New Addition to the Family!

June 9, 2009

Relax, I’m not pregnant. I’m crazy, but not that crazy. And NO, I didn’t get another pet, because I’m already fantasizing about Skipper the guppy’s death someday. Cleaning fish tanks blows.

I’m talking about Lorena, a sweet little ball of energy from Mexico who is staying with us for 8 weeks this summer. She turns 20 this week and the girls love her already.

I think the above blurry photo just might qualify as the inaugural “Shitty Photo of the Week,” but dang, my hands were shaky. And Miss D. is missing 6 teeth and 2 more are loose. Anyone hearing Dueling Banjos around here? Maybe fuzzy, in her case, is good.

Having Lore here provides two-fold joy: the girls are now interested in learning about Mexican food and I have some extra time during the day to focus on trying to learn this blogging stuff.

I jumped into this blog knowing nada about what blogging even was, let alone the skills it entailed. And I’ve had a rough self-esteem week, but everyone’s sick of me pouting about it.

So on to the fun stuff. Today we made Lore’s favorite snack from home! It’s very refreshing on a hot day (which it wasn’t, dammit). In Mexico, there are vendors all over towns and beaches selling it from little carts. And it’s good lookin’, which never hurts. And–viola! It’s good for you!

Lore loves this snack so much that she brought her own seasoning from Mexico so we could make it, but I think you could make a reasonable facsimile with cayenne pepper, salt and lime juice.

Lore’s Favorite Snack

Mango (a little under-ripe, peeled, pitted and cut into strips)
Jicama (peeled and cut into strips)
Cayenne pepper, salt and lime (or if you are lucky, Tajin seasoning from Mexico–

Drizzle the strips of mango and jicama with lime juice and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until icy cold. Then sprinkle a dusting of salt and about half that amount of cayenne. Unless you are Lore and you like more. We did just a moderate amount for our maiden voyage into Mexican street food.

The girls didn’t enjoy the snack with the hot pepper on it, but they decided mango was okay. It’s not going to be their favorite prom date, but they will eat some. We’re giving it another try on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

They thought jicama was weird. “It’s sorta like celery,” Daphne said, wrinkling her nose. For those of you who haven’t heard of jicama or eaten it before, jicama is a white, juicy, crunchy, watery root often called the Mexican Potato or the Mexican Turnip. It has a tough skin that you need a darn sturdy vegetable peeler to get off. It doesn’t really taste like much (sorta like a water chestnut or the aforementioned celery). Jicama picks up the flavor of just about anything you put on it, and lime and salt and cayenne flavors it nicely. It’s oddly refreshing.

I loved Lore’s snack and can’t wait until the REAL hot weather gets here, because I know Lore and I will be sneaking out to the backyard with a plate to share.

More delicacies from Mexico to follow! Adios!

******Postscript: A few minutes after peeling the mango, my hands started to itch and I got a few hives. Turns out, it’s not uncommon for people to have an allergy to mango skin. My reaction was pretty mild; I took a few Benadryl and I was okey-dokey, but some people have mango-skin horror stories out there. You might want to put on some rubber gloves when you peel your mango, just to be safe.

Later, I called my mom and she said that her mother, who retired in Ft. Meyers Florida, had mango trees that she cut down because she was wildly allergic. Huh. The things you find out from a mango.

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