Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Oaxacan Street Festival

So last night I went out for my standard evening food foraging experience, and I stumbled across more of the Oaxacan Street Festival that I have been seeing. It is apparently part of a bigger celebration called Guelaguetza, which is a cultural festival, but the last three days of July have lots of celebration including mañanitas, calendas, religious activities, music and fireworks at the church of Carmen Bajo. So this is what I keep stumbling across.

There are lots of people out and about, with food stands, vendors, and music.

Under long tents, there are all kinds of handmade goods for sale, many of them with cultural roots in the 8 regions of Oaxaca.

There is a large stage with live music.

And there are people pretending to be statues. What a way to make a living. :)

These botanas are complimentary with the meal. The brown ground meat in the upper left is actually fish... very good!

After all that, though... I did manage to find some dinner at Zandunga. I had some garnachas (no cheese), and some cochito horneada, a pork dish.

This is a picture of the garnachas with cheese (thank you to Foursquare for letting me use the picture). I ate mine too quickly to show you mine!
This is the cochitos horneada. I couldn't eat the corn-based dumpling because it had dairy, but the meat was delicious! (This photo is off the Foursquare site as well, because my photo was too dark)

And then the star of the evening: Mezcal. Zandunga specializes in their large list of available Mezcale. I only had the one, because boy it is strong! Mezcal is distilled from the agave plant (the maguey) and has a strong, smokey flavor. Very good! It is a local specialty of Oaxaca, so I had to give it a go!

While I was at the office during the day, we went out for lunch to a local restaurant that makes everything from special heritage corn. Not exactly paleo friendly, but since I don't have a problem with corn, it works out fine for me. :) I was lucky enough to try the heritage corn tortillas with fried egg on one (so good... definitely trying this at home!), and grilled mushrooms, onions and garlic on the other. 

I wonder what foodie adventures the next day will hold?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Shaky Start to Today...

Good morning, Oaxaca! We had an interesting start to today: a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Veracruz made it to us this morning, at 5:46 AM. So much for setting the alarm for 6:00. I guess now I know why I see so many of these:

Yup, those are my stylishly clad feet in that photo. I have discovered that these are the best shoes I have brought with me. Not only do I not have to worry about losing them in one of the sneaky sidewalk holes (seriously... these are ALL OVER), they protect my feet from the nasty mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are so insane here (it is currently the rainy season in Oaxaca) that I have actually already mastered the Spanish word for mosquito. Are you ready? Here it is: "Mosquito". Yup. I am a rockstar.

So I did manage to get some more pictures last night while I was out scavenging food. I found a fantastic little place a little over half a mile from my hotel, that was down a really quaint street. One side of the street was lined with shops and houses with the prettiest windows and geraniums. I apologize for the quality of the photos... it was dark and my phone I was using for the pictures is old as dirt.

I also love the colors of the buildings.

On the other side of the street was a thick wall (maybe 3-4 feet thick) built out of the green stone that is all over down here. The wall had archways all along it.

Some held doorways to homes.

Some were archways to alleys and other roads.

And some held courtyards. For part of the road, there appeared to be a very large house behind the wall, with a cactus garden growing on top, but it was hard to tell because it was a little dark and the wall is a lot taller than me. :)

But in the end, this quaint little cobblestoned road led me to this: Los Tres Conchitos (Carnitas), y uno copa de vino tinto. La comida era muy buena!

It will be interesting to see what the rest of today holds... Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm In Oaxaca This Week!

¡Hola, from Oaxaca! I am here this week for my day job... you know, that thing I do when I am not cooking, quilting, stitching and playing tennis.

The city of Oaxaca is about 300 miles South of Mexico City, and is the capital of the state Oaxaca. It is in the mountains, about 5100 feet above sea level, and was founded in 1532!

My flight arrived on Sunday morning, and since my day job doesn't kick in until Monday, I spent some time exploring the town around my hotel.

This is Niños Heroes, the road outside my hotel. They were having a marathon the morning I showed up, so there were lots of runners on the road!

This is one of the roads and walls featuring the green stone that is indigenous to this area.

There are lots of these small plazas and parks around...

This one is on Calle Macedonio Alcala, which I was strolling along on my way to find the Santo Domingo de Guzman church.

 I encountered a street fair with lots of artisans showing their wares...

And I finally found the cathedral! This church was started in 1555 and finished in 1566.

The square in front of the church housed some pretty amazing plants... and I love the trees in the background.

I showed up in time for the afternoon services, and they were beautiful. I don't speak Spanish, so I really have no idea what was said... but I really enjoyed it anyway!

The ceilings were pretty amazing.

This is a brief history of the church... if you can read it. :)

And this is one of the private rooms dedicated to the Virgin.

 This is the back door. I would like a back door like that in my house. What do you think?

These pictures were taken from my hotel room. This is my view. :) The structure you see above is thGuelaguetza Auditorium. The marathon was finishing there, and there is a big cultural celebration there this week.

I will post more when I have a chance to enjoy more of the city!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Work in Progress: Pattern Testing for Cora's Quilts new Diana Pattern

Hello everyone! If you are wondering why I have been so quiet lately, it is because I have way too many Works In Progress. I know... you are thinking "doesn't that mean you should be blogging more?"  But no. Not so much. Because then I would have to admit to all the unfinished projects I have, and that is no good. No good at all. :)

But here I am, fessing up to another one. I have been pattern testing for Cora's Quilts again. You know how I enjoy that! I am giving you just a super-tiny sneak peak, I won't even show you all the fabric yet, but you are going to LOVE this when I am done. You will. You just wait and see!

This one is called "Diana" and is now available on her pattern shop.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Beautiful Day at Mt. Tabor

Mike and I spent an amazing day at Mt. Tabor with my sister and her family for a birthday recently, and I wanted to share with you. For those of you in the Portland, OR area, Mt. Tabor is a fantastic park in SE Portland, and also home to several of Portland's reservoirs. The views from the top are amazing, and they have a fantastic playground for the kids, too. There are several tennis courts available, and the cyclists and street luge-ers abound! I apologize for the quality of the photos, but these were all taken with my ancient iPhone, since I forgot my camera. :) Just another sign of getting older...

Truly impressive views to downtown Portland.

The boys, taking a brief rest after a crazy uphill climb. I did mention that it's called "Mt. Tabor", right?

Reney up a tree...

Orry as far up the tree as his little legs could get him.

The whole crew up a tree, even my sister!

For you fitness fanatics, there are some serious steps at Mt. Tabor. You can definitely get your workout on by running these!

Mike and Brigitta getting a core and triceps workout on the swings. Playgrounds are great exercise, you know!

The boys, practicing their driving skills. I am not sure why the tallest one is in the back, since the two driving are both too small to see over the steering wheels!

Mike on the seesaw with Enzo. Just for the record, this is an amazing squat workout when one party is significantly heavier than the other party.

But Enzo was certainly having a good time!

I recommend you check out Mt. Tabor if you have never been... a beautiful place to be in the next couple of weeks with our weather. :) Have a great day, everyone!