December 4, 2012

Mexico City: Mole Verde + Reforma

Oh Monday, you were a fun one. I've been trying to start the day off with some bible via iPhone, but I seem to take a peak at Instagram and Facebook, first. What's wrong with the world? What's wrong with me? Anyhow, I did eventually get to some reading of God's perfect Word, and I'm so glad I did. His Word fills me like nothing else, it gives me hope and comforts me. The bible verse of the day ended up being Colossians 3 verse 17. Such a great verse to focus on, a daily goal to try and meet.

Santi went for a walk with grandpa Humberto and Edu for the morning juices (I stayed home so I could tackle some pelvic floor exercises) and once they returned baby was fast asleep. He napped for 2 hours or so and woke up later to be fed. We also went for a walk, Isa, Santi and I, a little later, and bought from fruit and veggies nearby. Hello sugar cane in its natural form! I can't get enough of how real the produce is here: no stickers, no wax coverings, nothing imported. Except they do sell WASHINGTON APPLES! Isn't that funny? They look so odd next to their Mexican friends, all shiny and fake, covered in wax and all the same size. I don't know, it just seems like machines made them apples, not nature itself. We bought Mexican apples, for the record. :)

Santi was being goofy and smiley all afternoon, so I took advantage of the moment and took 1,000 photos of him, as well as recorded a few short videos for the grandparents in the U.S. who miss him like madness. We're also working on training his little hands to grab his toys, which he has yet to do voluntarily - but we have hope! He will, however, hold a toy for up to 5 whole minutes if we put it in his hand ourselves. It's funny, though, 'cause he doesn't really know what to do with the thing and ends up hitting himself in the face with it over and over.

Isa blended up my early afternoon greens: broccoli, collard greens, guayaba, apple, pineapple and water. It was very sweet and thick, so I ended up adding more water half way through. This made it intensely filling, though, and I had to drink it in parts since it was such a huge volume of food! I had also been eating a lot of fruit before she had handed me my smoothie, so that made it even harder to fit the entire jug into my belly at once.

Later, it was mole verde time! I tried to take as many "step by step" photos as I could so you could get an idea of how Green Mole is done. Also on the menu: Mexican rice and black beans. I love how Isa washes the produce so sufficiently: she washes everything with soapy water, then rinses it off and lets it soak in clean water for a while to remove all the dirt and germs. The collard greens, bell pepper, romaine, serrano chilis, cilantro and other greens/herbs looked so pretty floating in the water!

She boiled the chicken for the mole in water and salt, and put the *soaked* black beans to cook with a clove of garlic, a teaspoon of salt and a chunk of onion in the pressure cooker. For the mole, she bought toasted/ground up pumpkin seeds that ends up being blended with the greens you see floating in water. With the Mexican rice, she fries white rice, then drains it completely once it is slightly golden to remove all the excess oil. Also, diced carrots and fresh peas (she removes them from the pods ahead of time - no frozen peas here, kids!) are boiled to cook for the rice.

Side note: hang drying is awesome! All of Santi's clothes looked so clean and bleached from the sunlight. I love how much electricity it saves, too, no dryer needed. Ah, to live in a sunny, not-so-wet, not-so-grey part of the world (no offense, Seattle, you're pretty swell, too.) Then Santi took yet another nap, and we love walking in on him during sleeping hours since his arms are always doing something funny. This time? We called him the little airplane, or the worshiper, at one moment his arms were in the air like he was in church during the worship hour singing to his Heavenly Father. So sweet! Of course, he was just sleeping, but still. I kept taking peaks at him from outside, it's like spying only... not creepy!

Mexican rice was ready to get its beautiful red color as Isa blended up some tomatoes, onion, garlic and salt, then poured it over the oil-free rice. She also added the peas and carrots along with the water they cooked in. Once it is stirs and well incorporated into the rice, you cover the baby and let the tomato puree get sucked up into the little grains. Next to the rice was a big pot that was coated with a dab of oil, then began to boil and cook the greens (which were blended with some chicken stock and water). Go Isa goooo!

Dinner is served. I had (way too much - way to fill me up, mama Isa!) rice, beans, leftover cactus salad with avocado and red onion, and mole sauce. Then the night came to a close, grandpa Humberto held his favorite (only) grandson for a bit before we headed out. I really wanted to visit Reforma, where the famous Angel of Mexico City stands, and Pablo, Eduardo's brother, recommended we go later at night, after 8:00pm, to avoid traffic. It was a little nerve-wracking, leaving so late, but if we hit traffic with a baby in a car seat he would kind of explode from anger. This kiddo isn't really a fan of stop signs, stop lights, or stopping in general. If we're going to put him in a car, we need to keep that car moving to relax him, otherwise he'll yell at us.


Thankfully, he ate really well before we left and was in the need of a nap. This means a moving car will do him good! We ended up visiting Edu's grandma (Humberto's mom) on the way to Reforma. Again, way to make a mama nervous about her not-yet-three-month-old losing his patience along the journey and being fussy! Surprise of the evening? He slept like a rock in the drive to grandma's, then was all wide-eyed and curious (not fussy) with family, lasted through many photos and many changes of scenery - room, after room, after room - and didn't mind being placed back into his car seat after the visit!

It was really special to have Humberto's mom hold Santi, that's four generations, friends! I didn't even think of it, but back in the states we have four generations counting Santi, as well. My mom's mom needs to get in on this four-generation fun and we need to do a photoshoot when we get back, maybe around Christmas? I say yes! One of Edu's uncles/aunts visits grandma every day to help her around the house, and this night was Aunt Lillia's turn. Her hubby was there, too, and we also took photos with Edu's cousin and her daughter, Laura and Melanie. So, so cute. She's 2 and a few months, also a September birthday, and I can't wait 'till Santi's her age She's such a fun girl, and super sweet! I can't imagine when our babe is talking and walking and moving like her. Goodness me.

After the visit, onto Reforma we went. Santi slept on the drive there, then we put him in the Bjorn carrier to walk to the angel. He woke up shortly after, though, so we took advantage of his alert and happy attitude and flipped him around so he could see Reforma in all of its beauty and glory. The light that illuminates the angel wasn't turned on, which was a bummer since last year it was off, too. We think they do it to save energy. Silly energy-savers, what are they thinking? So Pablo, brother and amazing photographer, had some trouble configuring the camera to make the photos turn out. Once he got it, though, the images were incredible!

It was a lot of fun to see. The walk was cut short, though, since babe started to fuss a little and my physical therapist doesn't want me walking too much. Santi then slept in the car all the way 'till we arrived home, around midnight. I then fed him, changed him, and he ate a little more before sleeping. A beautiful evening, a blessing from God to share another day with this lovely family and enjoy this country!

Photo credit: Pablo Carrillo. Love you, brother!

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