Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Price of gaspacho up two pesos and so worth it

Key to great gaspacho is the Valentino sauce,
chili powder, salt,  cheese, and orange juice.

After a summer in New England, Geoff, Alice and I are back in Morelia for another school year.

Geoff is happier teaching now that he has a semester under his belt.  Alice, who basically kicked and screamed about coming back, went to school on day one a crab and came home that afternoon a happy, polite young lady.  I don't know what they do over there at Collegio Salesiano, but they have my gratitude.

I, after not painting all summer, am wrapping up a small child's portrait and have a large painting of cantaloupes going on the easel.   But my real job this week is buying Alice's school books and signing her up for swim lessons.  Some job, you scoff, but that's because you don't understand. It might be a full time occupation for a week.

Yesterday I walked five miles, stood in two endless lines and not only didn't get Alice signed up for swimming,  only came away with 2 out of the 10 books required.  Key to not getting irritated about this was my stop for a gaspacho -- a fruit salad made with chili powder, salsa, salt, and cheese -- a treat that is famous in Morelia and only here, as far as I know.  There must be hundreds of gaspacho stands throughout the city and making a particularly good one can earn you your own endless line.
Here's a painting I did a few years back of one of the many
gaspacho stands in the bosque.  (Acrylic on paper.)
  Mango, pineapple, watermelon, jicama:  these are the common fruits in a gaspacho.  Cucumber and onion are optional.  The fruit is layered with cheese, salsa, chili powder, and salt.  Once it's piled high, half an orange is juiced over it.  A stiff paper collar is put around the top and the whole thing is handed over in an open plastic bag.  When the fruit is gone, the spicey fruit juice that's left is unbelievable.
  Cost:  22 pesos ($1.69),  up from 20 pesos in June.