Although they can have a business and work in the Zone, for some strange reason Belizeans are not allowed to shop there. Yet that day most of the shoppers were from Belize. A testament to the effectiveness of custom's officers and the strength of family relations, I'm sure. It was a quiet day in the zone for in the past I have seen lines of cars leaving the zone returning Mexico - literally hundreds of cars stretching for a mile or more.
In about 2 hours, covering but one stretch of the many streets in the zone, I whipped through over thirty or more stores including a fake "Target". My search was in part to find something particular Wifey wanted and also just to see what could be had. In one upstairs area of a store that was more junk room than show room I found several cases of Ball canning jars. A case of 8 quart jars for US$9 was a good buy, especially considering it's one of those items I've not found for sale in either Belize or Mexico! In a back alley we found a Asian supply store that had as much Indian spices as Chinese. I will return, for more of those specialty items I can't find elsewhere such as Tandoori Masala, Sweet Soy, and other such spices. Will have to seek out some pickling spice and new lids for those jars, too.
It seems that my green card doesn't offer me all the benefits of being a Mexican (despite what the law states) as an immigration official stopped us crossing back into Mexico. According to him I, unlike Mexicans, was supposed to have filled out some paperwork at the border just as I had going to Belize. That is, I was supposed to complete an immigration form (the FMM) when I left and return the stub when I returned. In fact, the green card gives me all the rights and privileges of a Mexican national except the right to vote and hold elected office. Perhaps the word hasn't spread yet. It didn't appear to be a case of an official looking for "mordida" but he was quite insistent we had violated many rules and could have gone to jail. Ah well, best to avoid upsetting the apple cart when filling out a form is nothing but a bit of time and ink.
The weather has been consistently great but between the breeze and the heat, plants are drying fast. Wifey waters religiously each morning, often before the sun rises. That's her time of the day. But the grass is turning brown again and will likely remain so until the rains return in June or thereabouts. It's time to (re)consider a pressurized water system once again. The 10psi or so we get from the rooftop tinaca requires patience and won't allow for a decent sprinkler. We'll see.
On that note, our bimonthly electic bill arrived yesterday. We've increased our electrical consumption a bit and now average about 7kWh/day. During this period the IVA (tax) went up from 11 to 16% as noted previously but the overall cost is still quite reasonable at US$26/month.
Little Joey is still preggers and getting bigger by the minute. We expect her to whelp this week and Wifey has prepared a "birthing box" that has Joey's approval. She's now taken to staying inside at night so Amy has picked up the load of night watchman along with Khan. Just as well too. A few nights ago at O'dark-hundred Khan took to barking and Amy, inside, joined in. It is amazing how those cement walls and floors echo, reverberate, and amplify sound. Scared the pants off us it did. As a former hotel dog, she's much more attuned to strange people around the fence and doesn't worry much about dogs, so I listen for her. Khan is a bit easier on that account. He won't bark until he realizes the person is not being allowed in. Only then does he let loose, gowling, barking, and jumping straight up so his head is over six feet from the ground. Quite impressive and serves well to keep the Jehovah's Witnesses, and all the small children, from gathering round.
The first time I ever had a blue cheese cream sauce over chicken was in France. Some friends of my mother's had bought a windmill. Yes, a real (old) windmill...and fixed up a delicious chicken and blue cheese sauce. That and the bathroom were my big memories of that day. No, the food was just fine...quite delicious in fact...but the bathroom was no different than the day the windmill was built. It "opened" not to say dumped directly into the creek below. It was quite a sight looking through the toilet bowl. Those days are, of course, long past when such things could exist without upsetting the environmentalists...
Chicken Breasts with Blue Cheese
2 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (or more to taste)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Slice breasts lengthwise and sear in some olive oil. Add wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add cheese and cream and continue to simmer until thickened. Finish in 375F oven for 10 minutes. This basic blue cheese cream sauce recipe works very well on roasted and grilled chicken too!