Table set under the palapa so we could dine el fresco.
I slept in on this morning. I state this with disappointment because sunrise is my favourite time on Isla. I had stayed up later than my 10 pm bedtime the night before, watching over the Wee One and D was exhausted from his day in Chichen Itza.
He actually does not recommend picking up the tour package on Isla. They had to be on a 6:30 am ferry ride to Cancun and then after waiting at rendezvous points and collecting other tour members at their hotels it was 1 in the afternoon before they began their journey to the ancient site. The reverse was true as well, they were the last to be dropped off at the port after all the hotel guests had been escorted home. I do not know their exact arrival time back on the island but they were absolutely pooped by the heat and long and tedious day.
After a good night sleep, I was gung ho to get to Chedrui to start planning for the Frenchman’s (the Newbie’s) birthday. I researched my recipes and made my grocery list, just like home, but got kind of stumped on a couple of items. Lucky for me, I ran into Ziggy from Monchi’s and asked him for his assistance. Turns out that baking soda is not available in the grocery aisles but in the pharmacy. Even the staff members that tried to help me, did not know this.
After buying shrimp for Ceviche, chicken breasts for Coconut Chicken, fruit and chocolate sauce for fondue dessert and a selection of wine, beer and juices for cocktails, I spent about the same amount that I would have at home. This surprised me. I thought that because avocadoes, tomatoes and limes were so inexpensive that my over-all bill would be smaller. You never know, until you live like a local.
Ziggy’s advice was opportune once again when I tried to figure out where to purchase a piñata. He described the location perfectly-on the corner of the street that the restaurant supply store was located on (the name of the company escapes me right now). I would never have known that they sold piñatas at this store, in fact, I didn’t even know that it was a store!
There were a number of paper mache characters and animals that could have been used for girl’s parties but I thought that I only had one choice for a male. So, a Zebra accompanied me home in a cab. Luckily I found a taxi that would take me to the shop and wait while I ran in to make my purchase. Who knew that piñatas came without the treats inside? Lucky for me Sister #3 was able to find exactly what we required in Centro.
This poor guy ended up getting his head knocked off later that evening.
I am struck over and over again by the beauty of this part of the island. While I prepared my left over Fredy’s pork chop torta for lunch, I was able to gaze at the bay of Cancun through our living room window. I was on my own for lunch because D and the gang had gone on a snorkelling tour with mixed reviews. The boat ride was extremely rough and they were all a bit queasy from the journey (and the fun that was had the evening before). Let me just put it this way: there was some extra fish food deposited over the edge of the boat on the trip to the snorkelling site. On a positive note, their included lunch was at Brisas Caribe and everyone agreed that the abundant fried fish was sensational!
Since I missed out on sunrise, I made a point of taking extra time to savour the sunset that evening. In addition, it was one of the only times that I actually was not walking into Centro at sunset.
Back to our party plans: Sister #3 came through again by contributing her authentic guacamole. She is also a whiz with pico de gallo and D poached the shrimp in a broth and mire proix. We simply combined the two and enjoyed a fabulous ceviche. Not authentically made, but very, very good.
No one else was staying at the hotel the evening of our party so we spread out and used the cement terrace for appetizers.
J1 set up the bar and manned the blender!
I thought that I was so resourceful by putting out the pink glass tea cups that were in the kitchens of Luna d’Miel. This way guests could take a couple of scoops of both the quac and ceviche, throw in a couple of chips and they wouldn’t have to sit next to the appetizers the entire duration of Happy Hour. The pink glass plates also made the dining table look lovely with the assistance of additional props from the kitchen of La Brisas. The electric fry pan from the casa was also put to good use for the chicken that evening.
So the party had begun. Does it look as if we had any fun?
Daughter #1 & 2 and the Wee One.
J1 and J2.
The Birthday Boy aka The Newbie, aka The Frenchman, aka our future Son-in-Law!
All the beauties of our family including our Niece, aka Legs.
So the table was awaiting us. We supped on freshly baked baguette, rice pilaf, cauliflower topped with aioli and queso fresca, coconut chicken and mango salsa.
We improvised a little bit when we ran out of coconut. Sister #3 held the tongs with the chicken and substituted with broken tortilla chips. Both choices were absolutely fabulous.
You may think: “You were on vacation and surrounded with a bevy of amazing restaurants. Why did you prepare all day for a supper when you could have just gone out to a restaurant?” The answer: It was absolutely our pleasure (D, Sister #3 and I) because food=love and we LOVE The Frenchman and wanted him to know so.
Are you wondering about that piñata? The warrior ensured that it lost his head and the treats came crashing down.
Kath’s quote: “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”-Craig Claiborne
Love-that is all.