viernes, 27 de noviembre de 2009

Back to the Sun.

So I am not only back in the country where the sun shines everyday, but also back into blogging again.
Do you know the feeling of being in a rollercoaster not really knowing where your feet are? well, this is the way I can resume the last three months spent in the country of the maple flag, my surrogate country: Canada.

I wish to thank my friends who have been close to me and who helped me figure out things while I was challenged everyday. To you all, my most sincere thanks.

Now that the rollercoaster has stopped and I feel like I am back with my two feet stepping strong on the ground I can only be grateful for the experience and the lesson. This life of mine where the unexpected awaits me on every door keeps on challenging me, teaching me and hopefully making me stronger and wiser ("never forget the lesson" as the Dalai Lama says!)
So, just like getting off a rollercoaster I got off a plane last week into something familiar, welcoming and so very missed.

Without going into details my experience way up north was nothing of what I expected it to be, with the good and the bad. This can both give you the thrill of the surprise but sometimes can also stress you out in an unecessarily degree.

To those who love drifting through life following the wind that comes their way and just take off like me, I know you'll understand what I am saying here: life is about constant change and it is so very brief; it is just a question of having enough courage to close a door an open another one.

I don't know where the wind will take me now but I know it will be again challenging and so very exciting.

In the meantime.................there is so much to knit!

Thanks for visiting.

miércoles, 1 de julio de 2009

Ending June.

So June went by and I had no time to post here. I was planning to do so when I would finish another knitting project. I finished the knitting project, made the pictures, kept the top in the closet......but never came up with the time to post about it. (Ooops)
So here it is now, an all cotton top for the warm summer days.......if only it would stop raining in Mexico City! Don't you find it sometimes frustrating that you start up a project with the intention of finishing it just in time for a particular season and then the season goes by and you still have not finished? or on the other side, that you do manage to finish it and then the season is nothing like you thought it would be? Well, there is always nexy year :(

One good thing about June is that I finally came up to baking some favourite cookies of mine. I found the recipe in one of the mexican cooking books I posted about before and eventhough I had to make some slight alterations, the results were excellent. These are the "gorditas de masa", a type of cookie made with maze flour, sugar, one egg, baking powder and shorting. What I added was some water, as without it, it would have been impossible to make the cookies.

If you ever find yourself in Mexico City and visit the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, you'll see that these cookies are sold there. A childhood memory of mine I am happy that I finally found the recipe. Yes! :)

viernes, 15 de mayo de 2009


I start this month with three more projects finished. All of them supposed to be finished before the hot weather would arrive in Mexico City. Wishful thinking because unfortunately the winter here was quite warm and it was difficult to work on any winter project. Then came January with its few cold days and in just a week or so the weather started to really climb. We reached close to 32oC and there was no way possible to either work or even wear any of those projects. Anyway, trying here to conclude "works in progress" I managed 3 altogether. Yes!
The above picture shows one of them, a quite "toasty" pullover made up of 100% alpaca wool. It is a crochet project that I liked the minute I saw it first at Interweave Crochet magazine. Anyway, I decided to change the colors as the ones suggested were a bit to sad. The great part of this project is its simplicity because almost all of it is worked with single crochet. So after cooking while posing for the picture, this project is now well kept in my closet. A piece of confort after such hard work is that I WILL have to wear it next winter.

This is a picture of another finished project. This one is from Vogue Knitting's Holiday 2008 issue. It all started because I had some left wool yarn in my stash that wasn't all that much, just a little over 250 grams. I bought such yarn years ago and I never got inspired to use it. To finish the top I had to use a bit of the same alpaca yarn I used for the crochet pullover above. The stitch used is nothing more than Stockinette stitch and a pretty basic rib, still, what I love about the finished top is its amazing fit and softness. It is the perfect project for fall weather and I just added a "little something" (an i-cord bow) to soften it a little. I named it "Dijon on Rye" because the colors are so like Dijon mustard over rye bread. Yummy :)

And now that we are talking about food, well this May I added up two more books to my all mexican recipe books: "The Larousse of Mexican Cuisine" by Alicia Gironella de Angeli, and the "Larousse of Desserts" by Paulina Abascal. I must say that they are both amazing. For someone like me who loves cooking, these two great mexican chefs offer a selected and well revised compendium of mexican recipes, both traditional and modern.

