So far the weather is holding with beautiful spring days, however, I still haven’t spotted a single scissor-tailed swallow! The “mud birds”, aka bridge swallows and several other names are flying around everywhere. We really need rain, but all the clouds that show up are blown away be the gusty winds, I have no clue what the wind speed is, but today seems more like “windy March” then “showery April” and it doesn’t seem to be dropping.
This weekend, we had a bake sale at both of our churches, and from what I was told, they sold out of almost everything Saturday evening, and then, after replenishing with todays donations, sold some more. Then, if anything was left after our early Mass, it would be taken to town for the later Masses. Next week Thursday, we will have a bake sale to benefit our Pink Ladies at the hospital. The Auxiliary sponsors it, but many of the employees of the hospital bring cakes, pies and goodies also. We start pretty early and that allows some of the night shift people to have a chance to shop also! We are almost always finished by mid-morning, and this will be great this year, as I have company coming in from out of town for the day. I haven’t seen the two great-grands that are coming as they live out of state, the other two I’ve seen more recently, and, yes, I’m beyond excited!
This past week has been that time of the year again in San Antonio! What time is that, you ask? It’s time for carnivals, parties, parades and more parades! I didn’t think about in time to watch The River Parade, sponsored by The Texas Cavaliers; nor did I get to watch the Battle of Flowers Parade, but Saturday evening, I turned on the TV and got to see almost all of the very beautiful and brightly lit Fiesta Flambeau Parade. Earlier in the week, as I came into the house, the Band Festival was going on at Alamo Stadium, the bands were awesome with all of their competitive shows, with flags furling and unfurling and marching in such straight formation, and then seeing over 400 bands playing together took my breath away! It was really a most amazing thing, I got to watching closely and you could see all of those drum-sticks counting cadence and rising and falling at the same time. Watching the drummers has always impressed me, as I had a daughter playing drums when she was in high school, and four or five of my grandchildren in band at different times that were all on the drum line in their schools.
Before “Fiesta” per se truly got started, I got to see interviews with various vendors who would be working at the all time favorite of fiesta, in San Antonio, “NIOSA” or Night in old San Antonio. They have food from many countries and cultures. One of the all time favorites at NIOSA is Anticuchos, a dish that originated in Peru. It is so much a favorite, that they sell thousands of these steak-on-a-stick treats every year. I was able to find the recipe for NIOSA Anticuchos on an Internet search several years ago. There are actually two recipes. The main difference is the type of vinegar. Back when I was still at the paper on a daily basis, KK brought a small barbecue pit down to the office and we tried out the NIOSA recipe for Anticuchos. Everyone liked them. It was our main dish that day. It is a little spicy, but is still very good.
Night in Old San Antonio Anticuchos
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 cups water
2 to 3 Serrano chili peppers
salt and black peppercorns (whole black pepper)
½ to 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
pinch each of oregano and cumin
1 to 2 pounds of beef round or sirloin, cut in half-inch cubes
Combine vinegar, water and serranos, salt and pepper, garlic, oregano and cumin in a blender; process well. Pour over meat cubes and marinate at least overnight (can be left up to three days.) String meat on wooden or metal skewers. (Wooden skewers should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before use.) Grill Anticuchos over a hot charcoal fire, basting frequently with leftover marinade to which bacon drippings can be added for extra flavor. Turn frequently. Cooking time should be no longer than 8 to 10 minutes.
(My personal favorite recipe for chicken fajitas is to purchase the boneless thighs seasoned for fajitas, then place them on a lined baking sheet, sprinkle them lightly with a little liquid smoke, and bake in a 350ºF oven until done, then slice and use. They are great this way!
This recipe for guacamole is a little bit labor intensive, but really delicious.
7 tomatillos, husks removed
3 or 4 unpeeled cloves garlic
3 lg. jalapeño peppers, halved, seeded
2 T. finely chopped red onion
½ tsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 large avocados
Remove the outer husks from the tomatillos and throw them away and then rinse the tomatillos before using.
Preheat your broiler. Place tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeños (skin side up) on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 7 minutes. Remove the garlic and jalapeño and turn the tomatillos over and roast until charred, about 5 minutes more. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool and then chop. Remove skins from garlic and mash with a fork in a bowl. Chop the jalapeños and add to the garlic. In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the vinegar and onion, allow to stand 5 minutes and drain. Add the onion to the jalapeños and garlic, stir in the chopped tomatillos and then add the cilantro, salt and pepper and mix well. Peel and pit the avocados and add to mixture. Mash with potato masher until well mixed. Taste for seasonings, and serve at room temperature with chips.
I hope all of you have a very wonderful Easter. May you be happey and blessed in all you do.