edible with olive oil and balsamic vinegar 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Water and mud ate my brakes

I've been putting off checking my rear brakes to see why they were making noise. I had new brakes installed and drums resurfaced 4+/- months ago so I was hoping they were just dirty. The problem, at least for my car, is driving thru water and mud every day. 

So I went in to Pancho at 9:30 this morning and sure enough both rear brake shoes were metal to metal. I don't know what it is about asbestos brakes but they sure seem to dislike water. Pancho suggested metallic brake shoes at twice the price of asbestos but I don't see our wet roads going away any time soon. 

The mechanics didn't have a lot of work so he told me to wait. A little over an hour later I was ready to go. Break shoes were 350 and labor was 250 for a total of 600 pesos or about $40 dollars. I can now dive back into my wet streets.

Our road a few days ago

Metallic brake shoes

Cleaned up and ready for new

Drums were still OK

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's the Garden again

The cherry tomatoes are coming out in bunches now and it's like an Easter Egg hunt for Nahima every day she comes over. Right now they are at her eye level but soon she'll be asking for help to reach them. With 6-7 plants I'm gonna need help eating them. The Roma tomatoes are still very small.

Four in a group


The second crop of chilies from seeds Hugo planted. I'm gonna have to make a decent bed for them and try again. This was the only plant healthy enough to produce.


The big Neem came down a few months ago but a 4 foot stump was just taking up room for other things. Hugo excavated around it and chopped it down to about a meter with a machete and then called Juan to come over with his chainsaw. First he's chopping off bark that was below ground and may have rocks embedded and then the saw. He even hauled all the pieces out to the street and wouldn't accept a peso.



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The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa
Euriel School Fund

Euriel School Fund

February 18. 2015

Euriel is ready to register for Prepa (Highschool) this month for the following August classes. We find that there is a one time registration fee of 595 pesos plus a few small start up fees. That is a big chunk for the family now and school supplies will wait a few months.

Euriel has a number of disabilities but number one is motor control making it impossible for him to walk 2 miles to school in Melaque. I have been his school bus driver this last 3 years because his parents can't afford a car or motor bike.

His oldest sister is doing fine in Secondary and the youngest will start kindergarten both needing uniforms
Thanks

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