Quote

"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, July 9, 2018

El Apapancho Cafe

El Apapancho Cafe




Calle 62 x 41 y 43
Centro, Merida, Mexico
Open: Miercoles - Viernes noon to 10pm, Sabado y Domingo open at 9am
 
El Apapancho Cafe is a spunky place. Wait staff are friendly and attentive, they greet guests and serve them with fresh cool water along with the veggie-friendly menus.

Menu


Large selection of hot and cold teas, cafe, fruita de Agua.

Sample menu items:

Sopas, huevos de patio al gusto
Chilaquiles
Con huevo o Pollo
Tecola o tecolotes
Enfrijoladas
Enchiladas
Tacos, mezcla de hongos
Bistek a la Mexicana
Filete de pescadoo filete de soya


From 30 - 150$

My favorites are: molletes, pan con frijol y queso con de salsa Pico de Gallo, y quesadillas con queso or queso con lechuga, crema.

(molletes, pan con frijol y queso con de salsa Pico de Gallo, y sandia de agua)


There's indoor and outdoor patio seating at tables for 2-6 or more.



Original artwork decorate the walls. There are bookshelves with used and new books in a wide range of topics, including books for children, and an emphasis on women's issues.



There are games to play, and crafts, like jewelry, for sale, and a gallery space upstairs.

El Apapapancho Cafe also holds various music or art events.
 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Jack Monroe, Cooking on a Bootstrap, Introduction

Early in my search for easy frugal recipes, I found Jack Monroe, author of A Girl Called Jack, a cookbook of 100 recipes for people on a tight budget.

Jack has a witty, intelligent, creative way of explaining how to make her budget recipes. Because of her style and creativity, she has become a media darling.

She has been invited onto a variety of talk shows. She has written for several publications including a cooking column for The Guardian. For example: Tips for Students How to Eat Well for £3.50 a day (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/20/how-to-eat-well-for-350-a-day-by-the-scrimping-experts)

Jack has published several more cookbooks and continues to create budget recipes on her website, Cooking on a Bootstrap.

On her website, she also highlights her experiences as a single mother living in poverty. She shows people the harsh difficulties of being poor.

"There’s nothing fun and exciting about missing days of meals, with the heating off all winter, the lightbulbs unscrewed, selling your sons shoes and drinking his formula milk that the food bank gave you. Try it for a month at least, if you really want to get an idea. Two months. Two years. Unscrew your lightbulbs, turn off your fridge, sell anything you can see lying around that you might get more than a quid for.

Stop going out. Walk everywhere, in the pouring rain, in your only pair of shoes, with a soaking wet and sobbing three year old trailing behind you. Drag that three year old into every pub and shop in unreasonable walking distance and ask if they have any job vacancies. Get home, soaking, still unemployed, to ‘dry out’ in a freezing cold flat. Put two jumpers on and worry about how you’ll wash them, take them off, and put a tshirt underneath. You can wear the jumpers all week, and change the tshirt twice.

Drag yourself to the cooker to pour some pasta into a pan, pour some chopped tomatoes on top, and try not to hurl it across the room when your son tells you he doesn’t like it – because there is nothing else. Nothing else at all.

I was cold, exhausted, only forcing myself out of the depths of choking depression to smile at the children’s centre workers because I was scared they can see how numb and dead I felt, how I went to bed at night tormented by thoughts of suicide. The endless self-chatter: ‘Your son would have a better life without you. You’re a drain on society, the state, your family and friends.’ I slit my wrists in the bath and horrified, came to, wailing and sobbing on the floor because I knew I’d hit the fucking bottom. Again.

You’re grateful for the tea and sympathy but you just want everyone to leave you alone and to stop asking if you’re okay. Because you’re not. You’re full of rain and heartache and anger and despair and it’s starting to seep through the cracks in the kept up appearances, seeping through the tshirt sleeve and you need to get out of there.

The rain isn’t miraculously any less wet when you don’t have a coat with a hood, or an umbrella, or three quid for the bus. That rain still soaks you to the skin, and your three year old, too." (Source: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/06/27/the-difference-between-poverty-and-poorface/)

She also criticizes how media make a game of trying to live on £1 a day.

"Poverty is not a 24 hour challenge. It is a world of endless nothing. It is depression, despair, darkness. It is having no light at the end of the tunnel, like being stuck down a well, waiting to die.There is no planning for the future because you don’t believe you really have one. There are no savings accounts, no rainy day funds, no contents insurance, no health insurance, no investment in your own self, your own health, because to invest financially, nutritionally, or emotionally is to look forward. Poverty only looks at its own feet, in too-tight shoes that let in the rain, it drags you downwards, and inwards, and I speak from bitter, horrible experience..."

I particularly like Jack's approach to creating recipes for those in poverty. She recognizes that not everyone has the same level of cooking skills or have access to various cooking equipment.

"In other circumstances, people may lack cooking facilities, in houses of multiple occupancy, student halls, domestic abuse and homelessness shelters. They may have shoddy landlords renting them inappropriate and ill-equipped homes, or their cooker may have broken and they simply don’t have the ready money available to fix it. I have readers who are literally cooking in a bedsitter, or on a camping stove. Some people have no saucepans or cooking equipment. Some people lack the confidence to try new recipes and ingredients; if you have no money or a bare storecupboard, trying new ideas is a risk – if it goes wrong, you end up with no dinner at all. (Source: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/06/27/top-5-tips-for-eating-healthily-on-a-budget-and-the-limitations/)

She also recognizes that many people are on restricted diets and/or do not live near grocery stores or farmers markets.

Initially, being a "Best Selling" cookbook author did not made life easier for Jack. At this point in time, she has not received any royalties from the sales of her cookbook. In addition, she has to fight off aggressive abusers on social media and elsewhere.

