First post

Hola! I know I’m a little late to the blogging game (considering I’m going to celebrate my 1 month anniversary here in Mexico in a few days) but better late than never right? 

I had so much fun blogging about my experiences abroad in Brazil two years ago that I thought why not keep blogging on this new adventure? I’ve switched platforms (tumblr to wordpress) in an effort to be a little more grown up. But only a little. I also had a brief obsession with food blogs in the spring, so there will probably be a lot of food and recipes in this blog. 

So here it goes:

I’m going to be living in Guadalajara, Mexico for 10 months completing a research project on collaboration between different actors, such as governmental agencies, universities, NGOs, and citizens, in the creation of environmental policy. I am based out of the Centro de Sustentabilidad y Energía Renovable at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. So far I have just begun to make contacts and lay the groundwork for my research, but I have been very happy to meet a lot of people who are willing to help me with my project. 

I am living Providencia, a neighborhood characterized by trees, parks, cute cafes, and restaurants. There is a lovely frutería (a small store with produce and some dairy products) a few blocks from me where I purchased some delicious produce to experiment with. I found some Mexican squash which reminded me of one of the classic dishes my Mom makes, calabasitas – literally “little squash.” I also picked up some tomatoes, fresh cilantro, mangoes, and carrots and headed back home to make lunch. 

The mangoes and carrots were set aside for a smoothie later, and I got to work on the tomatoes and squash. Image

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First, I sauteed the tomato with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and then added the chopped squash. I then remembered I had an herb mix which I added. I later regretted this because the mix contained fennel seed, which was overpowering at times. 

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After the squash started to cook down I added some water and let it simmer for a few minutes until everything was cooked through. At the last moment I added some cilantro for its bright flavor.

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It’s rather fitting that I would cook calabasitas for my first meal in the apartment, since I mentioned the dish in my personal statement for my Fulbright application. This is a simple recipe that can be changed easily. If I had garlic, I would have sauteed a bit with olive oil before adding the tomatoes. I’ve also had it with sour cream added at the end for some richness. 

Now, I’m headed to the frutería again to see what is fresh and looks tasty. This Monday is Mexican Independence Day, so there will be celebrations all weekend. I hope I can see some fireworks and eat some good food!

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