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The link is to my cleaned up photos for my website. the REAL pics are still hidden!!!!

Whew!

 

Okay, so when you start 'photoshopping' the ones with me, THIS is what I want to look like.

 

(Except with blonde hair. Of course)

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Another MF reporting in on the four MFers' Pátzcuaro adventure! FINALLY I have some time to write a post--this has been quite the week here in Guadalajara. Too much work, friends visiting from Canada, and too much partying have my eyes spinning.

 

So...we had a ball.

 

Rancho Gordo flew in from his rancho on Sunday morning and arrived in time for breakfast chez moi. At noonish we hied ourselves on out to the airport, picked up Jaymes and Memesuze, and headed on down the road in my brand new tiny car.

 

Lunch stop was in Zamora, Michoacán, at Carnitas Aeropuerto. Imagine our dismay when they told us they were OUT of carnitas! We ate a plateful of crispy ends, several of those gorditas that Rancho photographed for his website, and jumped back in the car for the next leg of the trip. We vowed to stop earlier on the way back for the highly touted (by me) melt-in-your-mouth carnitas.

 

Late supper in Pátzcuaro was street food: enchiladas placeras (plaza-style enchiladas), enormous platters of folded enchiladas, brasero-cooked vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and cabbage), and a giant piece of chicken for each of us, plopped on top of a platter that served two. I think my chicken breast must have come from the Brigitte Bardot of hens. In fact, we weren't even able to finish our shared platters, although we gave it the ol' MF effort. The amount of food piled on each platter was astonishing--and astonishingly delicious, redolent of lard and chile perón. These enchiladas are something I actually occasionally dream about, they are so wonderful.

 

Monday morning we walked the market hoping for a 'pre-breakfast snack' of uchepos, the green corn tamales that are a regional Purhépecha specialty. Jaymes was quite taken with the idea of a pre-breakfast snack--as MFers, we thought it should be a regularly scheduled event--but we never found the uchepo seller. Instead, we went to the Basílica and breakfasted on corundas rellenas con doblecrema y rajas de chile poblano, con salsa y crema, served with atole de tamarindo to drink. The corundas are the size of a softball, fluffy rich masa stuffed with cream cheese and chile strips, wrapped in fresh corn leaves (not dried husks) and steamed. We were all licking our chops.

 

The main meal of the day in Mexico is served mid-afternoon. On Monday we opted for the restaurant at the gas station in Pátzcuaro. The comida corrida , which included sopa aguada--Rancho's olla podrida was superb, I was disappointed in the sopa tarasca, the regional specialty soup--sopa seca of either rice with a side of mole or...well, I forget or what...mains which included meat or fish, vegetables and beans, and dessert) cost 45 pesos each, plus a huge pitcher of agua de jamaica, which we polished off.

 

Later, when we were feeling ever so slightly peckish, we lounged in the cool of the evening at a table on the large plaza and had a drink. Later still, we walked to the small plaza and ate tacos as we stood around the street stand--the photo of the stand is on Rancho's website. Were two tacos each enough? HA! We are MFers--of course we had four apiece. Didn't we? I'm almost sure it wasn't six...

 

Tacos: two small tortillas, grilled in a little lard and meat grease and piled with chopped bistec or tripitas, dolloped with cilantro and minced raw onion, and handed over on a plate that included small grilled onions and fingerling potatoes, boiled and then sizzled in the same lard/meat grease. Salsas of your choice to add: salsa de aguacate, salsa roja, salsa verde. Encurtido de chile perón con cebolla picada. Fresh crunchy radishes and cucumbers on the side, and plenty of limón to squeeze over everything.

 

And so to bed. Report on Day Two tomorrow, if you like.

 

edited by the mathematically-challenged poster

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Another MF reporting in on the three MFers' Pátzcuaro adventure!

 

Three? But there were four of us. Which of us have you decided is not a MFer?

 

 

And so to bed.  Report on Day Two tomorrow, if you like.

 

Well, I'D like. You really sum it up well. I'd forgotten half of it already. :blink:

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:blink:

 

I can write, but obviously I can't count.  Good grief.

 

More after while.

But Cristina, one of your group wasn't on this board. You were obviously thinking of those we'd know.

We all must urge memesuze to post more often! Clearly, she's not making much of an impression.

 

:lol:

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did anyone buy any pottery? the patterns from Tzintzuntzan are my favorite, but i also like the dark green patzcuaro style. did anyone have the local fish?