Yet, Jack fearlessly addresses how politics and government policies directly affect the poor. She continues to write articles, serve on panels, and support various charities. She calls out "Conservatives" who try and use her as an example to others living in poverty.

"...And finally – I took exception to the Conservatives holding me up as some kind of role model because, it was their policies that left me hungry, cold, almost homeless, moving house seventeen times with a child under my arm. I ended up severely mentally ill, referred to psychiatrists, and still recovering several years later. I tried to kill myself four times that I remember under austerity policies, being continuously maliciously investigated for my benefits (curiously always coinciding with me writing something negative about the local Council on my well-read political blog I wrote from the gallery of the local public meetings), having housing benefit withdrawn over a dozen times, leading to my eviction from my home, and in such horrific debt it took two books to finally emerge from the other side of it. Not credit cards or frivolity; but water bills, bounced gas and electric, rent arrears, and bank charges. I still can’t even open my own front door, scarred as I am by penny pinching pissy policies devised over £39 breakfasts by those who think nothing of spending £6,000 of taxpayers money on a dining table for their second home while loftily declaring that the poor can live on 1% of that figure for an entire week. To be used as their ‘poster girl’ for frugality by such obscene hypocrites offends me to my burned and shattered core." (Source: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/02/17/my-ready-meal-is-none-of-your-business/)

A simple web search for Jack Monroe will illustrate many of their interests and activities.

Most people are disconnected in many ways from the food they buy. Food is political.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Monroe
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/jack-monroe-low-cost-recipes
https://cookingonabootstrap.com/

BoomerRadio Ceased Broadcasting June 30, 2018





On June 30 2018, Boomer Radio went off the air.
(http://www.boomerradio.com/)

For several years, I enjoyed listening to Boomer Radio. Boomer Radio had several collections of songs from the 1950s to today.


Thank you, Boomer Radio, I spent many hours listening to Classic Mix, Soft Oldies, Acoustic Cafe and many of the other music collections. They even had a collection of Christmas music.



Monday, July 2, 2018

Smashwords 2018 Summer Sale

Smashwords 2018 Summer Sale!
 July 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018






Smashwords authors have selected books and reduced their price from free to 75% off.

Get 25% off the eBooks by Ria Stone below:














Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison
(May 27, 1934 – June 28, 2018)

















 Harland Ellison, Science Fiction Writer and more.



Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison
http://www.treknews.net/2018/06/28/harlan-ellison-dead-84/
http://www.sfwa.org/2018/06/in-memoriam-harlan-ellison/
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/harlan-ellison-dead_us_5b3592eae4b0f3c2219f7463



(Photo Source: By Pip R. Lagenta (cropped from)
[CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Great Little Cookbook

In one of my random searches for recipes and free cookbooks, I found this little gem, The Great Little Cookbook, written by Sally Mackay, produced by New Zealand's Ministry of Social Development.
 

Ms. Mackay has created a cookbook jam-packed with information regarding shopping and creating healthy meals and snacks for adults, children and babies.
 

Her creative layouts pack a plethora of tips on each page using lists, boxes, shaded callouts, and a few graphics.

Some of the topics she covers are:
  • serving sizes, types of vegetables, grains and milk 
  • good fat vs bad fats 
  • sugar and salt  
  • eating sweets and dental health 
  • menu planning and menu plan tips 
  • shopping and pantry lists and tips 
  • substitutes 
  • food poisoning and food safety tips 
  • food label analysis

Every page features multiple variations.

Mackay offers a wide range of recipes from Breakfast, to various meals with meat and fish, salads, soups, and birthday parties, and healthy baby tips.

I found the School lunches pages interesting.

The sandwich page is an example of how Mackay puts densely packed information on one page.




I laughed when I read her note on the Beans and Lentils pages, she said, "Lentil patties are not just for hippies."

I choose to try the Pasta Salad and Curry dressing on page 72. 





Pasta Salad
from: The Great Little Cookbook, pg 72 


Mix cooked pasta (not noodles), cooked mixed vegetables, chopped cucumber and sunflower seeds
 

Curry dressing
Add 1 teaspoon curry powder to yoghurt or mayonnaise
 

As usual, I adapted the recipe to work with what I have. I made two different types servings.

For one, I used cold spaghetti noodles and leftover frozen mixed vegetables. For the other, I used cold spaghetti noodles and some canned mixed vegetables. Plus, I made my own Curry Dressing.







Ria's Curry Dressing

Ingredients:


3 heaping tspns mayo
a small pour of plain yogurt
1 level tspn cumin



Process:

Add ingredients to empty glass jar and stir.
Add any number of spoonfuls to the spaghetti and vegetable mixture. Stir and mix well to coat the mixture.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Seven+ Free Cultural Activities in Mérida, México

When you visit Mérida, México, there are plenty of cultural sites, events, and activities for you to enjoy.

Some the many free cultural activities, the city of Mérida, Mexico offers are:

Monday
Regional Dance
9:00pm
Palacio Municipal
Plaza Grande

Tuesday
Musical Memories
8:30pm
Parque de Santiago

Wednesday
Cemetery Tour
Cementerio General
8:pm-9:00pm

Thursday
Serenata Yucateca
9:00pm
Parque Santa Lucia

Friday
Video Mapping Cathedral
8:30pm
Cathedral

Saturday
Noche Mexicana
8:00pm
Paseo de Montegjo y Calle 47

Juego de Pelota Maya "Pok ta Pok"
8:30pm
In front of the Cathedral

Sunday
Merida en Domingo
Plaza Grande
All day
 
Bic Ruta
8:00am-1:00pm
Start from Gran Plaza or Paseo Montejo y Calle 35

Vaqueria Regional
1:00pm
Plaza Grande
All day