What is Mexican Cuisine?

 
"The challenge of living in the United States is being able to reproduce the meals I was used to in Mexico".

After several years of living in this country I have encountered countless restaurants of mexican food that call themselves mexican because they feature the same arrangement of tex-mex fare that you can easily find in many places around the southwest: burritos, tacos, chile verde, chile colorado, chile relleno, menudo and pozole. While it is true that these foods are descendants of mexican roots it is also true that they have been deformed and adapted to suit the ingredients, the taste and the practicality of the american society.

Our food (in Mexico) is full of color, flavor, and aroma. The difference is in the freshness of the ingredients (sold in local markets) but also in the vast use of herbs and spices without falling in excesses like here, where I have seen that even tv chefs seem to think that Cominos (cumin) are to be used in industrial amounts. No. In Mexico we use spices scarcely compared to how they are used here. And that, my friends, makes a huge difference in flavor.

Another difference is that in Mexico many families are used to slow cooking their food. It is true that life is becoming more hectic everywhere but even so, mexican cooks (men and women alike) prefer to cook their food slowly to give the flavors an opportunity to mingle and create a definite and bigger impression on the palate.

Soups tend to be a staple in many mexican homes and not exactly from a can. That is a concept that I find very common and used here but in Mexico a good soup is so important for us that the flavor of a canned soup would never compare to the real deal. Even the most humble of soups, sopa de fideo (tomato and angel hair soup), needs to be created from scratch.

Mexican cuisine is based on its different climates, seasons and levels of income. Greatly influenced by french and spanish culture the food we produce in Mexico has a lot to do with fresh vegetables, fresly cut meats and varied spices and herbs. According to the region in Mexico is the level of meat that is consumed and also according to the region is the amount of spices and herbs used to condiment the food. But even in the poorest of villages and most distant towns you will always find someone who can make an exquisite stew or a warm pot of beans. 

Rather than using bread our diet is strongly sustained by corn tortillas in the center and south of Mexico and flour tortillas in the north. Their flavor is neutral but it complements beautifully many dishes. And they are relatively easy to get or make. 

So, when I try to cook a mexican dish, I have to go into the depths of memories filled with aromas, flavors and feelings associated with different dishes, the ones I was eating as a child, then as a teenager and later as an adult. It is fair to say that when I cook mexican food I am going back to my roots but also I am walking between different generations of cooks and their heritage. For mexicans food and flavor are sewn together in very intrinsic ways and as adults we cannot forget the sublime experiences of having a hot chocolate cup in the morning, or the bite of a freshly baked concha bread, the comforting flavor of the tomato mixed with chicken flavor in the fideo soup or the acidic flavor of the chiles en vinagre added to a tostada. If you call yourself mexican but you do not have these memories than you did not grow up in real Mexico.

Mexican cuisine is a myriad of ingredients from the earth used by devoted hands that do not forget the history of ancient practices in the kitchen and that rely on those practices to create dishes that soothe the soul and comfort the stomach, even if the prepared dish is only a humble plate of beans with some chile on top and warm tortillas on the side.

So, What are your thoughts?, Have you ever tried the real mexican food in Mexico? Share your experience with me, I would love to hear about it.

Life is a laboratory and this is my experiment

This year I am determined to discover new venues of creativity and because of that is that this blog emerged. This idea of blogging has been flirting with me for a while but it is until now that I can truly commit to talk about topics that interest women of my age, maybe younger, maybe older. Those topics include home management, creativity, music, cooking, books, home improvement, pets, languages, writing tools, education and faith.

So, this is my new experiment and I am excited to start because it is not something that comes easy to me but I am convinced that I want to communicate more than before. Today I want to talk about the results of experimenting with a project.

This is something that we all do, most often than not, and it usually encompasses a series of steps. guided or not, and end up in a success or a failure. I amused to experimenting because I do it all the time in my kitchen and in my house or on my person. 

Like I said in a previous post I like to watch Youtube because of the many things that I learn, but also because I like to see what is on the minds of other people. I do not care about camera technique or whether they are talking about the last topic trend. What I care about is the sincerity and value of the message that is being given. i find it of value if it comes with honesty, even if the message is as simple as an update of what that person ate that day.

