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

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Condiments: Chipolte Sauce and more

Two condiments I have tried recently:

Mayonesea con Chile Chipolte


Soy oil, egg yolk, vinegar, agua, sugar, salt, mustard, lime juice concentrate and spices (chile chipolte en adobo: agua, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, onions, chile, sugar, soy oil, and spices)

Cocktail Sauce or Mexican Bitters


Aqua, hydrodized soy and vegetable oil, vinegar, manzana, citric acid, piloncillo, azcar, sal yodada, pure de tamarindo, artificial flavors, maltodextrina, carmel coloring clase IV, benzoato de sodio, condimentos y glutamato monosodico, contiente soya, sulfitos, y gluten de trigo (or basically - water, oil, vinegar, apple juice, citric acid, sugar, salt, tamarindo juice)

I use Mayonesea con Chile Chipolte often, in small doses. It has a kick.

I tried the Maggi Cocktail Sauce in a few Mocktails, it's ok but I might be better off making my own "Bitters."

Spontaneous Writing - Raspberries

As a member of several writers groups, I enjoy spontaneous writing sessions.

Basically, someone suggests a word, image or uses a picture and asks the group to write for 5-10 minutes about the suggested word or image.

I am always surprised by what I write and then I am surprised at the various perspectives from other writers.

Since, I come from a journalistic background, I tend to be straightforward in my writing, but I find in spontaneous writing sessions, I am a bit more creative.

Here is a sample from a recent Scribes of Our Times' spontaneous writing session. The image was raspberries.


It's the bumps that fascinate me and the amazement that a fruit can be so red.

It is so soft, it melts in your mouth.

The taste migrates from sour into sweetness to end with a tang.

Raspberries are rare to me. While I know they are plentiful to others, it is like a jewel that I want to keep.

Raspberries are mysterious. Blackberries are familiar. Blueberries are little treats.

But, raspberries come from a foreign place, even if it's just next door.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Partial List of Residencias Adultos Mayores (Senior Care Residences), Merida, Yucatan

The following is a partial list of residential facilities for seniors.
Adultos Mayores Residencias
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Information presented is based on visits in 2016 arranged by Adventures-Mexico (https://www.adventures-mexico.com/) to the following facilities. List is not inclusive. There are other private and governmental adultos mayores facilities and services in the Yucatan.

2016 costs range from $11,000 to 20,000MXN a month. Some facilities require a deposit. These costs are a guide and do not represent current costs.

Resident is responsible for several costs including wifi and cable, medical services and medicines, and other services.

Some require additional electricity fees during summer months.

List does not cover all information regarding facilities.

Most of the facilities have waiting lists.

Descriptions of what facilities may provide or not provide are only a guide. Changes in what facilities provide or do not provide may have changed.

1. Josefina Montes Molina
Hogar para Mujeres
C21 x 20 y 22
Mexico Oriente

Multi-story building includes an elevator.
Garden areas.
Community rooms.

Private room

Fitness room
Game room
Reception desk with mail service
First Aid

Does not include:
Laundry services, laundry machines in building
Wifi or Cable
Rooms are not furnished
Medical services or medicines

2. Golden Age Services

La Edad Dorado
C 30 #255 x 75 y 73
Colonia Montes de Ame
Merida, Yucatan 97115

Lots of open and garden spaces.

Dr. Luis Martinez
999 199 1138
999 287 4073

Accommodations, dormitory rooms, private with shared bathroom
3 meals, collations
Game room
24 hour nursing assistant
Surveillance and medicine control
Physiotherapy/Occupational therapy
Low cost laboratory services

Does not Include:
Medical services and medicines

3. Mis Queridos Viejos
C 38 #125 x 29 y 31
Colonia Buenavista, Merida, Yucatan
Harold Esquiviel

999 927 9381

Private home

shared accommodations
3 meals
Room cleaning
Surveillance and medicine control
Doctor visit

Does not Include:
Special meal requirements
Medical services and medicines
No activities

4. Residencia Para Mayores “Casa Aurea, A.C.”
C 18 x 31 y 16
Colonia Mexico
Irma Martinez Gonzales
999 926 1183
999 366 8234
999 253 7966

Accommodations, shared or private (Furnished or Unfurnished)
3 meals and 2 collations
Fan or Air conditioning
Private Bath
Bell for assistance
Nursing assistance
Linen changes 2x a week

Does not Include:
Laundry services
Medical services and medicines

5. Refugio Mendoza
C 12 #249 x45
Colonia Leandro Valle, 97143
(Near Macroplaza)

999 212 0626

Accommodations, single or shared
3 meals, 2 collations
Nursing assistance
CCTV cameras
Bell for assistance
1 doctor visit a month

Does not Include:
Medical services, medicines, doctor visits
Limited Fan and A/C use

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Basic Black Bean Burgers/Sliders

I want to make a good bean burger. I am not there yet.

This is my third attempt.

The following websites are some of the sites I consulted.

Jack Monroe - Tin Can Cook

BBC Good Food

The Guardian

My burgers were a little too soft for my taste, so I am still seeking to perfect my recipe.

