Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Can you spell Guacamole en Molcajete?

Today when we walked into class, we were handed checks for $1500 (we are getting three installments). Last summer, I sold myself into Chinese slavery in order to get a "free" trip. This summer, "they" are paying me to hear experts lecture, to take tours, to see Broadway shows and to drink Vodka tonics in the Rainbow Room. Does anyone know how I can get this job full-time?

This is a picture of the view from the Rainbow Room...in Rockefeller Center, where my favorite new sitcom is based: 30 Rock, with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. We had a drink here (yep, that's the Empire State Building) after seeing a Broadway show that is getting a lot of buzz lately, Spelling Bee. Jon, Kristin and I were able to get "student rush tickets" for $25 each...what a deal! By the way, if you go to the half price ticket booth on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, you can walk right up and have your choice of about twenty shows. Anyway, we loved this quirky, fun musical. They included people from the audience and so had to use a lot of improvisation, which is always so impressive if done right. My favorite two were a little girl who looked exactly like "Little Miss Sunshine" and a Rabbi who smiled through the whole thing. The Rabbi kept spelling words correctly that he was supposed to get wrong (and therefore exit the stage) and the little girl, well, I don't think this is the last time she will be on Broadway. She took a bow and after the show we talked to her outside...she was still beaming, reveling in her fame. Anyway, smart, smart writers and actors. We laughed all the way through...it was politically incorrect on all levels. So much fun. Tomorrow night I am seeing The Year of Magical Thinking...a play based on the book by my writing idol, Joan Didion, and starring Vanessa Redgrave. Did I mention I am getting paid to do this?

We had the afternoon off, so many of us took advantage of "Restaurant Week"--you can eat lunch at NY's best restaurants for $24 from a fixed menu. I went with the Rosa Mexicana group and had freshly made guacamole, a salad of chicken, avocado, jicama, oranges and cucumbers, enchiladas moles (a sauce made with chilies, almonds, raisins, Mexican chocolate and bread) and coconut flan. The best part of the meal was Sandra, pictured here, because she had NEVER tasted guacamole before....never! And you get to see the event captured on film! Actually, until today, she had only eaten Mexican fast food. Her favorite taste? The mole. But here is a secret that I am only going to tell you: my mole is better. I have eaten it in Oaxaca, you know, so I don't mean to brag or anything- I am just stating a fact. My recipe is from a Oaxacan mother, and I can put just a little more Mexican chocolate in it, if I want to.

Our cafeteria at I-House is actually not bad. We eat there for breakfast and sometimes for lunch, but only because we were forced to pay for it in order to stay here. My favorite guy on the line is very cheery and is always speaking Spanish to people in line. So the other day I answer him in Spanish and we have a nice little chat. He is from Puebla. When I tell him I've been there, of course he lights up and says:

"So, you have had the mole!"

I say, "I love the mole!"

He tells me he has been here for fifteen years, and that he doesn't miss Mexico because "The USA is the best!"

"But the food is better in Mexico," I suggest.

"Ah, but my wife is from Puebla! See?"

Yes, I do see! So with that story, I will leave you with a picture of coconut flan, with sugared mint and dried pineapple on top!


The Norris Clan said...

Oh, now you're gonna make me want to go to Mexico. First, Brian and Kristi with Belize, now you with REAL mexican food. Arg! Maybe you can just make me some of your mole, and that will satisfy my need! Is flan mexican, though? Though it was spanish... love the sugared mint. Did you eat it?

As for Spelling Bee , great selection! Hilarious music! Didn't realize it was still playing. It was popular around Tony time last year... I loved the AC/DC looking boy - Barton, I think.

Angie said...

Hi Marjie,

I've been reading your blog, and a blog by the editor of Alexander McCall Smith's books, the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency. He, the author, and some others are in Botswana, touring the country while a film of the book is being made. Anyway, his blog has NOTHING on yours! I was wishing you could be the one to write his blog so I could really feel like I'm there. Maybe you should go to Africa next?

Brian Bowker said...

I think it's a good idea to feed Karyn some of your mole. And I think I should be there too.

I saw in another blog that a guy in NY visited and consumed something from all 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan in 24 hours. He caught it all on video and posted it on YouTube. By the end he was shaking more then the camera.

While his video was impressive, I like your idea of visiting and consuming something from all the best food places in NY in 5 weeks better.

We're all rooting for you, Marjie.

Marjie Bowker said...

Karyn, I WILL make you my mole. And I will put it over stuffed chilies and grill the whole beautiful thing. When can you come? Can this be your prize?

Brian, you can come, too. But you need to catch up with my #1 fan. Doesn't matter that you made the blog for me.

And, Karyn, have you seen EVERY Broadway musical? Yes, I loved Barton!

The Norris Clan said...

Mole - definitely can be my prize... let's have to whole clan (me, Rick, Brian & Kristi) OR you can come up here!! Might be sooner if you come up here, since it is a bit more trying to get the four of us down to Sea-town. Either way, I would love mole for my prize!

And, no I haven't seen them all, although I would really LIKE to! Can I get a job doing that?