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On making your favorite foreign dishes at home (don’t)

Hypothesis: I can make Mole Poblano at home

In 2003, I spent three months in Mexico, where one of the traditional dishes is Mole. When I first had it, I thought it was the worst thing ever, but it wasn’t long before it became my favourite meal. I’ve only ever had the real things once since coming back, when a friend brought some back from a trip to Mexico, so I decided that now was the time to make it myself. I made it once in Mexico, in preparation for the day of the dead festivities (it was a three day, multi-ingredient process), so I figured that I could fumble my way through making it here. I browsed the internet, used four different recipes to put together an ingredient list that resembled my days in Mexico, and got to work. Mole is not easy work!

This is what the mole looked like about half way through blending all the ingredients.

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Thank god I had made it before, otherwise I would have been REALLY concerned.

Anyway! I put it all through the food processor (if any of you ever attempt to make this at home, don’t believe them when they say that a blender will do. It won’t, and you’ll just have to wash extra dishes), and put it in the Crock Pot, as per Martha‘s instructions.

Result 

– It’s only the second time I’ve used my slow cooker, so maybe I just don’t know it well, but the edges kept burning, so my mole has an (unintentional) burny taste to it

– It’s lumpy – as fine a job as the food processor did, it can’t break up the nuts as well as a good old fashioned Mexican mill can

– It’s really sweet

– It’s not spicy enough (even though I used 12 peppers, of 4 different varieties)

– There’s a large pot of slightly off mole sitting in my fridge that I will likely not eat

Conclusion: I ain’t never making it again

Take it from me: if you want genuine, delicious Oaxacan mole, go to Oaxaca, or go to this website – Phil has offered me the BEST customer service that I have ever received, and I will be getting a few containers of genuine Oaxacan Mole Soledad in the mail in 2-4 weeks.

 


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I hate vegetables

Have you ever lived with me? Or have you known me for a long time? Then you know that I do not like vegetables. I love the idea of being a vegetarian, because I have a hard time with how we source our meat, plus I don’t really like it. In fact, I was a vegetarian for a few years a while ago. Hah – that didn’t work out, since I wasn’t eating vegetables. (To be fair, I don’t hate all veggies. I actually love the ones that most people hate. My fave is broccoli, and I love brussel sprouts too)

When I moved here, I was really excited about cooking for myself for the first time in a year. That wore off pretty quickly. Now, every day I wonder what I should eat.

I just made a delicious stir fry. Bok choi, carrots, mushrooms, and cashews sautéed with garlic, green onion and ginger. I mixed it in with a soy/hoisin/rice wine vinegar/sesame oil sauce, eggs and rice noodles.

Yum-o! I like I think that I’m a pretty good cook, but I’ve got very little inspiration. Please comment on this post with your best ideas, recipes, and food blogs. Please save me from creamy pasta, bagels and KD – I’ll love you forever!

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Hibernation

This post is dedicated to those of you who sometimes worry about your weight or wallet, who maybe never have that second helping, who think “well, I really shouldn’t have desert…” (and unlike me, actually don’t)

Let me tell you about the last couple of weeks.

Those of you who’ve known me for longer know that generally, when I go to a developing  country (or, let’s be honest, through a breakup), one of the unfortunate results is that I lose weight – sometimes quite a bit.

So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been preparing. Some might call it exaggeration, I call it self-preservation. You’ll notice as you read this blog that the thing that I miss the most when abroad is food. So, in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been ‘stocking up’ – the pounds, the memories, whatever. Here is a quick rundown of my laisser-aller…

Since last Friday…

– Friday night : pizza and beer with the girls
– Saturday morning : scones (and bacon and cheese) with Teresa
– Saturday lunch : Pizza with the fam
– Saturday night : Burgers at the Chez followed by a cupcake from Cupcake Lounge. Followed by a Beavertail. (Regular me would be worried. Africa-bound me is still basking in the sweet, sweet memory)
–  Sunday afternoon : Hot choc and brownies at Juliette et Chocolat
– Sunday night : Best poutine ever at Poutineville
– Monday night : Vietnamese with the lovely Paulette, followed by cookie dough fro-yo
– Tuesday : Homemade bbq with friends
– Wednesday : St-Hubert with Cecil
– Thursday : Pizza and sangria with the girls
– Friday (leaving today!) : Thai for lunch with mum
– Friday afternoon snack : Harvey’s. Had bacon on my burger. Almost didn’t, but mum pointed out that I’m going to a muslim country. Fair play.
– Friday right before going on the plane : Timmies bagel, iced cap and Boston Cream.

SO …

Here’s to hoping for Malaria, or a tapeworm.

 

 

Just kidding.