I found the variety of bean burger recipes confusing. Since I admired Amy Dacyczyn's "Universal Casserole" recipe from her book, The Tightwad Gazette, I made a diagram to try to simplify the steps and choice of ingredients needed to make bean burgers.

Also, I am using my theory of "Use What You have."

In this recipe, I used Black Beans that had already been mashed.

Basic Black Bean Burgers/Sliders
(Adapted from: https://www.budgetbytes.com/black-bean-burgers/


Updated: 3/18/19

Friday, February 15, 2019

Toast Topping: Salmon, Celery Leaves & More...

Toast Topping: Salmon, Celery Leaves & More

This may be the "prettiest" Toast Topping I have made so far.

I was thinking of Salmon salad and ended up with a bit more.

I am trying to make more vegetable recipes but with fresh vegetables I can use quickly when fresh, and are freezable for the remainder. Generally, that includes bell peppers, celery and scallions. As a single person, a head of lettuce would go to waste. Plus, trying to follow GERD menu suggestions, tomatoes and onions are off the list. But, I am testing to see if a bit of scallions can be tolerated.

Also, I am trying to use all of the celery stalks by trimming off the leaves for later use as salad makings and greenery, then cutting the celery stalks into sticks for snacks, and diced for salads and to freeze.

So, when I thought of salmon salad as a toast topping, I got creative.


 1 slice multigrain bread, toasted
Celery leaves
1 TBspn grated Mozzarella cheese
1 TBspn Salmon, canned and drained, mixed with mayo
2-3 olives, sliced
A few thin slices of radish
1 Tspn diced scallions
1-3 capers
A sprinkle of paprika
A sprinkle of ground black pepper
A sprinkle of parmasan cheese


Layer the toast with celery leaves, cheese, salmon mixture, then top with olive and radish slices, scallions and capers. Then, sprinkle lightly with paprika, ground black pepper, and parmasan cheese.

Very tasty, I am enjoying using spices and condiments sparingly.


Cucumber Bonanza

Cucumber Bonanza

Recently, I developed an unusual craving for cucumbers. But, normally, all I do with cucumbers is slice them and add the slices to this and that or just eat them plain.

In a search for cucumber recipes, Simply Recipes came to the rescue with enough cucumber recipes to keep me busy for awhile.

Part of my craving for cucumbers is my desire to manage my weight and health. While I had sufficient "healthy" recipes for breakfast and Lupper, my snack repertoire was lacking. I kept drifting toward cake.

Suggestion: When preparing the following recipes, reduce the water content of the cucumber slices or cubes prior to adding to mixture. Place slices or cubes into a colander, sprinkle with salt, toss, then let it sit to drain.

Cucumbers and Sesame cream


1 or 2 Cucumbers, washed, peeled, sliced or cubed
3 TBspns Tahini (or sesame cream)
Warm water (optional)
1 capful lime juice concentrate
1 Tspn garlic powder
1 Tspn onion powder
1 palmful basil, dry, crushed
1 palmful parsley, dry, crushed
s/p to taste


Peel and slice the cucumber(s) or to cube the cucumber(s), cut lengthwise, scoop out soft center and seeds. Cut remaining cucumber into small cubes.

In a bowl, add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

If sesame cream is too thick, add a bit of warm water and stir.

Add cubed cucumber(s), toss mixture.

Season with s/p to taste.

Cucumbers and Yogurt


2 Cucumbers, washed, sliced (peeled, optional)
1 cup yogurt, plain
2 Tspns parsley, dry, crushed
s/p to taste


Add cucumber slices to a container with a lid.
Add yogurt and parsley.
Close lid. Shake thoroughly to mix ingredients.
Add s/p to taste.
Close lid and shake again.

Cucumber Salad with Sesame Seeds


2 Cucumbers, washed, sliced or cubed
2 Tspns sesame oil or cream
2 TBspns rice vinegar
Warm water (optional)
1 palmful basil, dry, crushed
1-5 dashes red pepper sauce, to taste
2 Tspns sesame seeds (optional)


Add sesame cream to a container with a lid.
Add vinegar. Stir.
If mixture is thick, add a bit of warm water to dilute.
Add basil and hot pepper sauce.
Stir thoroughly.
Add cucumbers.
Close lid.
Shake thoroughly to mix ingredients and coat cucumber slices.
Open lid, add sesame seeds and season with s/p to taste.
Close lid and shake again.

Cucumber Salad with Almond Slivers and Grapes


2 Cucumbers, washed, sliced
1/4 Cup almond slivers
20 green grapes, halved
2 TBspns olive oil
1 Tspn wine vinegar
1-2 Tspns onion powder or diced scallions
s/p to taste


Add ingredients to a container with a lid.
Close lid.
Shake to mix ingredients thoroughly.

Cucumber Salad


2 Cucumbers, washed, sliced (peeled, optional)
2/3 TBspns vinegar, rice or basic
1 Palmful Basil, dry, crushed
1-3 TBspns grated mozzarella cheese (optional)
s/p to taste


In a container with a lid, add ingredients.
Put lid on container, shake ingredients to mix thoroughly.
Chill if desired.

