Unplanned events can take their toll but there is no avoiding them "Quoniam Stercus Accidit". Interuptions can wreak havoc on an orderly lifestyle. I vowed when I retired to avoid schedules. A lifetime of regulated living was behind me and the future was to be taken as it came. I've lived up to that fairly well, succumbing only when necessity dictated. After all, who would want to miss a party! Day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year life, however chaotic, has a rhythm and a schedule all it's own. I'm glad to be living at a time in my life and a place in this world where I can let the natural order of things take its course and not be driven into a frenzy of calendarial compliance. That written, I think Wifey secretly keeps a calendar. But she has hidden it along with the key to the strawberries.
The new addition to the menagerie is a stray female puppy, maybe 4 or 5 months old, smaller than our smallest dog, Annie, and is fitting in nicely at the bottom of the pecking order. Big ears and an incredible ability for her size to jump and grample onto the kitchen counters earned her the name "Joey". She's been broken of that habit now and is smart enough to take her cues from the other dogs to sit before getting kibbles. Interestingly, she avoids the grassy areas of the yard. I'm told this is a common problem with strays. Perhaps because they know grassy areas have scorpions and snakes whereas cement areas have restaurants and generous humans? The resultant "morning patrol" on the back piazza adds another (nonetheless, unplanned!) routine to our daily lives.
There is a lot happening in Mexico these days, some good, some bad, all interesting but which I will leave to other bloggers to report and opine. Teacher's strike, partial privatization of PEMEX (the national oil/gasoline company), drug wars, corruption, recession, obesity, poverty, etc. All interesting in their own right but one lesson I learned early on is: if you're not from around here, mind your own business. Doesn't matter whether you're temporarily living in Mexico, Belize, or Mississippi the locals know best and don't cotton to outsiders passing judgment or, worse, telling them how to do it "right". That's not to say foreigners shouldn't get involved locally, but there is a right way to do so (and many more wrong ways). Attitude is everything.
We have a new addition to the outdoor grilling area. A heavy duty, three-ring gas burner that puts out some serious BTUs! I can boil oil or water in record time and cook up tasty treats in short order. If need be, I can also reduce the heat and simmer the BBQ sauce next to the grill. A perfect addition that we had to procure from Belize as none similar could be found here. Same-same Wifey's Miracle Whip and my cigars. Makes Belize a nice place to visit.
And before I forget, one of the great bennies of living in Mexico after leaving Belize is the choice of beers. Oh sure, lots of Mexican beers some of which are quite highly rated internationally. But there is also a good supply of foreign beers (I still remember that Sam Adams Boston Ale a few weeks ago!). A very good friend brought me a six pack of beers from different countries and I've been enjoying them all very, very slowly. Just the other day I enjoyed a delicious Belgian beer called La Chouffe. Awesome. Check them out online here but also buy one or more at Liverpool at Mall Las Americas!
Speaking of visiting, I was at Pueblo Vaquero Num Ka'an yesterday. It's a ranch, sports bar and restaurant, with A/C cabanas and horses for rent. I encourage all my readers to check it out online and visit if you're ever in the area. Nice pool, but even better, at the far end of the property is the beautiful Laguna Bacalar (Lake of Seven Colours). If you go, be sure to tell Geoffrey (owner), Carlos (gen mgr), or Miguel we sent you. All very nice and English spoken as Geoffrey is an old cowpoke from Arizona.
If you're grilling food (and you should be often!), I believe a marinade is generally an unnecessary effort. Marinades can work to bring a flavor to meats of all kinds but that flavor only comes out if you are careful with the subsequent cooking. When grilling you are looking for bold flavors that will shine through the smoke and browning/caramelization due to the Maillard Reaction that comes from grilling. Best to leave the meat as is, grill it, and near the end of cooking add those flavors you want as a finish. The only exception is if you want to tenderize what would otherwise be a tough piece of meat and don't want to cook it for a long time to break down the fibers. That you'll want to do early, as much as several days in advance. But for general purpose grilling, save a few pennies and skip the marinade.
Grilled Beef Ribs
Get as many meaty, beefy beef ribs as you want then simmer in a 50/50 mix of Coca-Cola and water, about 1-2 tsp of peppercorns and 1 tsp Kosher salt. Cover ribs with liquid and boil until tender but not falling off the bone.
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS Tabasco (or other hot) sauce
2 TBS liquid smoke (optional)
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 tsp ancho (or other) chile powder (optional)
Put the ribs on a hot grill and slather with sauce. Cook until lightly charred all around.