The "Larousse of Mexican Cuisine" really is worth having for anyone serious into learning about Mexico and its cuisine. I, who have some experience in the field was amazed at the thorough research done by its authors on the ingredients, recipes, tools and techniques. The "Larousse of Desserts" is another jewel for anyone with a sweet tooth. Being a Patissier I loved the modern edge Paulina Abascal gives to traditional recipes of sweets and cakes from Mexico. I am so glad I have them to accompany two of the best mexican recipes book I own: "Cocina Esencial de México" (The Essential Cuisines of Mexico) and "México, una Odisea Culinaria" (Mexico, A Culinary Odissey). Both from mexican cuisine connoisseur Diana Kennedy.
These books are also available in English and you can find more of the same author at bookstore websites. If you like reading about adventures into remote spots of Mexico and Mexican Cuisine, Mrs. Diana Kennedy is your author.

Buen Provecho!

martes, 28 de abril de 2009

Mexico City.

This is a different post from the ones intended for this blog, nevertheless I felt driven to include a post about my beloved city especially after the recent events happening in it.

It has passed more than a century since the last time Mexico City had to be "shut down" because of a disease. I have never lived anything like this and never thought I ever would, but inspite of the seriousness of what an unknown infectious virus means in a city of 28 million inhabitants, I am also concerned about the image being portrayed of our capital city throughout the world. Aside from the news broadcasted during the last year of the fight against mexican drug cartels, we now have to see our city portrayed in the international news as a virus hazard. I was particularly disturbed at the views and images taken by CNN international of different places in my city, I mean, couldn't they find uglier places? No wonder why whenever we mexicans travel abroad we are frequently viewd either "to tall, to educated, to solvent..." We obviously don't fit the image they have in their minds.

The pictures included in this post belong to my good friend Paolo from Italy, who by a glimpse missed out on visiting Mexico City because his tour of Mexico did not contemplate it. (!!!) I am glad that he gave me the chance to be surprised by showing him what Mexico City is. The above image is the main square of Mexico City, named "Zocalo". After the Red Square in Moscow, it is the second largest square in the world. Its beauty not only resides that it is the heart of my city, but also because of the immense history that it has where you can find ruins of the aztec pyramids with one of the best prehispanic museums in my country "El Museo del Templo Mayor", but also the Cathedral or "Catedral Metropolitana" built between the 1500's and 1600's, right after the Spanish Conquest.

The next image is the university's central library (in fact one of the three similar in dimension) that the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), my university, has on campus, and it is home for more than 400 thousand books. This picture was taken late at night when it is light up to show the incredible mosaic decoration of its walls.

This is just a very little glimpse to let you know that we are much more than drug cartels, poverty, illegal immigrants to the US, dead women in Juarez, and the latest, swine virus.

Thanks for reading.

lunes, 30 de marzo de 2009

New and New Projects!

This time I would like to post about a particular matter that for sometime would make me feel a bit "bad", but after reading an article at the latest Spring '09 issue from Interweave Knits I now feel absolutely relieved and finally understood!
I wonder if anyone has read the following article on page 18: "Start as Many New Projects as You Can" by Vicki Square, but I think it is fabulous.
You see, for years I was haunted and many times disturbed about how fast and easy I would start new projects that I would take sometime to work on but eventually would finish. I was even nicknamed "Leonarda" because Messer Leonardo Da Vinci would always start and sketch new ideas and projects but would hardly finish them. I remember carrying my then initial enthusiasm for a new project as far as buying the yarn but would not attempt to start working on it because I needed to "discipline myself" and finish right away any knitting or crochet project I would have started. Yes, I have finished most of my started projects but within the years I realized that the inital enthusiasm for a not started particular project had washed away with time and it was sad to discover, years later, such yarn waiting its turn and just a sad reminder in my stash.
Before I read the article above I always regreted not starting projects while I was still excited by them as I know I would have finish them sooner or later. I mean, who cares about when you finish them, right? For me knitting and crochet are for relaxing.