Rancho bought pottery. He's posted pix on his website. Pottery was one of the main reasons he went. We did go to Tzintzuntzan -- twice -- but don't think anyone bought any of the pots decorated in the style of the pictures.

 

One problem was that we had gone to Santa Clara del Cobre, the copper town, and loaded up on large pots for cooking carnitas. Among other items.... Memesuze bought a beautiful hammered copper sink.

 

So only RG brought home pottery, although he bought some beautiful bean pots and is already planning a return trip.

 

And I ordered the local fish one night, and we passed everything around the table. RG and Memesuze both took photos and I'm sure will be posting them.

 

The fish was good.....small, white, tasty. It was well-prepared, tender and flaky. Split open, head and all, gutted, then dipped into a light batter and fried. I did enjoy it, but it wasn't a cosmic experience. I wouldn't travel to Patz just for that. Unlike, say, those fabulous carnitas at Aeropuerto Carnitas. And the carne en su jugo at Karne Girabaldi in Guadalajara.

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Here's my next report on the four (ay , what an embarrassment) MFers' trip to Pátzcuaro and environs.

__________________________________________________

 

I've been traveling to Pátzcuaro for 25 years and have taken countless people there for various kinds of tours: culinary, historic, and artisanal. The MF tour was by far the most fun, since we were all on the same wave length. Jaymes, Memesuze, Rancho Gordo, and I wanted more than anything to taste it all. In the process, we did a bunch of really fun stuff: visited the two old churches in Tzintzuntzan (and yes, shopped for pottery), walked around the grounds at the yácatas (Purhépecha pyramids), went to Santa Clara del Cobre (three of the four of us did a LOT of damage in Santa Clara, where fantastic copper goods are produced by hand), and explored quite a few of the rinconcitos of Pátzcuaro, including the old Jesuit church, the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud, the public library with its marvelous Juan O'Gorman mural--oh, the list goes on and on.

We walked the hills of Pátzcuaro, but mostly to exercise off the last meal in preparation for the next one.

 

Tuesday I had an early morning appointment in Morelia, so I left Jaymes, Memesuze, and Rancho snug in their beds while I went trotting off to meet a friend for (what else?) breakfast. They will have to tell you their Tuesday morning adventures, although I know that those adventures included breakfast and a mid-morning pick-me-up.

 

We met at 2 o'clock to head for lunch at Restaurante Don Rafa. Don Rafa, the owner, has been a friend of mine for years. He greeted us warmly and we chose a table on the second story, where the breeze blows in through open French doors. Our waiter served us a compliments-of-the-house appetizer of refried bean-laden totopos with crumbled fresh cheese and tomatoes: delicious. Jaymes ordered Pátzcuaro's famous pescado blanco: fine-fleshed white fish, split open (with the head on) and rebosado: fried golden in a light egg batter. When she ordered it, she asked the waiter, "Is it as good as what they ordered?" He replied, "It's the best thing on the menu. They will all want a bite. Don't give them any."

 

Rancho, Memesuze, and I ordered from the comida corrida, the daily menu special that included sopa aguada, sopa seca, mains, and dessert. I had sopa tarasca, macarrones con crema, pollo en mole poblano, and flan. We again downed a pitcher of agua de jamaica. Rancho and Memesuze will need to tell you what they ate; I was so drugged by the quantity of food I was served that I don't recall. I do recall that the waiter noticed three of us gazing longingly at Jaymes's fish--and we were brought another fish to share, in its 'rebozo' of batter, courtesy of the house.

 

Don Rafa claims to have invented sopa tarasca about forty years ago, when he was chef in charge of the restaurant at a Pátzcuaro hotel. Last fall I escorted a NYTimes reporter to Pátzcuaro for a culinary investigation and Don Rafa told us the whole story. Story or no story, the sopa tarasca at Don Rafa's is far and away the best in Pátzcuaro. Rich with cream, crumbled cheese, and lightly fried chile ancho, the flavors combine to create something greater than the ingredients.

 

After this enormous meal we went to Tzintzuntzan to the pyramids, and from there to another village to see artesanía made with lake reeds. Then it was time for a NAP.

 

Our late evening was spent as dissolutely as before, sucking up drinks on the large plaza, listening to Mexican song standards emanating from the bar, and waiting to feel the slightest twinge of hunger so that we could amble in the starry night to our previous night's taco rendezvous. We could each only manage two tacos, but had there been another square millimeter of space left in our stomachs...

 

Wednesday morning we loaded up the wee car (thank god for the luggage rack!) and headed down the road toward Guadalajara. WHAT! We didn't eat breakfast, and lunch was at least two and a half hours away! What to do?

