Extreme Frugality: 8 Lessons in I learned in Mexico

  1. You don’t need need a bathroom mirror.

We are building our house little by little, which means we’re starting from scratch in every single room, and we have to practice extreme frugality to get anywhere.  It’s been 5 years since we moved in, and we still haven’t installed a bathroom mirror. We’ve gotten by just using a little 5-inch mirror that stands up on its own for all these years.

Most women probably couldn’t pull this off. The only reason I can is because I don’t wear makeup or do much of anything to my hair. Not necessarily a goal to shoot for, but the truth is I don’t need a mirror. Continue reading

How to make ceviche: raw fish salad!


Ever since I moved to Baja in 2008, I’ve served and been served ceviche at get-togethers.  Ceviche is to choyeros (people from Baja) what brats are to cheeseheads (people from Wisconsin).

Ceviche has a reputation for being an aphrodisiac.  We eat a lot of ceviche and have a million kids, so that might be true, but it’s anecdotal.  What I do know for sure is that it makes you feel so good after you eat it!  No fat, lots of lime, lots of veggies, raw fish.  I definitely feel a good energetic buzz after eating it.  And it’s certainly not heavy and doesn’t make you feel full like those brats and cheeseburgers from back home. Continue reading

Tamales, estilo Ranchero!

My husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law often complain about the state of tamales these days. “Pura masa“, they often say–all dough, no filling. They just don’t make things like they used to, do they?

We finally decided to take matters into our own hands. Ooh, what a busy, delicious day!

First we had to fatten the rooster. We got him up to 8 pounds.

Continue reading

Should I Hire a Maid?

I’ve been overwhelmed with my life for a while now, pretty much since my lovely brother and sister returned home to their real lives, leaving me to wrangle Leon and the twins. What to do with Leon while I’m nursing?

Our closet has no doors and is the perfect playground for somebody whose favorite game is throwing items on the floor. Continue reading

How to make Probiotic fermented salsa

I just made a super delicious batch of salsa. It’s just your ordinary Mexican salsa–tomato, cilantro, onion–with garlic thrown in for good measure. I chopped it all up in a blender and threw in some salt. Oh! And one chile Serrano! It looks green, because they’re heirloom green tomatoes, but you can just use red ones.

The best part is yet to come, because I put it all in a jar and left it to ferment. Continue reading

Clean-out-the-fridge soup

It’s harvest day! Which means around noon my fridge will be packed with bags of lettuce. It’s a beautiful thing to see the fruits of our labor overflowing. Thanks for all the encouragement after Tuesday’s post. Many advised to focus on what we have accomplished.

On harvest day, there’s no room for our food in the fridge! Luckily we have an extra small fridge where we can put everything. I’ve decided to make clean-out-the-fridge soup. Continue reading