May 12, 2008

A great Sunday afternoon barbecues - without crocodiles

RANCHO CUIXMALA, Jalisco, Mexico - The Admiral and I went to a barbecue Sunday afternoon just a few miles up the road from our Arroyo Seco project, invited by our same amigas who had us out to ride horses several days before.

These Sunday afternoon get-togethers - of family and friends - around Arroyo Seco seem to happen every week. Sometimes people gather on the beach, sometimes other spots. It's all family oriented with kids and dogs part of the mix.

This fiesta was held next to the same laguna where our horseback guide Jose warned me of crocodiles in the water. And the children at the barbecue/fiesta made great fun every time I walked near the water, warning me not to get too close.

Each time I went to the water to take a photo or two, they made great growling sounds behind me, though I'm not sure crocodiles actually growl. Chomp? Yes.

The chef at work at Cuixmala bbq
The chef at work

We had a delicious potluck-style meal. But the food highlight was clearly the lamb, chicken, beef and chorizo, all cooked over an open fire.

In the U.S., the amount of carne cooked probably would have required several of those massive stainless steel barbecues that look like leftover equipment from one of the Apollo space missions. Here a few logs, a grate and a spit sufficed.

The party was an interesting mix of languages, too, with Spanish, English and French spoken interchangeably. And one fellow there was from Japan, who is quite fluent in Spanish.

I really have to get more serious in my study of Spanish.

Here's a brief video of the chef at work. He said in his native Argentina, this is how barbecues are routinely done.

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