My Best Idea

I remember watching a Ken Burns documentary series a few years back about the National Park system. It was called, “America’s Best Idea.”

I was thinking about this on a particularly hot Southern California summer afternoon, the desert winds blowing through the canyon and out to sea. It was stifling, I was thirsty… and then it came to me: My best idea!

Watermelon Aguarita

Watermelon Aguarita

It began with a half-eaten watermelon sitting on the kitchen counter. I was reminded of a post about watermelon agua fresca on my friend’s Jessica’s blog, Attempts in Domesticity. I pulled up her website, glanced at the instructions, and made myself a nice cold pinkish glass of watermelon agua fresca, which was just as refreshing as the post had suggested. More

Slow Food, Sonora Style

Unless you’re a drug runner, things in Mexico generally move pretty slowly. I remember watching an entire construction crew working on a resort collapse in the heat and humidity of the late morning in Nayarit, and nap on site until the mid afternoon.

Machaca, mid-mash

Machaca, mid-mash

A lot of the foods of Mexico are slow, too. In the Yucatan, for example, they wrap pigs in banana leaves and bury them in the ground to cook for a day. Nobody’s setting timers or watching the clock. And in the cowboy cattle country of the desert north, they hang strips of beef in the sun to dry out in the blazing sun. Up there, they call it machaca. More

The Best Breakfast Potatoes Ever. Plus, Tacos de Papa!

Breakfast potatoes — hash browns, if you prefer — have forever been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve always been able to make passable potatoes, better if I added a bit of duck fat or lard. But that was kind of cheating. And they were still never as good as those little oblong potato pucks at McDonalds.

But try enough different things and every once in a while you stumble on something really good by accident. That’s how I came to discover the best breakfast potatoes ever. (Note: If you have leftover potatoes, this preparation also works beautifully for the traditional tacos de papa — potato tacos — of Mexico City. I’ve included a recipe for these below the potato recipe.) More