Gallery

Atole – My Favorite Winter Breakfast


I know what you’re thinking, it’s May, why would I write about my favorite winter breakfast? On April 1st, my dad passed away while playing the congas. My father was a lot of things, an artist, a musician, a poet, but he was also a really great cook. My love for food has a lot do with him and his cooking. While he introduced me to so many dishes, it’s the memory of him making “atole” that I really hold dear. What’s atole? In the southern United States, you have grits. In Mexico and New Mexico, we have atole. It is usually made thick like a porridge or thin and drinkable. While you can make it using regular cornmeal, I grew up eating it made from blue cornmeal.

I am the youngest of 3 and by the time I was born, my mom was ready to go back to work, and my dad happily volunteered to be a stay-at-home dad. I was lucky to have this time with him. While I could go on for hours with memories and hilarious “dad-raising-daughters” mishaps (allowing me to dress myself – think polka dot shirts with contrasting striped pants and the ever present ” my dad did my hair” messy side ponytail) it is him making me atole that I will offer up today. After my sisters would go to school, my dad would make us breakfast and it was often our favorite – atole. No one else in the family liked it. My sisters were put off by the color, my mom didn’t like the flavor. My dad and I loved it, it was our thing. He would make it with milk, cinnamon and maple syrup (I would sneak extra sugar when he wasn’t looking).

As I grew up, he’d send me to school with a thermos of atole to drink until I graduated from high school. As time moves on, I find I am reflecting on “little” memories the most. The everyday moments we shared.

Every time I eat atole I will make a little extra for him.

So, here it is, an adaptation of my dad’s Atole:

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cups atole (blue corn meal)
2 cups milk (less for a thicker porridge style. I subbed almond milk because reg. milk doesn’t love me anymore)
Maple syrup and cinnamon to taste (you can sub honey, agave or sugar)

Bring your water to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly whisk the Atole in, avoiding clumping.
Bring to a boil and add the cinnamon and syrup; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in milk as desired (no more than ½ cup for porridge style Atole).

You can flavor this however you want. Add vanilla? Sure! Make it savory? Why not!

 

Somethings Will Never Change

Real Talk? Poetry was and always will be the lamb that made a lion out of me. It was my first love, and then one day, I decided it was time to move on. But, thanks to my iPod being stolen (and because I can’t use my phone) I have taken to reading on my commute to work. After I finished the 4th installment of Game of Thrones (!!!!) I picked up one of the poetry books I brought with me and have been reminded of just how in love I am with poetry.

So in honor of this I want to share with you one of my all time favorites, by one of my absolute favorite poets/writers… Enjoy

Buenos Aires

One Last Poem for Richard

by Sandra Cisneros

December 24th and we’re through again.
This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.
No shoes. No angry doors.
We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.

You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Eve again
and old ghosts come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.

After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.

Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.
Till then, Richard, I wish you well.
I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.
I forget the reason, but I loved you once,
remember?

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.

Mirrored Images

I haven’t shared a poem of  mine in a loonnnng time… But seeing as it’s Sunday.. Here is some “Real Talk”… and to quote Mrs. Badu “keep in that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit” 😉

Mirrored Images-

I wanted to caress your face,
etching memories in the rings of my prints.

For those quiet moments.
To feel you,
when the night is so dark, the stars have gone hiding
and there are no sounds.

– just this feeling –

Of wanting closeness.
Laughter to fill the air,
to catch your breath in the back of my throat,
and your hip in the cave of my palm.

But all that’s here are my fingertips,
pressed against my belly,
attempting to trace the weight of you.

(c) Sonja Chacon 2013

“A Few of My Favorite Things” in Buenos Aires

I was a little grumpy yesterday. Why? Who knows, but I decided to nip that in the bud by thinking of the little things that make me happy here in Buenos Aires.

1) The keys. Yes, the keys. The keys here make my life. They are reminiscent of skeleton keys and remind me for some reason of the movie “The Secret Garden”. Every time I unlock my door I can’t help but smile like an idiot.

2) The streets. I love walking down the streets here. The architecture knocks my socks off. I love the railings on the balconies, the steel gates, the shutters, the doors, the terraces.

English: Entrance to an underground station in...3) The art! You can’t go anywhere in this city without seeing walls covered in graffiti/street art. It’s not all “amazing”, but when it’s good – it’s goooood!

Street art in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

4) The hibiscus trees. It makes my heart smile when I am walking and come across a hibiscus tree.

5) The cobblestone streets – I mean, do have to explain this? I am pretty sure if you look up “charming” in the dictionary there would be an image of a cobblestone street.

6) There are heladerias (ice cream shops) on basically every street.

Buenos Aires - Recoleta: Arkakaó

7) Following that note – the ice cream!! Almendra (almond) is my new favorite flavor.