 

A stop in Quiroga was in order. Some wanted pan dulce, and we asked a traffic policeman where to find a bakery. "Back there, on the sidewalk, there's a lady selling bread." He gestured back the way we'd come. "Just a block down the street," he encouraged us. We drove down the block and saw an elderly woman sitting in front of the market with her basket of bread. Jaymes, Memesuze, and I picked out a few panes, but Rancho had vanished. When we three turned around, there he was, just biting into a giant folded taco of mole casero con pollo, stuffed with pickled carrot, shredded lettuce, and crumbled white cheese. "Where did you get THAT?" we screeched--and then we noticed the stand behind us, and particularly noticed the heavenly smell oozing from its brasero. Rancho gloated and patted his stomach while we waited for our turn for mole casero, but pretty soon we were all wiping our chins and hands and sighing with delight at the complex mole.

 

Then it was into the car and down the road toward carnitas heaven. We stopped at a local bottled salsa factory (unfortunately closed for inventory) and then beelined for the carnitas. When we arrived, the waitress remembered us and reassured us that yes, there were indeed carnitas this time. Pshew! We ordered a kilo, it looked like a mountain, and we ate every last scrap on the platter. The carnitas are accompanied by several salsas, freshly made piping hot tortillas, and whatever you choose to drink. Best of all: the waitress presented each of us with the restaurant's apron--Carnitas Aeropuerto. We nicknamed the place "Carnitas Aeropuerco".

 

Groaning with satisfaction, we lumbered to the car and drove the two hours to Guadalajara. I don't know about the other three, but I know that I ate no supper that night!

 

Last report tomorrow!

 

cristina

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The fish was good.....small, white, tasty. It was well-prepared, tender and flaky. Split open, head and all, gutted, then dipped into a light batter and fried. I did enjoy it, but it wasn't a cosmic experience. I wouldn't travel to Patz just for that. Unlike, say, those fabulous carnitas at Aeropuerto Carnitas. And the carne en su jugo at Karne Girabaldi in Guadalajara.

Ah, a woman after my own heart....

 

 

Look forward to the final installment. I'm going to Mexico in less than a month and I'm still jealous!

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We all must urge memesuze to post more often!  Clearly, she's not making much of an impression.

 

:blink:

I'm the quiet one in the corner, trying to figure out how to lug my sink and the one 15x3.5 inch and the two 8x4 inch copper cazuelas through customs and security along with all my other luggage....

 

I'm so grateful for cristina's reports, 'cuz I didn't get the titles of some of the dishes as she explained them - my ears shut down once my eyes got a peek and my mouth wrapped around the food we had. I didn't quite have sufficient vegetables for the week, but, lordy, there were some tempting dishes. After the carnitas, my faves were the tiny late-night street tacos with sauces.

 

Once I figure out dragging-and-dropping on Yahoo Photos, I'll post the url - I don't know when ranchogordo was taking all those 270 pictures, I thought I had a lot with around 120. But you can certainly tell we were a food-oriented group.

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Here's the url at Yahoo:

patzcuaro and guadalajara

 

If you do the slideshow thing, you may want to slow it down a bit as some take so long to load that they are essentially skipped.

 

I'm still learning things about my new camera, so some didn't come out at all, and others were dark. And some of the captions will mean nothing to anyone but the four of us MF's.

 

That Tuesday morning Jaymes, RanchoGordo, and myself ate at our hotel sitting outside overlooking the plaza waking up with the morning brigade of schoolkids, front stoops being washed and ice delivered - I had the chiliquiles. Then we wandered off to the Museum - the museum was a treat - a courtyard, good exhibits, including a huge room with a recreation of a colonial kitchen, and archeological remains that showed where prisoners had marked off the days and weeks [sundays noted by a cross] on the stone walls.

 

Then, of course, more shopping and more churches - IIRC, Jaymes took a trolley tour of the city while RG and I continued wandering, stopping off for a "pick-me-up" of a delicious carnitas mini-taco. I needed it after buying a sink.:blink:

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So, just exactly HOW did you manage to lug those cazuelas and the sink through customs.  :blink:  And did you get stuckwtih an excess baggage charge?

I stuck the sink in my green backpack, put the two smaller cazuelas and assorted souvenirs any my toiletry bag in it, and packed the big cazuela overturned on top of my clothes in my luggage. Customs didn't seem to be concerned and they showed up clearly enough on the security Xrays not to cause a problem - no excess charges either - just sore shoulders from lugging heavy items....and I couldn't run through airports as fast as usual :lol:

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