3) Do something you've never done before. Repeat as many times as possible.
I've never taken a cooking class before and neither has Jesse, so we decided to take one together while we were in Oaxaca.
We decided on a traditional Oaxacan menu. We arranged for a class with Nora Valencia through, Las Bugambilias Bed and Breakfast. Nora took us to a local market nearby where we shopped for our ingredients. She explained how to find the freshest and best of the market.
This vendor lives in the hills around Oaxaca and had fresh picked her ingredients of squash flowers, herbs, and corn early in the morning before coming to market.
I was enthralled with the families working the booths together. Even the booths I normally wouldn't find tasty were attractive.
Then Nora took us into her lovely home, the highlight of which I must say was the cucina. A dream kitchen in any home.
We made tamales in this happy, and many times blessed, tamale pot.
We also made moles, a soup and the stuffed squash flowers seen above. They were gone so quickly I don't have any pictures of the rest. But we enjoyed eating them very much in Noras dining room.
A lovely experience, one our friend Alvin has written about much better in this article. We've already attempted to recreate the tamales here at home, while not quite as good as the ones we made in Oaxaca, they were tasty enough to keep trying. I'm hoping for many more culinary adventures in the New Year.
(Doesn't Jesse look cute in an apron?)