3/4/2014 – We’ve got culture

Every Tuesday, Se Habla La Paz, one of the local Spanish language schools (the one Lulu and I attended back in 2002 to celebrate our 25th anniversary) puts on a cultural talk.  The speaker covers some aspect of Mexican life or culture and presents a lecture spoken in simple Spanish and spoken relatively slowly.  Gives all us gringos a chance to try to hone our listening skills.  In the past we’ve attended talks on the Aztec calendar, the history of chocolate, mariachi music, important dates in Mexico, the Day of the Dead, Mexican beliefs and superstitions, etc.  

Today the presentation was about Mexican folkdancing.  Of course, as one of the dancers related, there are hundreds of folk dances in Mexico.  The two dances they demonstrated today were from Jalisco.  I don’t remember for sure what he said these two dances represented but they were certainly lively.

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It was a pretty cool presentation and, although the bailero spoke pretty rapidly, we managed to pick up at least 25% of what he said, maybe more.  We’ve also been watching our “Destinos” telenovella.  We manage to understand most of what’s going on there as well.  But today, I was sitting by the marina office waiting for Lulu and listening to some of the boatyard crew talk to each other.  Except for a very occasional word, I had absolutely NO idea what they were talking about.  It’s kind of discouraging.

But you know what’s NOT discouraging?

THE FRIDGE UPDATE, that’s what!  If you’ve been keeping up with the comments on the last entry, you already know this but for those who aren’t up-to-the-minute, here it is.  Last night, after fighting with the plugging capillary tube all day, we finally threw in the towel, turned the fridge off, and loaded it up with a couple bags of ice.  I had read that one way that sometimes works to clear the obstruction was to turn the compressor off and let the internal pressures equalize.  This sometimes allows whatever is plugging things up to relocate to somewhere less troublesome.  I’d kind of tried that yesterday but to no avail.  Since the book gives absolutely no guidance as to how long it needs to be off to allow the pressures to equalize, maybe I just didn’t wait long enough.  So, the plan was to leave it off overnight and then try again in the morning.

So, today about 10:00 AM, I turned the fridge back on.  The refrigerant immediately started coursing through the system and the evaporator plate proceeded to cool down.  We checked it every 10-15 minutes and it was always still working right.  One time I looked at the control panel and saw this:

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The “High-Low” scale is the compressor speed.  The harder time it’s having reaching the thermostat setting, the faster it has to run.  The fact that it’s on the lowest speed means it’s having no trouble meeting requirements.  Yesterday, all 6 LEDs were lit up most of the time.  The AUTO light is yellow instead of green which means the system is in STANDBY, having reached temperature. Although it looks like the red fault light is lit too, it’s just the camera’s flash making it look that way.  We continued to check the fridge but at longer and longer intervals.  It was always performing correctly.  Finally we left for the cultural presentation.  When we got back, it was still running right and as of right now, 9 hours after start-up, the fridge is still running like it’s supposed to and the beer is icy cold (Mexicold!).  Although my fingers are still crossed just so I don’t jinx anything, I think we’re over this particular hurdle.  Whew!

Tomorrow I’m going to start the engine up.  Wish me luck.  After that it’s a matter of continuing to get various items checked off the to-do list so we can head north towards San Carlos in April.


non-sequitir of the day:  How are you supposed to know when chorizo is fully cooked?  Since it’s so red to start, it doesn’t really change color while cooking.  Changes texture some but so far I’ve just used a gut feeling as to when it’s cooked long enough.  Since none of my chorizo-cooking so far has resulted in a “gut feeling” afterwards (other than the feeling of being sated), I guess I’ve always cooked it long enough so far.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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6 Responses to 3/4/2014 – We’ve got culture

  1. Sharon Foster says:

    awsome report. The boat (ie. reefer) is likely rebelling over all the attention “flipper” has been geeting. what are ya gonna do. good luck

  2. joan yoder says:

    Well, you got your fridge figured out, now if you were just here to help us figure out the water. We just can;t seem to narrow it down to where it is coming in. we have changed from city water to our own water tank and pump but it still cycles every do often. We took up the carpet and the tile under the carpet so the floor could dry out. Maddening. Love, Mom

  3. Jason says:

    If you are cooking chorizo by itself, I usually know it’s done when it is swimming in grease. But I usually cook chorizo with juevos o papas and the grease soaks into everything, giving it a reddish hue. Then I usually cook everything until the sausage is just a bit crispy. It’s really up to your taste, but I don’t like my chorizo and eggs too soggy, so I usually tend towards the little overdone side.

    • sryoder says:

      Ah, my kind of cooking. Last night I was cooking Chorizo Espaa which was way less greasy than the standard Mexican style. I actually had to add oil before I dumped the spuds and onions in. The Chorizo Espaa, while much lower in grease content was also much lower in taste content as far as I’m concerned. Trying to find just the right chorizo: more meat than grease but bursting with flavor. I usually cook it just like you described, until the sausage is a little bit crispy but last night it was hard to tell doneness since I was cooking it by itself (had more than I needed for dinner but wanted to cook it all) and, without the telltale grease puddle, it was just hard to tell. But we’re still OK this morning so I guess I got it right.

      Muchas gracias

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