Wednesday, November 30, 2011

House progress

Wow, just seven days to move in, a week from today.
 I just realized that as I was writing this.
Thankfully the house is almost ready, the mosquito net frames are in almost all the windows.
The kitchen is almost ready, the bathroom also...almost...
Many details will be left for us to finish once we are moved in, and I am really happy
about that. This way we will have the chance to make the finishing touches NOT in concrete,
but in creative unconventional ways, put a bit more of our touch on the details.

 This will be the desk area, just inside the front door, separated by a low bench with shelves for shoes and a planter.

 And no, that is not a second toilet there in the middle of the house, that is one of a couple of planters
that was part of Miguel's design to create a natural separation of the spaces.

 Here is the couch corner. We will eventually make cushions for the built in couch.
Underneath will be storage, much needed storage, besides the basement I am not exactly sure where we will keep clothes and such:)  

 We are all really excited for the big move....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Words to ponder

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When deep meaning of things is not understood
the minds essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.
translated from Chinese


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Moment

A friday ritual inspired by Soulmama
A single photo, no words
A moment I want to pause, treasure and remember

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pibil, earthen oven and Yucatan Panuchos

On saturday after a work party at the land, Jose, our main man and also an amazing cook, prepared a typical Yucatan dish, perhaps  it is also a typical Mexican dish, not sure.
First one of the turkeys were sacrificed for the occasion, a most delicious meal was to be prepared after partners and friends had put in a few hours of manual labor on the land.
A Pibil was prepared, an earthen oven as it where, Pibil is a Mayan word that mean burried or cooked under groundand is
a typical way of slow cooking in these part. 
Most typical is the slow cooking of a small pig, using the same recipe as for the turkey.
To prepare the animal for cooking it is basted in 
Achiote, a very red, very typical spice paste used here in the yucatan, 
the main ingredient of which is 
annato seeds.
It gives a wonderful flavor, and the Pibil renders a juicy and tender meat.
Once the bird is covered in Achiote it is placed in a big pot, a bit of water is added and finally it is covered with banana leaves, ideally I think it is wrapped in the banana leaf, and a tight fitting lit is placed on top. 
To prepare the Pibil, first a hole is dug, then a fire is lit using a 
high density type of wood that will
burn hot and long creating good coal, in NC the wood to use would have been Black Locust,
I can not remember which kind he told me they used here.
Once the fire has settled into burning embers, the big pot with the turkey is then 
placed onto the burning embers. Then boards are laid across the top
then a thick layer of leaf covered branches, then a few sacks that used to hold flour
and finally a thick layer of dirt.
For a good twelve hours or over night the bird slowly cooks in the
earthen oven, and can be left there for hours after the cooking is done, to simply stay warm.
The turkey was served to us all on top of Panuchos.
Panuchos is a variation to the corn tortilla that is served with all Mexican dishes so far as I can tell.
This kind of corn tortilla is baked a bit thicker than normal tortillas are, and therefor puffs up and makes a hollow inside that can then be filled with mashed black beans and fried. 
There are all kinds of Panuchos, in the sense that you can then add anything on top, our was topped with 
 raw finely chopped cabbage, red onion in the juice of bitter oranges
(this is something I have grown to love here, and is also very typical in all meaty dishes.
You cut a red onion in small pieces, pour boiling water over it and let it sit for a
few minutes, this to take the edge off the onion.
Then you pour out the water and add the juice of a bitter orange)
Anyways we added this on top of the cabbage, then some guacamole, some of the shredded turkey,
some crushed tomatoes as well as raw tomatoes, and finally traditionally
you add a nice dabble of habanero pepper sauce, I skip this step as the habanero is
ridiculously hot and burns my mouth from even a drop.
Besides the fried tortilla this is a healthy and extremely delicious meal,
and a specialty here on the Yucatan peninsula.
 I wish that once we live on the land Jose will introduce me to, and teach me how to prepare typical dishes of the region, and I will share them here in a weekly post.
Buen provecho!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken maternity

The maternity ward for the mama and baby chicks is finally ready, and just in time, because a few days ago a mama turkey, (who is currently the most patient sitter), hatched 7 little chicks who where then passed back over to mama hen who proudly accepted them as her own.
The maternity is a private "building" where mamas and chicks can have a more calm environment, until they are bigger and ready to join the rest.
They have their own little cozy and safe area (free from fire ants) and their own backyard as well.
Yesterday when I took these pictures their back door was closed but today it was opened and mama hen was coaxing the chicks to step outside, though I did not see any venture out while I was looking.
It may be that this is all common practice when keeping chickens and growing the flock, I just haven't 
 seen it before and really like the little set up. 
I still know next to nothing about keeping chickens, hatching chicks, and producing the best and most natural organic eggs, but I am really looking forward to learn about it all. 
Once we live on the land, it will be part of the day to day, and something very important to me, in the sense that if we are keeping animals, it is extremely important that they live well and eat good feed.
It is important that they are an integral part of the system as a whole.