So I went grocery shopping yesterday. And I experienced extreme grocery cart envy. I was in the produce section marveling at a gentleman who was filling plastic bags to the brim with tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, lemons, potatoes, peppers, and corn. My cart looked pretty basic. I had bananas, apples, two pineapples, and carrots. In fact, the only item that may have caused my cart to look a little different than it did when I was shopping in Fort Wayne, Indiana was the jícama.
My feelings of food choice inadequacy grew greater with each aisle I covered. “Why are you putting Pop Tarts in this cart? Put them back on the shelf now!” (I did not.) I was seriously bummed to discover that there was absolutely no white cheddar popcorn to be found anywhere in the store. Thank goodness the freezer shelves that occasionally house the Red Barron frozen pizzas were empty. It was after I added the jar of Prego spaghetti sauce to the cart I truly knew I had a problem.
In an earlier posting, I shared the deep, dark secret that I do not really like to cook. However, I like even less letting an incredible opportunity pass me by. Here I am living in Mexico, eating like a gringa; an unhealthy one at that. (In the event that my mom is reading this, the Pop Tarts were for Steve, and I do eat a lot of salads.) As I placed my items on the conveyor belt, shaking my head at the pathetic display, I vowed that things were going to be different from this point on.
On the way home I stopped at Santa Rosa’s, the small, local grocery store for some coyotas and Flor de Jamaica. After unloading the car, I warmed my breakfast cookie in the microwave and began brewing a batch of aqua de Jamaica. I fired up my computer and started the search for Sonoran recipes. Three hours later, I had the budding promise of culinary disaster…er…change.
I made a new grocery list. I do, however, draw the line at one major grocery trip per day. So in the meantime, I am psyching myself up by breathing real heavy like a boxer before the fight, hopping around the house on my toes, jabbing the air left and right, and shouting into the mirror, “Who rules the kitchen? That’s right! You do!” There may or may not be some growling involved.
And if all else fails, at least coyotas and aqua de Jamaica beat Pop Tarts and Coca Cola!
Agua de Jamaica
8 oz. dried Jamaica flowers
16 cups water
sugar to taste
Wash the flowers in a strainer. Put them in a pot with the water and heat until the water boils. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 24 hours. Pour through a strainer to remove the flowers. Once the water is in its serving container, add sugar to taste.