This week we entertained hundreds of lively cruise ship passengers. Both Spring Break and Easter allows us to include children and teens along with their parents on the salsa and salsa tour.
We both agree as many parents do that teaching your children how to cook is equal to teaching them to manage money. The result is always a more prosperous, productive and healthy life.
At Salsa and Salsa we want people to walk away from our tour feeling like they can experiment with new foods and not feel intimidated while walking through the grocery store.
Imagine walking down the aisle and your son or daughter asking you if you have enough tomatillos (green tomatoes with husk)or cilantro. Now there is meaning of success. Understanding the foods we eat is essential in this day and age,teaching your children about nutrition should be on the top of your list as a Parent, Grand Parent,Auntie or Uncle.
Many of you have culinary gadgets and things your not sure how to use, what they do, or how to clean in your kitchens but here in our Mexican kitchen and in at least 4000 other kitchens that we know of, the Molcajete is the most valuable cooking utensil.
The molcajete was first used in pre-Hispanic cultures over a 1000 years ago. It was the main cooking utensil used by the Aztecs and Mayans. The first molcajetes were made out of clay and used to grind, spices,salsas, nuts and berries.
Today we keep that tradition alive in our show.
Have a fresh salsa ready and mixed in minutes.
People of all ages love using the molcajete because its fun, okay a bit tedious at times (to many margaritas) but the flavors are terrific. Kids enjoy sitting in the kitchen using the molcajete with you,while they learn about the different ingredients in the food.
I remember once a small boy at our show telling me how he hated guacamole. Strong words for a little one but none the less I am sure he never realized that avocados were the main ingredient. I showed him how to carefully open the avocado and take out the seed. Then we spooned out the meat and began to mush it in the molcajete. He loved the messy mashing part, what kid doesn’t? Then we took a taquito and dipped it in the bowl,just like that…. Mikey liked it! I giggled to myself how we as parents tend to sway our children at times with our opinions about food rather then to let them form their own. Many of you have written to us over the years on how your using your molcajete,below I will end with some of the fun uses we received. (Check out the Holy Guacamole inter-active kids cookbook)
When using your molcajete try and keep the food in the center of the bowl. Press and roll with your little pestle, the clay bat shaped object used to crush the ingredients. Do not stomp in your bowl as the food will splatter on you. The pestle also known as the manita (little hand) can become covered with foods as you begin the grinding process. Just lift the manita and scrape it on the lip of the bowl or use a knife to push the food back to the center of the bowl.
The bowls clean in just seconds with warm soapy water, ready for the next task.
Discover the joy of the molcajete, roast your ingredients before hand and keep them refrigerated. Then during the week get ready,press and you’ve got a salsa in minutes. Molcajetes stay out on the counter in our kitchens for daily use,like blenders, coffee makers or any other cooking utensil.
Other uses include: Facials, add yogurt and avocado for a super facial mask, try a banana and honey mask or papaya and cucumber. They are all great hydrating masks. The strangest one we received was the strawberry toothpaste but now one of my favorites. Put a couple of fresh strawberries in your molcajete and mush, after it turns into a paste ,scoop it up with your toothbrush. Crush walnuts, almonds, pecans in your molcajete and add as topping to ice cream or yogurt.
Molcajetes make great gifts,fill them with small bottles of salsas,little bags of spices or a lime squeezer and your ready for that Cinco De Mayo Celebration!
Also remember to check out the Kids cookbook on sale this summer called Holy Guacamole, its fun inter-active cookbook filled with puzzles,tips,recipes and a Mexican language guide.