Mayan High Life Pt. 2—Yucatán Nights

  Rogue Priest

Arianna and Rosalía share a bike near the carousel. Photo by Andre. Arianna and Rosalía share a bike near the carousel. Photo by Andre.

Valladolid looks quiet but there’s a lot going on. Last time I introduced the crazy cast of characters I managed to fall in with. Now it’s time for some misadventures.

Writers Are Boring

Most days were tame. Writers are boring artists: we don’t hop around stage and cast spells like musicians or actors. We don’t even put on a show of furious brush strokes. Furious laptopping just looks like you’re unbalanced, too angry over someone’s comment on Youtube. I spent many days quietly typing at home.

But I felt out of place in the Canada House. There were four bedrooms and just one of me. I mostly lived in the back building, but I preferred to work up front in the outdoor kitchen, surrounded by nature. As a result I spent a lot of time walking back and forth. It felt odd having such a huge place to myself.

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Mayan High Life Pt. 1—The Right Group of People

  Rogue Priest

Valladolid Valladolid

In the last entry I finished my ride across Mexico and reached beautiful Valladolid. But that was months ago. What was it like living there? Valladolid itself is a small colonial city, but my life there was much wilder than I could have expected. Here’s a first look into that time, and all the people I met.

When I arrived in Valladolid I didn’t have a clear plan. I knew I wanted to live there and write long term. “Long term” meant a few months, a novelty after biking to a new town every few days. But first I needed a place to stay.

For the first few nights I booked a room with Manda, a British fashion designer who came to Mexico to teach design. She ended up hating the job but loving the country. For three years she followed Mexican teenagers photographing their amazing Colombia-inspired fashion. (Her book about the teens is stunning, by the way.) But I…

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The Mexican Whistle

Mexico Retold

Whistle

There are two things that as a little girl I always wanted to do but couldn’t: roll my rrrrr’s and whistle. To be quite honest, both still more or less elude me, although I am getting closer to pronouncing perro correctly and hailing a taxi via a whistle rather than a crazy arm-swinging dance at the side of the road.

A few months ago, I began to realise the importance of whistling in Mexican culture. It is something that I think you can almost miss, but once you notice it, it is everywhere.

To hail a cab, whistle hard and one will seemingly appear from nowhere. To get the attention of the guy selling water below your window, give a quick sharp whistle and he will come to your door. Where perhaps in England, whistling might seem rude, here it is the best way to get someone’s attention. The getting-attention whistle, is called…

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Golden Milk

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Turmeric is great as a spice, but also has many health benefits. It is used as an anti-inflammatory for people suffering from arthritis, joint pain, and muscle pain. It also aids in digestion, is anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic milk

1 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Heat the milk over medium heat with the spices. Pour the honey into a teacup and set aside. Once milk starts to simmer, remove from heat, stir the mixture, and let sit to cool a little bit. While still warm, pour the mixture into the cup, stir to liquefy honey and enjoy 🙂

This Cute Guy Singing With Total Strangers Stuck In Traffic Will Make Your Heart Melt

Only here in NOLA it would have to be bounced out 🙂

Thought Catalog

I can’t tell what part of this video is my favorite — it’s somewhere between how adorable the guy is, how happy everyone is about hearing the song, or how into the dance moves some of the drivers get. Even though, knowing myself, I would probably just scowl at him as I rolled up my window (I don’t do well in traffic), I am happy there are some drivers out there who are in a good enough mood to make for an amazing impromptu sing-a-long. Yay! [tc-mark]

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I. Have made. Butter! (and it was super easy)

I was thinking about what I could eliminate from my grocery list. I’ve been making breakfast and dinner recipes from 100 Days of Real Food and The Fresh 20 that are delicious as well as full of awesome micronutrients. The past month has been chock full of yummy, healthy meals and that has inspired me to take the next step.

My mother lives with us now and is a butter addict. Well, she’s actually a toast addict, who uses butter as lubricant. We had already switched from “spreads” like country crock to real butter, but I wondered if we couldn’t take it one step further and make my own. That way I know exactly how it was made and can choose cream from the local farmers market to make the butter. About two years ago I had insisted we stop using margarine because butter tastes much better, it’s a natural product that human beings have been eating and cooking with for centuries without ­damaging their health, and I trust cows more than food product scientists.

So why on earth did I ever use margarine, a highly synthetic and unpleasant-tasting concoction laced with additives and cheap, low-grade oils refined on an industrial scale? Propaganda. My parents had been fed “the propaganda” since the mid-80s, and I grew up on that funny Parkay commercial that made me trust the creamy yellow stuff that came in tubs. Plus it was easier to spread.

In February 2013 the unholy alliance of Government nutritionists and the food processing industry were exposed in a study of Australian men and subsequent meta-studies of the health consequences of consuming food products like margarine. If they hadn’t lied — and margarine really was better for you, as they’ve been claiming for decades — you’d expect the middle-aged Australian men who switched to safflower oil to live longer and have better health outcomes.

The exact opposite turned out to be true. Those men who ate more of the safflower-derived products were almost twice as likely to die from all causes, including heart disease.

So, butter is better! Plus it’s easy to make:

1. Take a pint of cream and pour it into a mixing bowl.
2. Use a handheld mixer and whip the cream on high until the creamy yellow soft butter separates from the buttermilk. Takes about 5 minutes.
3. Pour 1 cup of ice cold water and pour it over the butter and buttermilk. Mix it for about 1 minute.
4. Spoon it all into a fine strainer or cheesecloth and press or squeeze out the water and buttermilk.
5. Spoon the resulting butter into a butter-keeper or bowl.
6. Savor your 1/2 pound of butter.

That’s it. Super simple and tasty. Enjoy.

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