I have been invited to Max’s this afternoon for pork loin. I know it will be good…he used to be a chef. But first I’ll go the zocalo to watch still another march enter from the airport. Then I’ll go home, make a salad and take off for Max’s apartment. Meanwhile apparently the commercial Guelaguetza, heavily guarded by police, will be going on this morning…far away at the auditorium on Fortin Hill.
But first I want to post Max’s ironic message to me this morning:
Well, I have to put the beans on the stove. Last time it I cooked Firjoles Negro it took me about five hours. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or what. All the references say two hours or so, although one recipe for b.b. soup calls for seven.
I recently learned that the housewives here use pressure cookers for dried beans. This is rather a hairaising technique. Every article or cook book or instruction manual on pressure cooking I’ve ever read has a big bold faced paragraph warning you not to do that with legumes, ever. Apparently the bean skins will frequently come detached from the beans and get carried up to the pressure release valve, which they clog. Then the pressure builds up until it explodes, shattering the cooker.
Sort of a symbol of the Oaxacan situation. The metal pot is the City, URO and the PRI are the fire, the poor beans being steamed and cooked and softened are the Oaxaquenos, the bean skins that fly up and clog the safety valve represent APPO…it’s as good an evaluation of the situation as any one elses.