eve of Cinco de Mayo, my Mexican hat

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican hat!

My Mexican Hat   Stand by your principles.  I like to think that I am practicing Green Living.  One of the ways that we spend  ” free time”, is attending flea markets and White Elephant sales. Last fall, I arrived on day two of the sale by Princeton Medical Center’s Ladies Auxiliary  in the last 30 minutes. Walking quickly around the perimeter of the huge Airplane hanger, I spotted the area with hats and tote-bags. When the Sale came to an end, the volunteers announced that each person had five minutes to gather “Free items”.  I was nearby and ran over to the hat collection where I had spotted  a couple of Large sombreros’ , Eeeh, I said with glee, “I’ve got them !!!!”  Also, there was a decorative” bird-cage” that I had been viewing with discernment, during the sale; I liked it , but not willing to shell out bucks for it.

¡esto hay que celebrarlo!

Celebrate!

  Pollo con Calabacitas

Chicken with Squash and Corn

3  Tablespoons vegetable shortening or butter ( I use Canola oil)

1 chicken 2 1/1 pounds cut into serving pieces salt to taste ( prefer a salt substitute)

1 teaspoon cumin ( 0r cumin seed , crushed)

1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into quarter-inch slices, (about 5 cups)

1 cup finely chopped onion 2 1/2 cups fresh corn “off the cob” , (scraped from about 4 ears) or two packages 10 ounces each frozen corn

2 small hot green peppers , chopped, optional

1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored

1.  Heat the oil in a large casserole and add chicken.  Sprinkle with salt or salt substitute, and cook until chicken loses its raw look.  ( I use chicken herb seasoning).

2. Add the cumin, coarsely ground pepper. and minced garlic, and cook stirring occasionally  ten minutes.   Add the squash and onion.   If the corn is fresh off the cob, add it.   Do not add the frozen corn if used until later. Add the hot green peppers and tomatoes and cover. Do not add other liquid.; as the mixture stew it will add quite a bit of liquid.   Cook for one hour. 

3.  If frozen corn is used , add it now.  Either way, uncover the casserole  and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice or boiled potatoes.

A , now it’s time for an authentic Mexican beverage!

Sangrita

3 ounces Tomato juice

1 teaspoon grenadine syrup

(or less to taste)

Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

1 ounce of orange juice

salt

Tabasco

1 1/2 ounces Tequila

Lime wedge ( my favorite part! I love the sour taste.)

1. In a Beverage shaker, Combine the tomato juice, grenadine, lime,and orange juices, and salt and Tabasco to taste.   Add ice cubes and shake rapidly.

2.  Strain the mixture into a glass and serve the Tequila on the side.   It is drunk in Mexico, by sipping the tomato mixture alternately with the Tequila.  Many non-Mexicans prefer to add the Tequila to the tomato mixture before shaking the cocktail.   Serve with the lime wedge and additional salt.

Note: Tabasco sauce is a Yankee addition to the recipe.    In Mexico, small , hot, chopped green Serrano chilies are used as the fiery seasoning.    A genuine sangrita is highly seasoned.  

Ole!!!

Note:

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Going up in a Hot air Balloon at the Fair-Skywatch Friday

Yesterday was opening day at the Hunterdon County 4-H and agricultural  Fair. “What language did you just speak?” the  hot air balloon man said as I climbed into with first one foot, then another (Ha, Ha, Ha). What I was really saying very fast was,  “I’m feel like I’m an Olympic athlete  (thinking gymnastics-pommel horse) trying to the climb up into this thing.”  First, I put one foot up, then I quickly (split second) realized, my best way was to get on my knees (the leather edges of the balloon’s basket were very soft), hold on to the ropes, and hoist myself up, and then step down. “Hooray, I’m in.”  All of this happened very fast. The prior riders had to stay inside the balloon’s basket to provide weight until both my husband and then I got in.  My husband is taller, so he practically stepped in with ease.

Let me backtrack to the beginning.

