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Stories and Stovies

By W. J. Turner

When I was but thirteen or so
I went into a golden land.
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
Took me by the hand.

My father died, my brother too.
They passed like fleeting dreams.
I stood where Popocatapetl
In the sunlight gleams.

I dimly heard the master’s voice
And boys far-off at play.
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi
Had stolen me away.

I walked in a great golden dream
The town street, to and fro –
Shining Popocatapetl
Gleamed with his cap of snow.

I walked home with a gold dark boy
And never a word I’d say,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
Had taken my breath away:

I gazed entranced upon his face
Fairer than any flower –
O shining Popocatapetl,
It was they magic hour:

The houses, people, traffic seemed
Thin fading dreams by day,
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi,
They had stolen my soul away!

Our Kind of Mexican Cooking

I’m putting in a Mexican food section to go along with one of the first poems I learned while training under Miss Cita Angus. I was placed, meaning I took a first, second or third prize), at one of Arbroath’s Music Festivals for my presentation of this dream like poem. I really, really liked performing this piece.

Bunuelo Pastries
(from the Sunset Mexican Cookbook)

I used to make these all the time in Utah. According to Sunset, "These are crisp, puffy rounds of sugar and cinnamon."

4 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
About 2 cups all purpose flour, unsifted
1 teaspoon each baking power and salt
Salad Oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In bowl of an electric mixer, beat together eggs and the 1/4 cup sugar until thick and lemon colored.

Stir together 1:1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended; stir in an additional 1/4 cup flour. Turn soft dough out onto a board coated with about 1/4 cup flour; knead gently, working in as little flour as necessary, until dough is smooth and no longer sticky (about 5 minutes).

Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. With floured hands, shape each piece into a ball; cover balls with waxed paper as they are formed to prevent drying.

When all balls are made and covered, allow to rest 20 to 25 minutes.

On a floured board, roll each ball out to make a 5" circle; stack circles, separating them with pieces of waxed paper as they're rolled.

Place 1:1/2 inches of salad oil in a pan (at least 10" diamerer); heat oil to 350 on a deep fat frying thermometer.

Meanwhile, mix together the 1 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture into a 9" round cake pan. Using tongs, push circles of dough, one at a time into hot oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown (about 1:1/2 minutes).

Remove from oil and drain briefly; place bunuelos in cinnamon-sugar mixture, turning to coat thoroughly.

Repeat until all bunuelos are cooked; reserve any leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve crisp pastries immediately; or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature for as long as 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

To recrisp, arrange bunuelos in double layers on shallow, rimmed baking sheets. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 oven for 6-8 minutes or until hot; sprinkle with any leftover cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stack and serve warm or cooled on a large platter.

Makes 16 pastries.

I’ve learned a lot more about Mexico since the days when I performed that poem, especially living here in Arizona these last 13 years or so.

One of my favourite places to visit is the active Catholic mission down on the Indian Reservation, known as San Javier del Bac, or the White Dove of the Desert.

This was one of the original Spanish Missions established by Father Kino, an earlier explorer and proselyter among the native people for the Catholic Church.

Spanish Mission

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