Monday, April 4, 2011

Magic Leftover Concoctions

I'm getting ready to leave the Mystery Island. Actually, I'm leaving in about two hours. So yesterday a shiny new friend and I worked our way through the leftovers. You know, those bits and pieces that you didn't quite manage to finish before the end of your vacation, or the stuff sitting in the back of the fridge when you don't want to shop.

Between the two of us we had a rather interesting collection of stuff. We talked about making tacos, but with only 5 (small) tortillas and a bunch of stuff to put in/ on them it just wasn't going to work. Luckily, though, we had (most of) a couple bags of tortilla chips, close to a pound of queso oaxaca, some veggies and the dregs of a jar of salsa. Nachos, right? And black beans, extra cheese, and warm tortillas on the side.

No microwave, though.

See, this is where travel makes things interesting. Cooking in Mexico is done on gas. Electric is just too expensive, so everyone uses gas ranges and whatnot. But they use bottled gas, which can run out, so no constant pilot light. Which means you have to light the stove every time you use it. And the oven as well, oddly enough....

So we put together our nachos, all ready to melt in the oven. Then we realized we didn't know how to *light* the oven. The little switch that would spark and light the gas (if the stove were plugged in...) didn't do anything. So we pulled out the long, empty lighter-gun-thing and tried to light the gas with that. Empty, because you don't need the flame, just the spark. It didn't work, though.

So I went down and asked. And got laughed at. And went back to the kitchen and tried again. Turns out I was trying to light the wrong part of the "flame making tube thing". Oops. So anyway, yeah.

Then there was dinner. About 4 weeks ago I picked up a bottle of wine. A bottle of *bad* wine. No, like really, really bad. It tasted worse the more you ate... So I put it in pasta. I had some sauce left. My cooking partner had pasta, and we both had some veggies left. We picked up a can of beans, some soda and a loaf of fresh bread.

The lady at the "grocery store" laughs at us, btw, 'cause we're in there at least twice a day each. It took two trips to get beans and soda. In twenty minutes.

Anyway, everything (except the lentils, which have been donated...) went in the pot while the pasta cooked. It was actually pretty good. If I can remember what exactly we really used, I'll put it up. It just looked like strange chili, actually, but it was tasty.

I guess the whole point here is that you can make *something* with what you've got, if you've got something to begin with. It might not always turn out perfect, it might not taste great. It'll feed you, though, and keep you from a third trip to the store.

New Site

I'm trying to keep the stuff here food related. I don't know how well cheap traveler food helps anyone, but I like having a place with mostly food. So I'm starting a new blog (slowly) elsewhere.

It's got a photo or three, and a post or two, and I'm trying working on making it pretty and useful. If you're interested in travel/ life stuff, I think the majority of my energy will be moving over there for now. So I'm not abandoning you, just changing my main focus... a lot.

You can find my shiny new blog at Maybe I'll see you over there. Now, I have to go pack up my filthy, dirty clothes and catch a ferry.

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