We woke up nice and early for a lazy morning of brunching at a cute little cafe called Y Tu Piña Tambien, and then wandered around town checking out some sights.
Um, that’s a VOLCANO in the background, by the way. This whole town is surrounded by volcanos. Volcanos that actually puff smoke and sometimes blow up and spit lava everywhere. THAT kind of volcano.
We had some time to kill before our market tour and cooking class, so we stopped for a couple of drinks in the courtyard at Cafe Condesa. I ordered a sangria, not expecting it to come in a fishbowl.
Here’s a little sketch I did while we sipped:
Because he’s such a good partner, Ed helped me finish my giant drink and we headed over to El Frijol Feliz to meet up with the owner, Luis, who fed us a few more beers before we set out to find some of the ingredients needed for our cooking adventure. This turned out to be more than just a quick trip to the market- Luis showed us around a bit of town we hadn’t seen yet, through the square which used to house the old market and then on through the new market.
Sign leftover from the old market.
Luis, Ed and coconuts in the new market.
Yup, straw in my mouth in every photo of me from this day.
I can’t remember what these were called- they have red flesh similar in texture to an avocado, but much sweeter and fruitier tasting- almost like ice cream. But a fruit.
Ed was in charge of getting them back to the restaurant without mushing them.
Confetti gets stuffed inside the hollowed-out egg shells, then, according to Luis, kids smash them open on each other’s heads. Fun!
Luis led us back to his restaurant, leaving us in the capable hands of a little Guatemalan woman who was to teach us how to cook several fairly complicated dishes without any real verbal communication- because she spoke no English and we speak almost no Spanish. But we pantomimed and pointed our way through, learning words like “onion”, “salt”, “stir”, and “peel” along the way (basically, anything she had to patiently repeat to us over and over for the next 4 hours).
We really bonded when she taught us how to make tortillas. Well, tried to teach us, because Ed and I failed pretty miserably at the part she made look so easy- slapping a ball of tortilla dough back and forth between the palms to create a beautiful flat little circle to go in the skillet. She smiled politely and encouragingly during my first few attempts, until it became obvious that I was a lost cause and all three of us wound up laughing hysterically at my tortillas of shame.
Bet you can’t tell which one is mine. Whatever, still tasted good.
We sat down to enjoy the fruits of our labor (and a few glasses of wine), or about half of it anyway, because we had cooked an obscene amount of food by the time we were done. We took the rest to go, and delivered the boxes of leftovers to some hungry little boys on the street.
The recipes for what we made (pepian, chilaquilas de guisquil, rice, tortillas, and molletes rellenos) are here– Guatemalan family dinner when we get back to Philly, anyone?