Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Old but New

My new Cookware! Hot Damn if I get any more Mexican you're gonna see me sporting a rosary.

I'm referring to the earthenware pot in the front with the lil flowers on it. Chino's been craving for me to cook guisado in one of these for a couple of years now and yesterday we finally bought one. ($3.95!!) When I first moved here I honestly thought they were just for tourists and not actually functional.

Would you believe that the food didn't stick to the bottom? And the lid, the handle didn't get hot! I don't know how any of this is possible but I've got a feeling that earthenware is now my new favorite cooking vessel. I guess a thousand years or so of other people using it could have been a clue that they're pretty rad but lol WHO KNEW.

By the way how does it look juxtaposed in front of my Gramas 1978 Sears and Roebuck Mushroom canisters and my Turtle cookie jar??? We really are fusion-ing things up around here.

I adore those mushroom cookie jars by the way. I remember admiring them in my Gramas house for as long as I can remember and when she passed away I was just crazy to know who was going to take them. After a couple of days of helping my family clean out Gramas house and nobody moving them I finally got up the guts to whisper an inquiry to my Mom as to who would take them. My Mom smiled and took me over to her two sisters and asked them, at which point they all had a damn good laugh and informed me that they were relieved that anybody would want them!

I didn't realize it until just now writing this post that for me they were a big deal because they were from MY childhood but for my Gramas 7 daughters they were just some ugly thing that their Mom bought long after they were moved out of the house. I couldn't understand until just now why they wouldn't want them! They were interested in photos and objects from their childhood, not their Moms later bad taste in kitchen ware.

I felt as if I were receiving a huge treasure and they were just happy they wouldn't have to toss them or sell them. Brave from their response I got up the guts to ask about my Gramas Owl Lamp that also, know one had touched. I think my aunts about peed their pants laughing at this request and were just as thrilled that some crazy family member would take the monstrosity in.
I remember this two foot owl sitting on top of my Gramas gigantor wooden t.v. console and being in awe and half afraid of it as long as I remember the cookie jars. You can't tell in the picture but it's about two feet tall and the eyes and everywhere in the feathers that you see orange actually light up when you flick the switch and turn on the lamp. Bad. Ass.

Could there be a more hideous lamp on earth, I'm not sure, but I love it anyways. I love it because of the memories and I love it because I've always been a fan of misfits. My Grama loved it because her daughter made it for her in ceramics class and she had gaudy taste.

I keep it outside in our yard to freak out the neighbors and make them think I'm a witch or just a tad loony but would you know though that since we've moved here I've had not one but two inquiries into it from neighbors asking if I'd be willing to sell it?

....???..... LOL!!

It's nice to know that my Gramas taste did fit in somewhere in the world, just not where she lived.
Anyhoo I started this post to write about my new pot and here I've ended up. The earthenware pot really IS awesome and and it's a neat addition of old and new all in one. Here in Mexico more than ever I appreciate things with roots.

(p.s. really goofy might-not-make-sense-but-might guisado recipe in my comments section - share a better one if you've got it!)


Leslie Limon said...

Lindy, I absolutely loved this post! :) I have to admit, the first thing I noticed wasn't your olla de barro. It was your grandmother's mushroom cookie jars. Very cute! I'm glad that you got to keep them.

And how cute is that owl! My Gramm collected owls too. Her older sister would put them away whenever she visited because she was sure that they were "the Devil's creatures"! :)

Sunshine said...

Oh, this is why i love you! Your so damn cool! And...where did you buy that pot for so cheap? So they have more or maybe some flower pots too? I'm ready to go whole hog and do something with my outside needs a re-vamp!
I love the owl's by the great grandma used to collect owls! Brings back memories!

Mary C said...

I loved your post too! You have a good heart, and that's why you are going to be (already are) a great mom.

I had the same feelings about those earthenware pots - things will stick, handles will get hot - but after reading your post I'm inspired to buy one.

Love the history of the mushroom canisters and turtle cookie jar. My grandmother was special to me like that. I still have the straw hat she used to wear while gardening. It's what inspired me to move to Mexico when my grandson was born here, because I want to be that person in his life. Now I'm wondering what whacky things of mine he might save to remember me by. Surely not that hideous ceramic frog?!