There are numerous varieties of cucumbers, the two I am familiar with are:

Cucumis sativus

Pepino Blanco

I was unable to find suficient information on "pepino blanco", most articles claim the two cucumbers are from the same genus, Cucumis.

More information on cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) and more:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Beans on Toast -- In depth

Beans on Toast

I thoroughly enjoy making Toast Toppings recipes.

Somewhere, I caught the phrase "beans on toast." It may have been on my mind since I read Bodega Beans Are the Best Thing You Can Eat When You Are Broke, by Jaime Green (Buzzfeed News)

My first thought when I read Jaime's article, was 'Boy, she hasn't heard of Jack Monroe (https://cookingonabootstrap.com/category/recipes-food/).

Jaime could have had Carrot, Cumin & Kidney Bean Burgers!

Also, when I heard the phrase  "Beans on Toast" somewhere else, I realized it fit into the "Toast Topping" category and decided to give it a try.

The first time I made it, it was like, just white beans on toast. It was ok. I like beans.

Then, I did some research.

A bit of history about baked beans in the U.K.

 Oh, the tangled relationships of nations and food (see below.)

Then, I found Business Insider's hilarious video about Americans' reactions to "Beans on Toast."

Business Insider

Of course, I had to go to BBC Food for the real "Beans on Toast" recipe.

BBC Food

Essentially, it's warmed up beans from a can, on toast, topped with a sprinkle of "grated, mature cheddar cheese."

While the BBC recipe calls for white bread, I'd switch out the white bread for integral bread or some other multigrain bread.

Plus, maybe there's Heinz baked beans here but I haven't seen them yet. So, I use either Isadora's Frijoles Refritos Peruano (Creamy White Beans) or Frijoles Charros, a spicier 'pork and beans'. (The beans are bayo beans, similar to red beans, and the pork is chorizo.)


Also, I would use any cheese available, generally, mozzarella.

Then, I'd top the beans with a sprinkle of ground black pepper, maybe a little basil, lime juice and a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Yum! (opps, forgot the basil, will use it next time.)

And for those interested, I found some information on beans from around the world.

from Wikipedia

"The beans presently used to make baked beans are all native to South America and were introduced to Europe around 1528."

"According to alternative traditions, sailors brought cassoulet from the south of France or northern France, and the Channel Islands, where bean stews were popular."

"...the term baked beans usually refers to tinned beans in a tomato sauce. They were originally imported from American companies, first sold in the UK in 1886 in the upmarket Fortnum & Mason store in London as an expensive foreign delicacy."

"Frijoles charros, pinto beans cooked with bacon and sometimes tomatoes, are popular in Mexico and the American border states."

Encyclopeadia Britannica

f. Fabaceae
g. Phaseolus
g. Vigna
g. vulgaris - common beans originate from Central and South America:
pole, snap, string, bush, french, haricot or kidney, green beans, anasazi, navy, black, northern, pinto, cannellini

broad/fava are of European origin

P. lunatus/Lima/sieva/Butter, origin Central American

Cicer arietinum/garbanzo/chickpea/

Vigna ungulculata/black-eyed peas/cowpeas

V. radiata/mung bean/greengram

V. angularis/Azuki/Adzuki

In my memory, I am familiar with green beans. Mom made a great green bean casserole. I also remember I had a great fear of Lima beans, but today I love them.

Kidney beans were always in chili, navy beans were always used in navy bean soup, and pork and beans were usually found at picnics or as a side dish or we added cutup frankfurters and warmed up the mixture. Later in life, I began to use northern beans and cannellini beans in recipes.

When I came to Mexico, I began to use Garbanzo beans and black beans in recipes, and would eat frijols charros as a side dish. Then, I tried Peruviano beans and I like them alot for "beans on toast."

#GERD-friendly (Dairy is not recommended but once symptoms have been reduced by diet and prescriptions, a bit of dairy used infrequently may be tolerated.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Writing Workshop: Word Length

How long is a Novel? A Short Story? and more.
(courtesy of Smashwords Writers Forum)

Word Length

According to Wikipedia, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America specifies word lengths for each category of its Nebula award categories:

Classification             Word count
Novel                         40,000 words or over
Novella                      17,500 to 39,999 words
Novelette                   7,500 to 17,499 words
Short story                 under 7,500 words

Wikipedia goes on to say: There are no firm rules: for example, the boundary between a novella and a novel is arbitrary and a literary work may be difficult to categorise. But while the length of a novel is to a large extent up to its writer, lengths may also vary by subgenre; many chapter books for children start at a length of about 16,000 words, and a typical mystery novel might be in the 60,000 to 80,000 word range while a thriller could be well over 100,000 words. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_count


Flash fiction is a fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development. Identified varieties, many of them defined by word count, include the six-word story, the 280-character story (also known as "twitterature"), the "dribble" (also known as the "minisaga"; 50 words), the "drabble" (also known as "microfiction"; 100 words), "sudden fiction" (750 words), flash fiction (1,000 words), and "micro-story".


Read more: http://smashwords-forum.proboards.com/thread/1988/word-counts#ixzz5eV3LGFTC

Other Sources:

The Write Place