Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the sandman eats dinner

Sleep eludes me.

Well, not exactly.  What eludes me is a regular sleep cycle.

Of course, it could simply be a prolonged state of jet lag.  I have been traveling to and fro for three months. 

But it has been two weeks since I returned from China.  My circadian clock should be on Melaque Standard Time by now.

Whatever the reason may be, I was up until 4 on Monday morning.  That did not keep me from a getting a good seven hours of sleep.  But it also meant I got a slow start on finishing up the chores I did not complete on Saturday.

The big one was buying groceries.  I cannot recall the last meal I cooked for myself.  It has been at least three months.  Maybe more like five.

Instead, I have been eating plenty of restaurant food and snacks.  As I have mentioned a couple of times, my waistline is Exhibit A of my need to return both to the stove and the road.  The road for exercise.  The stove for cooking meals a little less heavy on the fats served at local eateries.

So home I came on blistered feet with a roasted chicken and rice from my favorite grilled chicken stand, and onions, zucchini, carrots, jalapeños, and garlic from the greengrocer.

One of the advantages of living in Mexico is that most of the vegetables (with the glaring exception of tomatoes) are extremely tasty.  The fact that most of them are grown locally means they are also fresh.

The better the vegetables taste, the odds of me eating them will increase exponentially.  And they are far better for me than prepared foods.

And that is what I did today.  Out came the wok.  In went the olive oil.  And bit by bit, in went went the ingredients until I had a great dinner -- with four or five more servings for the remainder of the week.

I usually add red and yellow peppers and a tomato or two.  But I can whip that version up some time in the future.

For now, I am back to basic Mexican-Chinese-Italian-Pacific Northwest cuisine.  I just may give fusion cooking a hyper-hyphenated name.


John Calypso said...

I am surprised about the tomatoes. ALL vegetables taste better here in Mexico for us.  We almost always buy the Romaine tomatoes; and love them. So what's up with your TOE-MOT-TOES????

Don Cuevas said...

The jitomates Romas here are nearly tasteless.
The tomates bolas, as we can find in Bodega Aurrerá, have marginal flavor. 
The expensive hydroponic vine tomatoes, as at Costco, are fair.

We have been unable to grow our own. We think it's because it's too cool here.

Saludos,Don Cuevas 

Steve Cotton said...

I wanted to grow some heirloom tomatoes (as Jennifer did), but I am still seedless.

LeslieLimon said...

In a few months, when the hyper-hyphenated Mexican-Chinese-Italian-Pacific-Northwest cuisine is the next big food trend, I'll be able to say "I know who started it all!" :)

As for the tomatoes, I guess I got used to their less than stellar flavor.  But in January, I lucked upon these amazing cherry tomatoes that were so full of flavor. They reminded me of what tomatoes were supposed to taste like!  

Steve Cotton said...

 When I was in Oregon, I found a few heirloom tomatoes,  In December.  They were not in great shape, but I grabbed them.  And paid something like $11 (US) per pound.  But they were worth every dollar in my version of Greek salad.  It just reminded me that there are cuisine moments I can never have in Mexico.

Andean said...

Don't think its only there, tasteless tomatoes. Best here in the NE are the vine right now anyway, but still not so much. When I was in Oregon the farmers markets had the best. Mexico has the tastiest radishes and avocados, of course we all have to choose our veggies.

Steve Cotton said...

 You are correct.  Tomatoes all over seem to have been reduced to the variety that can withstand long trips.  If I could grow my own here, I would be a happy semi-vegetarian.

Andean said...

I've heard of NOBers growing some in pots there from seeds here... I would try a variety.

Rick said...

Yes Steve, when I was in engineering school one of my professors was hired to do structural calculations on hybrid tomatoes. They were trying to develop one to load 8' deep in container trucks for transport.
 I was shocked since this teacher had two Phd's and his other consulting work was on nuclear containment structures.The best tomatoes I've had were in Morocco and Spain.

Steve Cotton said...

 My memory is that the tomatoes fro Morocco are some of the best in the world.

tancho said...

What I have had to resort to get great tasting tomato taste in lots of dishes is sun dried tomatoes. You can reconstitute them in hot water and they work great in stir fry stuff.....don't forget the ginger, a good healthy addition in taste and health benefits.
The pix make me hungry for stir fry, sounds good for the next day or so.

Steve Cotton said...

 And I did forget the ginger.  But it clashes sometimes with the peppers.  Ginger is another plant I want to try growing on the tropical shore.  Along with some basil.  If I am not careful, I will soon be seeking a farm subsidy.