Tuesday, March 09, 2010

new ways to dream

I am starting to feel like a snowbird myself these days.

For the last few days, I have noticed that summer is starting to sneak in amongst our little thatched huts here on the Pacific coast.  Since about mid-November, our days have been warm; our nights comfortable.

Not so on Monday.  I began my day late.  I usually get up in the morning and walk to the village to do my daily food shopping.  During the winter months, I arrive at the grocery store feeling as if I have had a refreshing workout.

On Monday I didn't start my walk until 2PM.  And the sun and humidity were doing their best to prove that Melaque is a tropical town.  My shirt was soaked half way through my walk.  Those extra pounds I re-gained while in The States didn't help.

As I sit here writing this post, the temperature is still 79 degrees with 73% humidity.  It is not William Faulkner writing weather.  But it is close.

Maybe it is the change in weather, but I sought a bit of culinary adventure on Monday evening.  I had bought some carrots, zucchini, onions, and a yellow pepper at the market.  I stir fried the vegetables and added some grilled chicken and rice I had left over from my Saturday dinner.

That, obviously, was not the adventurous part of the meal.  I usually add in a pepper sauce for taste.  Instead, I modified an Italian sweet and sour sauté sauce.

It is very simple.  Just three ingredients.  Chopped fresh mint.  Cider vinegar.  Honey.  Equal measures of honey and vinegar.

It turns out that I had no cider vinegar.  So, I dipped into my oriental kit and used rice vinegar.  I need to remember that substitute.  It is better than the original.

But it may be the last time I will use that recipe.  The meal is a bit heavy for these hot days.

If I were not heading to Oregon in six weeks for the summer, I would be watching the palm trees disappear in my rear view mirror as I headed off to the Mexican highlands.

And I will let a little chauvinism show here.  I am looking forward to summer in Oregon -- where some of the best summers in the world can be experienced.

After making all of those snowbird comments the day before yesterday, it appears I may be spreading my own little wings.


Chrissy y Keith said...

Am I a freak because I lothe sweet and sour sauce? Latley I have been into Coconut milk and curry.

Laurie said...

Steve, I hope you are writing in the States. Daily. Not only do I enjoy your writing, but I once again noted that 20 percent of my readership comes via your blog. So... for my ego's sake, keep writing about life. Wherever you happen to be.

By the way, mid '50s lately to low 80's and very low humidity. Highlands are the key to a comfy clime in these parts.

Steve Cotton said...

Laurie -- How could I let you down? I will do my best to keep the tales flowing when I head north.

Chrissy -- This is a sweet and sour unlike anything you have tasted. You use no more than 2 tablespoons of the honey and vinegar. It merely adds a savory taste to the dish. Give it a try. I may give it a different name to avoid any connection with that fly-catching goo that is poured on Cantonese food. I really dislike it.