Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Antiquedades For Sale

Yesterday included a visit to several antique vendors.  This particular one had some of everything as you will see.  I won't comment on all of the photos because, again, as you will see, some defy commentary.  Or.........don't ask me, I'm just the photographer.

Bad place for cows I guess.

My thinking is that this is a sign that once hung in a Mexican beauty parlour judgeing by the terms, which I think are all hair treatments.  Anybody agree or disagree?

I asked about this ring of corncobs and the explanation is, as I pieced it together, it's some kind of corn grinding system.  The corncobs are shaved with a sharp blade and are subsequently ground into corn flour for tortillas.  Cob, kernels, the whole works apparently goes into flour.  The surface is flat on one side, rather bumpy on the other side.

 Yikes.  Run for your lives.

 The owners had several if not several dozen stone, carved sinks and water storage vessels.  All but a few were full of water from recent rains, and the water had been there long enough to have mosquito larvae floating on the surface.  Stagnant water and mosquitoes go together like peanut butter and crackers.

I picked up one of these bottles to examine it, and lo and behold, it was also part of the mosquito breeding project. And woodworm preservation too, it appears.

Furniture Makers

 We drove by a furniture maker yesterday, actually there were two of them side by side, and we decided to drop in and look around.  The table above, we were told, was for a church.  I couldn't quite understand what the hole in the table top was for except that something made of stone was to sit there.  Holy water vessel?  Artifact?  A carved Jesus?  Who knows?  Our Spanish is pretty good (like our French) when it comes to a bar or restaurant, but not here.  The hammer was well lused and had a taped up handle.  I've owed hammers like that, and the tape is not a good sign for the future of the hammer.

 One of their creations sitting ouside in the weather.

 The workshop had numerous items in progress.  You can see the table, a bench which has beautiful hand carved decoration (perhaps also destined for the church), a bed (probably not for the church) and several kinds of cabinets in progress.

 A detail of the bench's hand carved leg.  Man, they just don't make 'em like this anymore.

 Here's their competitor next door.  They have a table in the works also. They seemed to be more involved in repairing and refurbishing older furniture that had seen better days.  I was more intrigued with the old, faded lettering on the adobe wall.  "Builders of furniture of a rustic nature.  Kitchens, doors and windows."

Wampy or the Horrible Life of Mexican Dogs

We made a visit to an antiques dealer yesterday, who used three Dobermans as night duty guards.  Outside the fence was a dog house and I was unsure whether it was for sale or not.  The antiques themselves were in quite a disarray so it was not out of line to be confused.

The Dobermans were on the inside of the grounds, on chains and in cages.  They didn't like Fergus at all.  But...back to the beginning.  I had noticed the dog house had a name, "Wampy", painted on the outside and I wondered briefly whether it was a misspelling of Wimpy. What did it mean?

"Welcome" and "Come in" are painted on the colorful wall.  As I was leaving I decided to take a picture of the large grinding wheel.  I am going to assume it was once used in corn flour mill to grind dried corn, of which a lot is grown in these parts.  As I got closer what did I see but Wampy herself. (Not that I'm sure of the gender of the critter.  Just a feeling.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Tuesday Mercado at San Miguel

I think the senoras are making gorditas, but I'm not sure.  Anybody know. The senoras we saw used their bare fingers to turn and remove the tortillas from the hot griddle.  Their fingers are so callused I'm sure they can't feel anything.

All kinds of good protein inside and outside a  cabeza de vaca.  Brains, meat on the cheeks, so on and so forth.  It's actually not my area of expertise.

Chicken feet.  We asked the vendor what they were called in Spanish and he said "Patas de pollo."  I would imagine that if you bought a number of these you could make quite the soup or broth.  Ask Julia Child.

Add a chicken head, cabeza de pollo, and you've got yourself a meal.  The vendor of the patas offered up this delicacy, I think, knowing we would grab our cameras and begin clicking away.  I'm absolutely positive we're not the first gringos to be enlightened this way.

The Mercado was fascinating.  Mobile restaurants, mobile hardware stores, vegetable vendors and lots of other types of things, used and new.  But certainly the most numerous and well-attended booths were used clothing.  Great piles were examined piece by piece and rejected or selected. I have to think that most of the clothing was used and donated to Goodwill or the like and so much of it ends up in Mexico.  The first time I came to Mexico, in 1965 or '66, all the rural Mexicans wore the traditional white cotton garments.  Now it's t-shirts with "Led Zepplen" silk screened on it and a pair of jeans.   

Careful with the Train