If any of you has felt the way I have I hope you are able to read the article because it is not at all to prompt you into knitting or crocheting carelessly or starting new projects randomly, it actually focuses on that initial feeling for a particular project and actually question if any of the works in progress that you have around will eventually be worn, used, enjoyed or not at all. So as to keep them around, transform or discard them.

This last idea of putting current unfinished projects into perspective helped me transform an initial idea into a finished project: a granny square crocheted sweater that I don't think I would have liked to wear as I think I was starting to look like a big blanket; so it is now a cheerful little bag that I will definately use. As a designer I know that not all the initial ideas for a project end up exactly as first projected, they can transform into other, and why not, better things.

Although I liked the idea of having such sweater now I don't regret at all what it ended up becoming as I did not supress my initial enthusiasm. This is what counts!

With the above in mind I don't need to tell you that like the bursting Spring, I am having a lot of fun starting new projects! Check them out:

Freedom! :)

miércoles, 28 de enero de 2009

New Year, New Season, New Sweater.

Yes, I know it is supposed to still be Winter but here in Mexico City the temperature is starting to feel like late Spring. At 27oC at midday well, seems like the chill is gone (sigh) even flowers are starting to bloom and my little friend in the picture is enjoying it all the way.
I know that a lot of people would kill to have such weather but I just wonder that if weather is this way now how will it be by March? This global warming is no fun and to be honest I am quite worried. I know I can do many things on my own to help but it is sad to see that your next door neighbour loves wasting water washing the garage everyday with the hose, or see that the city's government is still not organized regarding recycling and nobody worries, or to realize that more and more people are buying new cars because not only the public transportation is unreliable and dangerous, but now they are cheaper thanks to the economic crisis. Well, trying to be positive here but like Al Gore says: there aren't any real signs out there to make you think that people are getting the message. In the meantime I will keep on trying to get in touch with authorities regarding recycling trash.
So changing the subject, yes, I finished a new sweater:

It was a lot of fun because it was so fast to knit! When you are starting a new year and realize that the first month is almost over, finishing a new project in less than two weeks is great!

This one will go to be nicely kept in the closet for the real winters that I may have to face in a future (Toronto is at -4 oC).

See you soon

lunes, 12 de enero de 2009

2008: A Year of Closure

I would like to wish you all my very best for 2009. May all your wishes come true and may all your loved ones stay happy and healthy.
The past Christmas and New Year's Eve was not only special but also particular. It was our first Christmas in our new home and almost all of my family got together for a wonderful and fun reunion.
As the joy of remembering those moments with family is still vivid, now that this new year has started I cannot help but to think about what 2008 meant for me. It was definately a year of conclusion where not only a chapter in my life came to an awaited end, but also I got rid of heavy "luggage" that I had not been courageous enough to throw away before. I feel so much lighter! :) It was also a year that allowed me to get to know me better and challenge myself a bit further. I also got to knit and cook a lot!!
So now with lighter spirits and great expectations for this 2009, a year that will change my life forever, I was finally able to finish my most challenging knitting project so far. My "Primo Fair Isles" from Interweave Knits Fall 2007. I feel so proud after 8 months of suffering with it!

Here is a picture of the back:
And as usual, starting the New Year I started a new project that is both fun and fast. I am planning on finishing it within a week:

Here is a picture of one of the dishes that were served at our Christmas Dinner: a very easy stuffed loin pork roast. Thanks Martha Stewart! If you care for the recipe just ask!