Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oaxaca Journal--Part 2

Cover of my journal---portrait is one I did from a photo I found online and can't find again to give photo credit.  I'm sorry!

I always try to incorporate a map of where I traveled into my travel journal.  I love maps and any excuse to use one is leaped on.

Detail of a painting my Miguel Covarrubias is in the bottom right corner in the above photo.  One of our painting assignments was to do a painting of our own based on Sr. Covarubias' work.


The very graphic Day of the Dead lady in the above photo was from a free handout that was everywhere in Oaxaca.  I loved this graphic and was thrilled when I discovered that inside the booklet was a big, fold-out poster with both Frida Kahlo and Coco Channel by artist Bradley Theodore.   I love this poster!

I didn't post photos of the pages where I just inserted printouts from the trip and other written material I wanted to keep.  Not very interesting to look at, but good reading and things I want to keep for reference.

This journal was fun to do!  Since I started shooting with a Nikon D7100 I can no longer use my little travel-friendly Zinc printers, as the Nikon digital files are too large for these small printers to use.  Sad, but I just pick the photos I want to insert later and make note of them in the journal as I am working on it on the trip and add the printed-at-home-after-returning photos later.  Cumbersome maybe, but effective.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oaxaca Journal--Part 1

I know some of you, Dear Readers, like to see my travel journals.  So, here is the first half of my journal from Oaxaca.  If journals, whether travel or whatever, bore you, you will want to skip this and the next blog post.  

I really think these photos are self explanatory.  I'll save you endless verbiage and just post the photos!

The second half will appear here tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Paint Oaxaca!!! Part 3

Dorylyn Thomas, one of the fine assistants at Seasons of My Heart Cooking school, Lorraine Lopez
 One of the most interesting experiences we had in Oaxaca was the afternoon we spent at Chef Susana Trilling's Seasons of the Heart Cooking School outside the village of Etla, about 8 miles from Oaxaca.

Kathryn Gilbert and Dorylyn Thomas preparing mole negro
We were at the school for a long time.  You don't just whip out a traditional mole!  There are many steps, all important, and lots of slow simmering and endless stirring.  The delectable meal we created  was well worth the effort!

my cooking partner, Laura Herrera, stirring the mole, and stirring the mole, and stirring the mole....
I found the whole time at Susana's beautiful school kitchen (and dining room) to be a feast for all the senses.  Even the view out the front door to the surrounding countryside, the campo, was stunning.

Even in a traditional Mexican cocina you'll find rice wine vinegar!
 The vivid pink walls were the perfect foil for setting off the handmade Mexican tile that covered all the counter tops and even made this braid of garlic look like art.

All the produce was luscious.  It was a delight to work with the raw ingredients for our dishes.

Chef Susana Trilling is on the left and the lady on the right is a local cheese maker.  She makes cheese every day with 350 liters of milk!  She made the whole process look so easy and her queso fresco was delicious.

For the yellow mole that my cooking partner and I made we roasted the tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic and peppers on a comal (flat clay plate in photo below)  over a wood fire.  It was fun and the flavors imparted important to achieve the true flavor of an Oaxacan yellow mole.  As Chef Susana told us, "Smoke is an ingredient in our cuisine."

Mole Amarillo de puerco con setas

Here's our finished yellow mole dish (Mole Amarillo de puerco con setas), served with carefully cooked vegetables.  We had green beans, carrots, chayotes and oyster mushrooms.  It was, if I say so myself, delicious!  

And, as if the wonderful day outside of Oaxaca wasn't perfect enough, on our way back to our B & B, at a stop light, we had entertainment.  I wish we had such things here at home!  I never would have dreamed that a flaming baton twirler would be working at a stop light.  It was remarkable!