24 April 2015

Coco Pozole

This is the Yucatecan corn drink, not the Central Mexican hominy soup. The amounts are flexible but here's the basic idea.  I used fresh coconut blended with water, but you can use fresh shredded coconut.  The coconut I buy is way too soft for shredding, thankfully.

1 cup coconut pureed with some water so it will puree
1/2 c masa
sugar to taste- it's traditionally not very sweet, but this is something I add more sugar to
a good sprinkle of cinnamon
a splash of vanilla
2 cups or so of water- it really depends on how much water you used at first, but it's flexible

You can add more masa, less water, more coconut, whatever.  This is really easy and it's good served over ice.

23 April 2015


I asked my Spanish teacher about the mystery churros and she'd never heard of such a thing.  So I had a good reason to be surprised.  I finally hit on a useful search term for them- hand-stretched churros.  Here's a very short video. And another.  I didn't totally make this up even though this video is from Arizona.  I'll have to come up with a recipe and post it here.

There's an ice cream place near Parque Metropolitano called Gary Choc.  That's pretty much the worst name ever, but they have really good mint chocolate chip ice cream.  It's on Sebastian Bach and it's in someone's house but they have a good sign up.  I still like Chapalita better, but they don't have mint chocolate chip.

22 April 2015


In our quest to see as many archaeological sites as possible, we finally went to Ixtepete this weekend.  It's just off the periferico on Mariano Otero so it's not very far away and it has a decent little pyramid base.  It was worth going to since we're going to everything we can.

However.  I can't recommend that it needs to be visited by anyone unless you really like pyramids or if you're looking for some kind of real life RPG (I have no idea what they're called, but I hope you get the idea).  There were all kinds of people there in various outfits with great homemade weapons running around.  It's a great place for that.

21 April 2015


When we were in Tlaquepaque, we found a stand that was selling churros, but they weren't like any churros we've seen here.  Instead of using a softer dough or paste and a churrera, they were using a firmer dough and stretching it by hand.  They were still coiled into the hot oil and she sliced the dough to make a space for a filling if you wanted it. I cannot find out anything about whether this is common or not, but I think I definitely need to find out more about this.  And test more churros too.

20 April 2015


We went to Tlaquepaque for the evening a couple of days ago to watch a friend's ballet folklorico group perform.  And then we got tacos and chilaquiles, ice cream, and went to the centro.

17 April 2015

Daylight Savings

We switched to daylight savings time a couple of weeks ago.  So I'll say again how much I like changing back and forth between daylight and standard times.  It's so nice to have the sun rise an hour later so I could sleep longer than 6:30, but even more, it's nice to get an extra hour of cooler air in the morning.  This is our hot, dry season and even though it's not terribly hot, it was too warm for me when I was walking home from the tianguis at 10:30.  Now I have an extra hour to get the cleaning and errands done before it warms up too much.  But I'll never vote for having daylight savings all year round.

16 April 2015

Prices in Mexico and Kyrgyzstan

In Bishkek I did a couple of posts in 2006 and 2011 about the prices of food and I'm finally getting around to doing it here.  I'll keep the prices in pesos and kilos because I did the same in Bishkek with som and kilos. I also did it in June of 2011 in Tokmok.

This was a lot harder to do this time because prices vary significantly more in Guadalajara than they do in Bishkek.  

Five som is worth about 12.5 cents. In Kyrgyzstan, five som buys a loaf of flatbread, about 9 inches around. It takes you one way on a minibus anywhere in Bishkek. It buys one head of garlic, or a small Kit Kat, a package of Ramen noodles, or a pound of potatoes or onions.

Five som is currently worth about 10.5 cents.  A small loaf of flatbread (smaller than the comparison in 2006) costs 10 som and a standard loaf is 20 som.  A marshrutka ride is 8 som, a head of garlic is 15 som, a small Kit Kat is 10 som, and a pound of potatoes or onions is at least 20 som.

Five pesos is worth about 33 cents right now.  It was worth about 40 cents when we got here.  That may sound like a small difference but it's made a noticeable difference for us, especially since prices haven't risen much here in general.  When we got here a peso was worth about 3.5 times as much as a som (in dollars); now it's four times because the som has dropped more than the peso.

For 5 pesos you can get a small stack of tortillas, a small head of garlic, or a bus ride (5.5 pesos, actually).  A small candy bar would be about 5 pesos.  A pound of potatoes or onions would be probably 8-9 pesos.

20 som buys a bag of milk, one banana, a pack of four rolls of toilet paper, or a kilo of cracked wheat.

A bag of milk is 35 som, a banana is still about 20 som, 4 rolls of nice toilet paper are about 40 som, and a kilo of cracked wheat is 40 som.

A bag of milk is 10.5 pesos, I have no idea how much one banana costs since they're grown here and there not sold one at a time like they can be in Bishkek, 4 rolls of toilet paper could cost 25 pesos, and a kilo of wheat is 7 pesos at Abastos.

30 or 40 som is for a kilo of apples, a bottle of dish soap, 5 liters of water, or a half liter of kefir. 

Apples range from 30-80 som with 50 being average, although they're still in season here.  A bottle of dish soap is probably 50-70 som, I have no idea how much the water is now.

Apples can be 10 pesos/kilo at Abastos for 20 kilos but are usually at least 25 pesos/kilo and can easily be 40-50 pesos.  Mangoes are 10-20 pesos in the tianguis right now.  A bottle of dish soap is around 50 pesos and 20 liters of water is 27 pesos delivered to your door.  Kefir is not done here, but I can get a half liter of jocoque for 20 pesos.

40 som is for a kilo of Batken rice, a jar of tomatoes, a kilo of white rice, or a liter of apple juice.

