Sunday, March 09, 2008

something for the garden, something for the tummy

Our friend Roger has sold his house here and is downsizing (off-loading?) many of his things, including plants from his garden. Actually, it is his spouse who is the gardener.

He brought over this cactus for the Patient. Those little spines are razor sharp. Although I am not a cactus lover, I am quite taken by the shape and color of this specimen. It looks particularly fetching next to the wall color. In our lot next door we have several other kinds of cactus, including some really big agave (think tequila) that the original owner of our house planted almost 20 years ago. An interesting bit of b-b-q lore: people cut off the lower branches of the agave and put them in with cooking coals to give a smoky flavor to grilled meats and fish. In fact, we have had people stop and ask if they could cut some for that purpose, always reminding us that in order to keep the plant healthy and productive you have to cut away the bottom "leaves" from time to time. So I get free gardening, they get free agave.

We went to dinner at our favorite restaurant in Armeria, La Jacaranda. It's very much a neighborhood place, very informal and colorful. Who goes there? Families, young people on dates or in groups, and all us gringos who long for really good food. I had my usual: mulitas, a sort of grilled sandwich made with two tortillas in the middle of which are grilled strips of steak, guacamole, cheese and salsa. My mouth is watering even as I describe it.

It was delicious.

Although they have a full bar, the wine selection is terrible, so you can bring your own bottle ~ no charge ~ but no wine glasses, either. That glass was NOT for the Patient's beer. He ordered his usual, pizza with pepperoni and cheese. That's one dish he can chew up and swallow without too much trouble. He is still finding many foods difficult if not impossible to eat, and that includes most meats. He does a little better with fish, but not much. No only is it flavorless but it is too fibrous to get down. Even stewed things like chicken he finds a challenge. So I make lots of bean or veggie soups. He will eat mashed potatoes, refried beans in soft tortillas, very soft veggies, polenta, custards and puddings. Those and a few other treats are pretty much what he lives on. We're going to try pasta and sauce again tomorrow; last time wasn't very successful. Of course he is still into waffles. We got our sourdough starter going so he's now a much happier breakfast eater.

By the way, daylight savings time does not start here for another month, April 6th. No springing ahead down here, yet.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

I'm not a big fan of succulents either, but I will now be more tolerant. Your dinner looks fabulous...


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