Sunday, March 31, 2013

Papier Mache Judases

Holy Week in San Miguel de Allende ends with the Firing of the Judases on Easter Sunday.
There is a large procession coming into the jardin with their paper maiche judases on tall sticks.  Spectacular against the deep blue sky.
You have to love the long red hair on this Judase.

The stance on this matador is wonderful along with just a touch of red for his tie.

The expression of this Judase is priceless.

As is this one with the mariachi tipping his hat.

This wonderful display surrounded Friar Juan de San Miguel that stands just to the west of the Parroquia church.

This little girl was so entranced by all the animated figures just as much I was!

For the finale, they are lite, one by one... The body swirls around with fireworks blasting every which way, when finally the body blows up.  There is a frenzy of children below collecting the figure's parts.  There is confetti and smoke everywhere. Eventually the excitement dies down, the crowds start to wander home and the street sweepers are out with their twig brooms.  It's an exhilarating time to be in town!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday in San Migeul is a Good Thing

Good Friday recalls the Crucifixion of Christ and t is an extremely busy day in San Miguel de Allende.  The pews in many of the churches have been pushed aside as many gather around their saint decorating the platforms with hundreds of flowers in anticpation of the upcoming procession.
There are solemn processions organized by almost every church carrying the statues of Christ, the Virgin Mary and a few other Saints.  There is such emotion and pagentry.
The procession winds its way around the jardin.  The sidewalks and jardin are lined with people, ten deep in some spots, reveling in the celebration.   Of course, me being one of them with my camera in tow.
One of my favorite of saints is also recognized this day.   When not part of a procession, the Statue of San Roque can be found just past the baptismal fountain in the Parroquia church.  he can be identified by his plague sore on his leg.  The saint after nursing plague victims in his native town was driven into the countryside when he himself has contracted the plague.  He survived because a little dog (the symbol of fidelity) brought him bread everyday.  The sculpted dog is along side the saint and because this is Mexico, he has a bolillo which is the typical Mexican roll in his mouth.  Since plagues have come to a halt, his contribution box is ignored.
He is replaced in admiration by San Martin of Charity, a black saint from Peru, also known as the “Saint of the Broom” because of his devotion to work, no matter how menial.  Many miraculous cures were attributed to him.  After the Virgin de Guadalupe, he ranks second in devotion to the Mexican people.
Good Friday is a colorful celebration and one not to be missed in San Miguel.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday In San Miguel de Allende

Today is Palm Sunday and a busy time in the main plaza, the jardin, in San Miguel de Allende.  It is one of my favorite days to stroll around the jardinChildren and indigenous people have come to town to sell intricately woven palm fronds.
This woman had some of the most interesting pieces.  I bought a string of fish from her that is just so beautifully woven.
Temporary displays in front of the Parroquia church.
The creativity is just so amazing.
And yes, I bought this pretty woven piece.  He was just beaming, obviously very proud of his work.  Check out each person's works. I guarantee you will find a new and different piece that you have never seen before.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Tasting Dinner

The other night we went to a great dinner at John Elways's Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Denver.  There was a Glenmorangie single malt scotch whisky dinner in their private dining room and six different scotchs were served that evening.  Of all the six, I liked the Lasanta the best because of its sherry overtones.
The first course were some deliciously pan-fried sweet breads with finely shaved fennel and asparagus dressed with a sprinkling of walnuts and a blood orange vinaigrette.  I thought this was the best dish of the evening but I would have preferred a vinaigrette with a really good, aged balsamic vinegar.

The next course was seared duck agnolotti (Agnolotti is Italian for priest's hats - small, crescent shaped ravioli) with a puree of butternut squash topped with a citrus cream and ground hazelnuts.  The butternut puree was a bit too sweet and I would have thought 
deep-fried crispy shallots would have added a better dimension to the overall dish instead of the ground hazelnuts.
The third course was three, large seared scallops with a minted cauliflower puree with a dollop of caviar on each scallop and drizzled with a ginger oil.  Perfectly seared scallops.  Wish there was more of the ginger oil though.
By now, I am totally stuffed but I had to have at least two bites of the braised short ribs that that just fell apart when I put my fork into it.  
It was a sold out event and because of the over whelming interest in the dinner, there were around 65 people there than the original planned crowd of 30 some.  The portions were generous and the presentation of each dish was very punctual.  A different chef prepared each course and he came into the dining room to explain it.  It was a very enjoyable evening and I certainly would go back for another special dinner.   OK, now I am hungry again!