A kilo of Batken rice is 70-80 som, I think (I don't buy that now; Chinese Elita is 60-70 som and Pakistani rice is 60-70).  A jar of tomatoes is 80-90 som.
20 pounds of jasmine rice is 300 pesos at Costco, I don't buy tomatoes in jars here because they're always cheap, and a liter of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice is 20 pesos.

50 som is for a short taxi ride around town.
You have to pay 50 som in Tokmok now.  Bishkek isn't less than 80 for a short ride. 

A short taxi ride is around 60-70 pesos.

 80 is for a kilo of tomatoes in the winter, a jar of jam, a bottle of shampoo, a package of the least expensive diapers, a longer taxi ride in Bishkek, or a bottle of honey. 

I can still get a kilo of tomatoes right now for 80 som, but I expect that will increase in the next few weeks.  A jar of jam is probably 150 som, but I make my own, so I'm not sure.  A bottle of jam is at least 150 som for the same price.  A longer taxi ride is 100 som.  No idea on the diapers, but there's no way they're 80 som.  A bottle of shampoo might be 120?

Tomatoes are usually less than 10 pesos/kilo and aren't even close to the Bishkek winter price when they're out of season.  A small jar of American-brand jam with reduced sugar is about 35 pesos.  A longer taxi ride is around 100 pesos.  A bottle of shampoo is probably 60-80 pesos and I can't think of the price of honey.

The price of cheese is usually around 100 pesos a kilo versus Bishkek's 400 som/kilo which means we eat way more cheese here than we did there.  Eggs in Tokmok were $1.20/dozen in the summer; here they're 42 pesos/kilo which makes them over $2/dozen.  Raspberries are 20 pesos/liter in the Wednesday tianguis, 35 in the Monday, and they cost as much at Costco as they do in the US. You can buy prickly pear, guava, mangoes, cucumber, watermelon, papaya, jicama, and more for 20 pesos/liter for cut-up fruit.

It's generally easier shopping in Mexico because there is a much greater variety of produce available, there's only a very short off-season for it and the prices don't increase as dramatically then as they do in Kyrgyzstan which means you can keep eating tomatoes in January in Guadalajarawhen you wouldn't touch them then in Bishkek.  But the in-season produce is really cheap in Bishkek and you can stock up when the raspberries and strawberries and tomatoes and cucumbers are in season.  Because you're really going to want them in the winter.

15 April 2015

A Day in the Life of an Expat

Or maybe being expected to live a developed world life in a developing country. It's easier for me to be an expat when I can leave most of the developed world expectations behind, but at least the difference between the US and Mexico is much smaller than the difference between the US and Kyrgyzstan.

Got up; sent the youngest off to school; cleaned; started the laundry; found a neighbor willing to let me use her stove so I could bake the bread sitting from yesterday because my stove wouldn't heat up; hung the laundry; walked to the tianguis to buy chicken, mangoes, raspberries, coconut, garlic, and tostadas from six different vendors, all of whom know me; put away the groceries and got some things done on the computer; ate lunch; went to my Spanish class; came home and waited for the piano teacher who was an hour late which was fine, although I would have exercised if I'd known she was going to be late; held the piano teacher's baby during the lesson; called a taxi to take me and my youngest to a birthday party; survived the party which actually turned out to be the least uncomfortable school/birthday party I've been to in Mexico; came home with my husband; tucked the little one in bed; and I still need to exercise and clean up the kitchen.

I am now going to sit quietly and watch Call the Midwife and no one will talk to me.

13 April 2015

Book Catch-up: The Bishop's Wife, The Long White Cloud, Outlander, Underground in Arabia, and Lots of Rereads

I'm probably going to miss something here, but at least I'll get some in that I know I missed.

I liked a lot of things about The Bishop's Wife, but I didn't really love the plot which might have ruined the book, but like I said, there were a lot of other good things.

Outlander fulfilled its purpose in getting me through orthodontist appointments.

The Long White Cloud is an expat book.  It's really random with lots of short chapters.  I would have preferred something a little better organized but it was still pleasant to read.

Underground in Arabia was fun, especially since the author now lives here in Guadalajara and writes great books about hiking and stuff in western Mexico. I sincerely hope we can go to some of these places in Saudi.

11 April 2015


We've had lots of visitors recently and we took some of them to Tlaquepaque one day.  It's always such a lovely place to wander around.

10 April 2015

Holy Friday and a Via Crucis

We went to the Basilica of Zapopan for their Via Crucis again this year. We also had a funeral that day that didn't have a set time and we needed to pick people up at the airport, so we went ahead of the group quickly and walked the route on our own.  We saw everyone setting up and we could hear the procession the entire time because there were speakers everywhere.  I've loved doing this while we've been here in Mexico.

09 April 2015

Holy Thursday

I looked forward to this day all year long so we could go back to the churches we saw last year (and get better photos), and because I love seeing how this day is done in Mexico.  I wasn't able to do as much for Holy Week as I wanted to, but I made sure this day had nothing else going on so I could focus on this.

We also tried ice cream and ate birria in Las 9 Esquinas.  It's a lovely spot and I wish we'd gone earlier.  We walked through last year but didn't spend any time there.

And we went to the Expiatorio last of all.  We even got to see the Apostle clock at 1 PM.

Santa Filomena

Iglesia Cristiana Congregaci├│nal

Templo del Perpetuo Socorro

Parroquia de San Juan Bautista de Mexicaltzingo

Nine Corners

Templo de San Sebastián de Analco

Guadalajara garbage truck.  I love these and have been meaning to get a photo for a long time.  From the right you have the statue of Minerva at one of the main glorietas in the city (and this is also on the new Jalisco licence plates), the Cathedral, the Arches on Vallarta, and Hospicio Cabanas.

The last two images are the Governor's Palace and the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres

Holy Week empanadas