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Leslie - Olla De Barro - So that's what it's called! LOL I knew somebody would tell me :D I had noooo idea! And lol that's so neat about her older sister - although my neighbors here informed me that my owl is a GOOD owl because it's brown and not some other "evil" color! It's so fun here sometimes!

Sunshine - Progresso! In one of those cool shops that has a ton of pottery - and I was soooo thinking of you there - they had a bunch of cool fertility type statues and I wanted to get you one!

Mary - OOoo go for it! Of course lol now I'm nervous - I hope my pot is the norm and not the exception :D And awww that is soooo adorable about your Grama and her straw hat - I love it, I hope you wear it :) And lol ceramic frog? Can't never tell! (ok it makes me giggle also because also from my grama I got HER ceramic kitchen frog - one of those lil guys with the big mouth that holds sponges - he's orange and yellow :D )

Waitress from Mensa said...

Could you post the guisado recipe, or maybe a brief description?

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Waitress - Ooo sure!! I never measure anything but luckily with Guisado (if that's how it's spelled) you don't need measurements! Ok, here goes ...

Heat up your pan with a bit of oil.

Add the beef - I use whatever miscellaneous shredded/ cut up taquito or stew or fajita beef I have in the house - and let it cook on med/high heat. (pound and a half of meat?)

While it's cooking get out your blender.

Chop up -
3-4 roma tomatoes depending on size how much much salsa you like.

One jalapeño pepper or a couple of serrano peppers or a combination - what ever floats your boat

One or two big garlic peices

And a half or so of onion (or more or less depending on how much you love it and how big it is!)

Throw all the veggies in the blender with just enough water to get it going and add salt to taste.

I don't salt the meat because it cooks in the salty salsa so get it all in here.

I actually use the brand name "Adobo" (from Goya) seasoning instead of plain salt - you can get it at Walmart (even in Michigan!) but plain salt works just FINE, that's what Chino's tia uses.

Anywhoo, whirl it all up and dump it in your pan with the meat that's still cooking.

Let it cook down still on med or high heat till the salsa is less watery and turns more red than pink. (20 minutes? Half hour? What ever floats your boat and makes you feel good inside!)

If you let it sit for a bit the salsa will thicken up a tad and it won't be so watery and actually it's better and even MORE salsa-thick and good the next day :D

Warm up some tortillas and you're good to go! I made rice and beans to go with it but that was because I had a lot of time on my hands - a lot of the time we'll just eat it strait with tortillas and maybe some avacado. Mmmmm avacado goes great with this!

You could always vary the salsa - use chile de arbol or ancho chiles for a real salsa roja or you could go green and use tomatillos or a mixture of everything (I do that sometimes when the fridge is low - everything in the pot!)

You could use some cumin too if that would make your toes wiggle!

OK lol I hope some of this made sense! :D And if not, check out Leslie Limon's food blog in my side-bar - I use a bunch of her recipies!

Anonymous said...

My suegra uses those earthenware pots! I think they're they cutest thing.

That's the coolest lamp I've ever seen, btw. I think it's awesome to put on a porch... maybe not on top of your meemaw's TV though.

Refried Dreamer said...

I am strangely psyched to purchase an earthenware pot. Haha... thanks for the inspiration! :) Guisado, here we come!

obladi oblada said...

I love those pots...and those Mushroom Canisters? They were in MY mom's kitchen too. I felt all warm and fuzzy when I saw them...well, ok, not really, but it was nice to see them again.

Pam said...


Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Gringa - lol at the lamp on the porch. Would you believe we actually had it IN Daisy's crib for awhile? I can't remember for the LIFE OF ME now, but at the time my seriously sleep deprived brain had a good reason. ...... OHHHH wait, it's come back - lolololol we were too scared to have the lights off in the room (cuz then we couldn't watch her breathe) and wanted something with a really low level of light. Bwaaa poor baby.

Refried - lol look at us getting all Mexican Martha Stewart :D

O.O. and Pam - lol the BOTH of your Moms! Awesome :D

raúl said...

That was one of the things I promised myself when I moved here was to buy Talavera dishes. I have always loved pottery. Ceramic is so overrated.
Those canisters remind me of my Gma's. She has these wooden boxes with black roosters on them. I wonder if any one has laid claim to those. It's tacky to ask BEFORE she dies, eh? Decorum and etiquette be damned...I'm making a call to my hick cousins post haste. --Thanks for the reminder!

