Monday, April 14, 2014

A beautiful time of year in San Miguel de Allende

It's that time of year when the sky scape of San Miguel gives way to the vibrant ultraviolet-blue blossoms of the Jacaranda trees.
Forty-nine species, the Jacaranda can grow up to 50 feet tall and 60 feet wide. The trumpet shaped blossoms are born on bare branches before the unfolding of the fern-like leave.
 I love how the mural with all the bold psychedelic colors compliments the blossoms of the Jacaranda.
 And the Jacaranda is the perfect backdrop for this terra cotta colored casa.
And of course there was the old Villa Jacaranda on Calle Adalma (now Hotel Matilda) which was surrounded by so many of these magnificent beauties.
In the book Cronicas del Angel Gris (Chronicles of the Gray Angel) by Argentina author, Alejandro Dolina, he writes of the gigantic Jacarana that is planted in the Plaza Flores in Buenas Aires.   Legend has it, the Jacaranda was able to whistle tango songs on demand.  

Maria Elena Walsh wrote the Cancion del Jacaranda. 

The folk song by Miguel Brasco, Santafesino de veras sings of the wonderful aroma of the jacaranda.

I can not think of a prettier tree that makes such a colorful statement than the Jacaranda.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Best Flan !

I love the creamy texture of this flan!  And it is easy to make.

In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of granulated sugar over a medium/high heat.  Tilting and rotating the pan as the sugar starts to melt and caramelize.  Once all the sugar has caramelized, pour into a 2 1/2 quart ring mold.  Tilt the mold to coat the bottom and sides evenly.  Let cool.  (Note: I have also used a bread pan for the mold)

Mix in a large bowl:
       8  egg yolks
       2  14-0unce cans sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2  cups milk
2 1/2  teaspoons vanilla

In a separate bowl beat until frothy:
      8  egg whites   

Whisk the egg whites into the milk mixture.
Pour the custard into the mold.
Set into a baking dish and pour enough hot water into the dish so that it is two thirds of the way up the sides of the mold.
Bake flan in a 350 oven for 45 to 55 minutes OR until a knife is inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean.
Let cool and then refrigerate.
Un-mold flan onto a serving platter and pour the caramel over the top.
Serves 8 - 10.

Buen Provecho.