8) The fact that it’s January and I am not freezing my nalgas off.

9) Watching the moonset and the sunrise connecting with people from all over the world.

10) That the men dance here! And I don’t mean grinding on my booty dancing, but real dancing with real moves!

11) That when I look into the sky I am looking at a whole new set of stars. 🙂

That’s it for now. I think it would be fun to continue to add to this list. Perhaps I will start an “A Few of My Least Favorite Things” post just to even it out ;).

Have you spent some time in the city? What are some of YOUR favorite things?

Boca? Si, but not your boca

El "Caminito", Boca

El “Caminito”, Boca

Gah! Taking time to rest my ankle has been really difficult for me. There is so much to see and do here, that the last thing I want is to sit around keeping my ankle elevated and iced. So, last Friday I went with Megan and Matteo (my housemates) to Boca. What is boca? The literal translation would be “mouth”, but I am not going to be talking mouths today.

Boca is a barrio in Buenos Aires situated at “the mouth” of the river Riachuelo. It is for this reason that some say it’s named Boca. It is also said that it’s named after the Bocadaze neighborhood in Genoa, Italy. Both are believable and both could be correct. Boca is famous for a few reasons. It is home to the world-famous Boca Juniors and is where La Bombonera (the stadium) is located. I didn’t get to explore the stadium, but seeing as fútbol season is fast approaching I have a feeling I will return and experience it in its full glory – I don’t know if you know, but fútbol is kind of a big deal here – kind of 😉

Boca is also known for el “Caminito” (“little walkway”)- a little pocket with cobblestone streets lined with eclectic colorful buildings. IMG_6240It is iconic, and arguably the most well-known landmark in Buenos Aires. What was once a hub for artists, and is said to be the inspiration for the tango, is now ridden with tourists and those who wish to take advantage of said tourists. This isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but hey I am here, I can’t NOT see el “Caminito”.

So I put my cynicism in my back pocket and took off to enjoy the day. After walking around for a brief moment (el “Caminito” is only one street – thus the name) we sat to enjoy some sangria and watch the competing tango shows that were taking place on either side of us. “When in Boca…”

So there we were – chatting about how touristy the place was, watching these poor foreigners being pulled on stage to dance with one of the performers when Megan stated that she would hate it if that happened to her. I casually said, “why not? You’ll never see these people again – you just gotta go with it.” Annnd what happened? Not even 5 minutes later I was being dragged on stage.

Face-palm!

Aye dios. I asked for it, basically manifested it. So, with my busted ankle my cynical ass had to get up and do the most touristy thing possible:

Dance the tango – on stage – in Boca – on el “Caminito”.

DSC00547

Winning. hahaha… Take a look for yourself…

DSC00540

DSC00542

Despite the fact that

1) The sangria was wayyyy over priced, and a little too sweet.

2) That it took longer to travel back and forth, than the time we spent there

3) That there were more tourists than space to walk

I am glad I went. It was charming, the server told me he loved me, and I got to learn a few dance moves. Not a bad day, not a bad day.

Bottom line – Go to Boca, take your photos, have a drink, and if they make you dance – dance. 🙂

DSC00545

“Whoooo Arrre Youuuuu?”

Alright…. so I have invited you to join me on this journey. I am asking you that you be interested in my stories and musings. Yet all I have given you is a brief snippet in my “About Me” section. Is that fair? I think not. I plan on having some legit “real talk” on this blog so it’s only right that I give you some insight about who I am, where I come from etc.

I am a brown-skinned mesa girl with a love for learning and I refuse to allow my socio-economic status rule my life and what I choose to do with it. From a monetary perspective I don’t come from much and I don’t have much. But paper is just that – paper. Do I want more if it – hell yeah I do, but who doesn’t.

I come from a family of artists rooted deep in tradition and cultural pride. Hailing from New Mexico, I received my BA in Anthropolgy and Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I was the first in my family to receive a higher education as well the first to travel for long periods of time internationally.

I was raised to be open-minded, to believe in myself and to be thankful for every breath of air I am lucky enough to ingest.

I write poems. I love to eat, I love good wine, dirty martinis, and whiskey on the rocks. I am an art enthusiast. I love music that can break my heart and make me want to dance.

I believe this world is too big and yet too small to not explore. I am a curious being who always ends up learning things the hard way. I tend to jump before thinking, I can be hot-tempered and a little controlling.

I love people who challenge me – inspire me – move me etc. I love culture, I love new experiences and understandings. I have a thirst for life and damn the person who tells me I can’t do something.

Thank you for reading, following, and allowing me to share my experiences with you. I would love for this to be interactive so comment, advise, suggest etc.

Ciao! 🙂576927_10101071461649163_1446656888_n