Cdn Cat said...

I so loooove the for the lamp, not so much. LOL
My mom gave me the ugliest mushroom lamp for Xmas back in the 90's. I had to open it early that year as I was leaving to go back to Mexico. My sister whispered in my ear "better you than me" .... I told her it wasn't Xmas yet and I could put in a good word to mom on how much she L-O-V-E-D my lamp....I wonder where that lamp is now... would have gone nicely with your canisters! ja ja ja ja ...

hereandthere said...

No way! The first thing I noticed in the picture were the mushroom canisters. My mom has the same ones - I think they came from my grandma on my dad's side. Maybe I should snatch them when she isn't looking and send them to you. I've thought many times about taking them and giving them away - mostly because she has a ton of crap and they're just sitting on the top of the fridge collecting dust.

The ollas are awesome. We got one from my suegra that has a broken handle but it still works really well - and you're right, they are awesome for guisados. Yum...I'm feeling hungry after reading your recipe!

jenny said...

I make something similar to your gusisado, but never had a name for it.. just called it "taco meat"! lol

First thing I noticed was the turtle cookie jar! I've always wanted one of those (turtle lover) but never see one at the right price. I see them in the antique shops around here, always $25 or more.

My sister inherited her ex husband's mother's tree stump canister set.. a lot like the mushrooms but with a tree stump and butterfly for the handles if I remember right. She was fierce in the divorce settlement that she wasn't giving it up so he let her have them. They're cute, both the mushrooms and the tree stumps, and I love that you have them and using them!

Waitress from Mensa said...

Lindy, Thank you so much for the guisado recipe! I will definitely try it (and absolutely with cumin) for my Mexican boyfriend! Sounds awesome. I love the creativity of it.

Kelly said...

Don't feel alone in this deodorant thing..after I had my daughter I turned what my husband referred to as "Borg" because I would acclimate and the freaking stuff would stop working. I have no less than 10 deodorants in my bathroom in rotation in case they START working for me again.
I also affiliate with the funny grandma stuff. My grandmother had this atrocious orange armchair that I took when she passed and loved to death because I had always remembered as a part of my childhood at her house. I only wished I had taken the frog collection in the bathroom. Those little guys were so cute. I ended up starting my own collection years later. Gotta love the cool grandma stuff!

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JRCVsPRiNC3SA said...

What is really cool, is that I have the EXACT same mushroom jars!! My Mom gave them to me lol! And those earthenwares or w/e they are called make food take different.. better different!! they are so cool!

Paleo Latino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Güero's Güera said...

Hello. I just wanted to say that your new cooking vessel is actually a cazuela de barro. Cazuelas are open and have shorter sides. An olla de barro is taller and is usually used for beans. I drove from Iowa to Mexico City and back to meet my in-laws in September. Since I was driving, I was on a quest to purchase as much as "cosas de barro" as I could. We took a day trip to Queretaro. On the way I saw a small home/store/yardsale/pottery shop on the side of the road. We stopped and I bought 2 cazuelas (large and xtra large), 1 olla de barro, 1 comal, 4 platos, and 4 tazas de cafe for $65.00. My bargain of a lifetime in my opinion! LOL I lived in Hidalgo and Mexico City back in 1997 for about 5 months and I used them daily so I knew how great it was. I was introduced to your blog by my cousin. We are both gringas married to Mexicans and we are both preparing for our inevitable move to Mexico at some point. (Pinche Migra) I have been in love with Mexico since 1992. I turned 21 in San Jose Huipana, Michoacan or "El Rancho" as it is known back here in Iowa. LOL Keep up the good work on the blog and know that we are sending you many blessings from "El Norte"!!

Fran said...

OMG - I SO love your blog!! This one had me crying I was laughing so hard. You brought back so many great memories - both pregnancy/birth & the what the hell happened to my body!!, even though my "baby" is 27 (WTF!!!) and about my Grandma - although she's been gone for over 30 years. I got Grandma's salt 'n pepper shakers that she brought from Ireland back in '11 - yeah, 1911. Now I feel old as hell...but anyhoo - you rock!! Thanks for all of your posts. You r the best! Hugs n kisses to you and your adorable baby and hubby.

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

Fran - That is SO neat that you've got your Grammas shakers! And thank you for the compliments - you're so kind - and it's soooo cool that you can relate! :)