It is through watching Youtube that I have become more interested in certain topics (like organization, planners, bullet journals, beauty and fashion) and I have great admiration for those men and women that are putting themselves out there to contribute with something valuable to the endless stream of videos. Many of them probably experiment a lot in their own before talking about whatever topic they choose but some seem to throw themselves without much preparation into filming themselves. Whatever their method I have found myself wondering more about certain topics and have decided to experiment with ideas, suggestions and even projects.

My lesson learned here is that sometimes it is very good to share with the world what you are experimenting with, the knowledge that comes with it and the benefits or disadvantages of doing so. I have also found that many Youtubers define themselves as shy or introverted (when it comes to people in their real lives, not in their virtual lives) but find this venue of filming video more appealing to communicate without having to face their audience.

Well, I think that we do have to face the audience at some point but spite of that I am willing to experiment with this blog, with the ideas I am getting from Youtube and other sites and with the ideas that emerge in my consciousness and that are inspiring me to follow this path.

I hope you do find it interesting to read.

Tell me, What are your motivations to experiment?, What inspires experimentation in your life? I am listening... 

What I have learned on Youtube

Due to the lack of cable tv about two years ago I turned my attention to Youtube. I had never been a fan but I needed to figure out how to reorganize a desk in my home. That's when I looked for organization videos and that's when I met AlejandraTV, Do it on a dime, At home with Nikki, OrganizedJen (now Pretty Neat Living) and all sorts of different creative minds (women mostly) who have been accompanying me on the search of the "efficient" home. At the time of the search I was trying to get rid of clutter and also preparing to make easier on me a move to a new house . Their advice really helped me a lot and that is why I am mentioning them. All of them, with their ideas, jokes, real life situations (problems to solve) and experiences have helped me along the way. 

Here is a list of a few tips that I have learned from them along the way:

#AlejandraTV: 

Alejandra Costello's channel is all about organization, be it in your home, your car, your school. I have learned from her that you have to develop systems that work for you; one of the tips I best appreciate from her is the way she organizes clothes in the drawers. It is so efficient that I really, really liked it but mostly it helped me save space when we downsized and moved into a very small house with an even smaller closet space. I think this video is a gem:


And the freedom filer system:

 

 

Do it on a dime: (#DoItOnaDime)

As charismatic Katherine speaks and tells you her ideas it is easy to feel enthusiasm to do certain projects at home for very little money. Any of her videos is good, informative and pleasant to watch

 

Clean my Space: (#cleanmyspace)

Melissa Maker has saved my life more than once with her many tips on how to clean. I like most of her videos but one of the most useful tips I have learned from her is how to keep a bath clean

 

and how to prepare DIY cleaners:

 

Pretty Neat Living: (#prettyneatliving)

I like planners and organization, all right? Well, Jennifer Ross is a very neat and organized person and she has also taught me different tips. Her favorites review are always interesting and her vlogs tend to be very entertaining. I heard abiout a certain kind of planners from her for the first time (Erin Condren Life Planner) and when she gave her impressions on the Midori Travelers Notebook I really liked her way to explain it. She made all the necessary remarks. I particularly like that she presents herself very real. 

 

#clutterbug

From Cass I have learned several tips but one of my favorite was her explanation about morning and evening routines. I find that for me it is necessary to have them and she gave me ideas to put into practice immediately

 

#Athomewithnikki

This woman, Nikki, is amazing. She is super organized and a good teacher too. I love watching her videos because she always comes up with something new to organize, but especially liked her explanation of the home binder. I think so far that has been my favorite tip from her.

My Great Challenge: (#mygreatchallenge)

Sophia is dynamic, intelligent and creative. And she has a sense of humor!!. I love watching her videos because it is easy to relate to her; there are different kinds of videos in her channel but the most common are where she is cleaning her house, her great challenge, as she calls it. But don't be fooled by the symplicity of the title in her videos, she can get very philosophical and give you a piece of advice that is very grounded. 

#Terigigi

From Teri I like listening to her stories but I have also learned a few things, especially when it comes to organization. She has a wonderful video where she gives you several tips that I found very, very useful. Of course. that is not all but this is a sample of the things you can learn with her.

In the end, all I can say is that there is countless amount of valuable information that can be found on #Youtube. To me it has been a source of inspiration and I am always looking forward to what these ladies (and others) have to say. I know these are not the most famous people on Youtube but they are giving something good, with generosity and, most of the time, charm.

Let me know what you think, let me know who are your favorite Youtubers and why. I am listening....