Back To Normal—But What Is Normal?
After two weeks of active (not normal) social life (non-existent) with friends from British Columbia and then with my cousin from Sedro Woolley, Washington, and following two nights of long sleeps, my life has returned to a sedate routine. Mostly.
I could call it “routine times two”. Each day with my friends, I walked three or four or six times what I previously had been doing. Plus, I continued with my physical therapy, which means the extra walking enhanced my strength and flexibility. In two weeks time, “extra” has come to seem “normal”.
Instead of once a day, I restlessly walk twice. In the mornings I like to walk the beach. In the evenings I stroll the back streets of my neighborhood. Many people recognize me with greetings. Two men routinely kiss my hand, which delights me.
Jorge runs a car wash business on the corner with a bucket of water and bundle of rags. The other man is quite elderly and he may have told me his name months ago. He walks a scruffy looking but well-loved little white poodle/wire-haired mix of a dog. His wife also has damaged joints. With my vivid imagination, I choose to believe he honors our similarities when he takes my hand, bows and lifts it to his lips. Melts my heart. Ah, so much for my love life.
This morning Carlos picked me up for a trip to the market so I could stock my cupboard with essentials for the week. I’m on a search for goat’s milk, leche de cabra. I want to make cajeta the traditional way.
Two weeks ago I had never heard of cajeta. Liz, at a Se Bilengue session, explained to me, “Cajeta is boiled milk.” Goat’s milk with sugar is simmered to reduce it to a caramel-like syrup. I first tasted it with coffee. Oh, my. One can make it using cow’s milk. But goat’s milk is richer, traditional. At the market I found great rounds of goat cheese but no leche de cabra.
Three different women, eyes sparkling, explained to me in great detail how to make cajeta from sweetened condensed milk, if I must insist on making it myself. Crazy gringa. Why would anybody want to stand over a hot stove stirring for hours to reduce milk when one might buy it ready-made. I’m not giving up. When I see Rudy at the fruteria, I will ask him to order goat milk from his village. They may think I’m nuts, but nuts or normal, what is the difference?
At the market today I selected perfectly ripe guavas to make a pie. Last week Nancie and I feasted on guava pie (a new taste experience for my cousin) at three different eateries. We analyzed each slice and determined how to make the best even better. Imagine creamy filling, rich with layers of slivered fruit, sprinkled with chopped pecans and topped with drizzles of cajeta made from goat’s milk, ready-made. Who knows how long before I find a source for goat’s milk. But I won’t give up.
During my physical therapy session, Arturo told me the tide tomorrow morning is forecast to be loco high, to flood the streets even more than it did two weeks ago at full moon, with gigantic waves. This morning the sea lay calm like glass. I will walk to the beach tonight to check it out.
Extreme water action from the sea is normal during storms but not on a quiet regular day like this. But where on earth, today, is water, wind, terramoto and volcan action normal?
Oscar just knocked on my door with mail delivery and verified that tomorrow promises to be mucho frio with winds from the norte. And indeed, it seems strange energy pulses through the air. A yellow-green wall of fog obscures the ocean horizon. Clouds stretch gray bands across the sky. Do I detect a noticeable dip in our usual warmth? But then minutes later, the sky is blue with fluffy clouds. Like normal!
When the guava pie is ready, I’ll let you know. Would you like coffee with yours?
HDN: Looking out my back door
May 14, 2015