As soon as we parked the car, and started to walk along the gravel road, a rep from the balloon company asked us if we wanted to try the Hot Air Balloon ride.  I asked, “How long are you up there?” He said, “About 30 seconds, then the balloon slowly comes down.  Pat is always game to try new things, and said, “Yes, we’ll do it!”, and the man said to gather over there to wait.  I’ll get in line, but there’s still time to change my mind, I thought. There was hardly a line.

I’ll have to say that the hardest part was climbing into the hot air balloon basket!!! I had imagined that it might feel like a giant rocking chair swaying in the sky to the wind’s, I was hoping, gentle breeze.  To my amazement,  I was correct. Of course, this was a trial, and the hot air balloon was tied securely on three sides to three heavy pick-up trucks.

Hot Air Balloon at the Hunterdon County fair

I was holding on to the camera, and my husband asks, “Have you taken a picture yet?” No, I say, as I’m clutching very tightly to the camera string, I might drop it. “Pass it to me,” he says. So here’s my picture too.

I’m up in the hot air balloon, “Smile for the camera”!

Would you like to see how enormous the fair is?  This is the “bird’s-eye view”!!

A “bird’s-eye” view or “hot air balloon eye”-view of the Fair!!

Look at all those tents, red and white striped ones, and there’s an enormous amusement ride to the right of the photo.

Can you see the heavy ropes secured to both the hot air balloon basket and the two pick-up trucks?

Hot air balloon and the cable and ropes.

In the photo above, there is one of the pick-up trucks, a dark green truck that the hot air balloon is secured to with cable lines.

The balloon company workers are wearing the light blue tee shirts.  Very nice and helpful guys.  You must listen and follow their instructions of when to climb in and when to climb out of the balloon’s basket.   They are pretty strong, too, when my mother had her turn in the hot air balloon, they lifted her out of the basket.

a view inside the hot air balloon!

Of course, I zoomed in , while standing on the ground to get this shot of the interior of the balloon.  While I was on the hot air balloon, it was exactly that , Hot!!!!  , I felt the heat, but I didn’t look up!

Here’s the Hot Air balloon company ‘s mascot

 In Flight Balloon adventures is the name of the company.

http://www.balloonnj.com

This little dog was so cute, and very friendly to us.  He was well trained to stay inside the pick-up truck, too.

Let’s get our walking shoes on and get this party started.

Here’s me with one of the llamas!!

Did you know that llamas are used on farms as guard animals, “guard Llamas” .  They protect against  wild  coyotes.    I can see why, these animals seem cuddly cute but they are very tall compared to a sheep.

This teen is showing this llama in Dressage and an obstacle course on Saturday night.

two 4-H ‘ers at the entrance to the The cow barn!

Come on, we’re going to take a little closer look at the cows!  Cows are my favorite farm animal!! You can call me cow paparazzi!!

Cows at the Hunterdon county fair.

There is a tent where judging of the cows take place as well.

Cow and the pink sign above has birthdate info.

the cow’ s name is ” Layla and is one years old.

 " Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it  "

4-H sign, ” Think it, Love it, Do it, Live it “in the sheep barn

Do you know the 4-H Pledge?

I pledge

my head to clearer thinking.

My heart to greater loyalty

my hands to larger service

and my health to better living

for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

“It is a common practice to involve hand motions to accompany these spoken words. While reciting the first line of the pledge, the speaker will point to their head with both of their hands. As the speaker recites the second line, they will place their right hand over their heart, much like during the Pledge of Allegiance. For the third line, the speaker will present their hands, palm side up, before them. For the fourth line, the speaker will motion to their body down their sides. And for the final line, the speaker will usually place their right hand out for club, left hand for community, bring them together for country, and then bring their hands upwards in a circle for world.”

(from Wikipedia).

Both my sister an I belonged to 4_H clubs from the age of 9 years through high school; each year, we  entered our cooking and sewing projects  and in our teen years did twirling demos and competitions.

Happy Saturday

dreaming of Kutztown fair in July!Telling a secret to the scarecrow!  Is it You have delicious kettle corn.

At the Kutztown Fair in 2006.

Dreaming of July!

 

 

 

 

The sign says "do not climb on chair", I wouldn't dream of it!

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