Six Months In Mexico/Chapter 35
man owns a farm through which the railroad runs for thirty miles. It is said to comprise ten thousand square miles.
The public schools in Mexico are similar to those in the States fifty years ago; the schools are never mixed; the boys attend one place and the girls another; the advanced teachers are elected, and are given a house to hold the school in, and one hundred dollars a month for conducting it. For the others they get a house somewhere, and from thirty to sixty dollars; ten years ago girls were not taught spelling or writing in public schools; they are now taught all the common branches and English, which has replaced French; sketching; music, fancy-work, and plain sewing; the hours are from 8 to 12.30, and from 2 to 6; they are thoroughly taught the geography of their own country, but they absolutely learn nothing of other lands.
A FEW RECIPES FOR MEXICAN DISHES.
Probably some one would like to make a few of the dishes most common to the Mexican table. Of course you will think them horrible at first, but once you acquire the taste, American food is insipid in comparison.
Recipe for tortillas:— Soften corn in alkaline water, then grind it fine, pat into round cakes, and bake on a thin, iron pan. Eat while hot. They are made very good by wrapping them around meat, or a seasoned pepper.
Albondigas (meat balls):— Take equal parts of fresh pork and beef, say one pound, cut as for sausage, put in salt, pepper, a small piece of soaked bread, and one egg, well beaten; make into small balls, putting in each a piece of hard-boiled egg, an almond and a raisin. In a dish of hot lard put five or six crushed tomatoes, a little chopped onion, salt, pepper, and broth. Let boil a few moments, and then put in the balls. When the meat is cooked it is ready for the table.
Rice with chicken or fresh pork:—Wash and dry the rice; have a dish of hot lard, put in the rice, fry a few moments, then add chopped tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, two or three thinly sliced potatoes, and a few pease; cook a few moments, then pour into it the chicken or pork and some of the broth in which they have been boiled.
Stuffed red peppers:—Open the pepper, take out the seeds and wash and dry carefully. Boil and then chop fine as much fresh pork as you will need to stuff your peppers. In a dish of hot lard put the meat with plenty of fine-cut tomatoes and onions, salt and pepper. Boil a few moments, then add a little sugar, cloves, cinnamon, almonds, and raisins cut in half, cook a little, then fill the peppers. If you have eight peppers beat three eggs, whites and yolks separately; when well beaten put together, and in this roll the peppers, having first sprinkled over them a little flour. Have a dish of hot lard, to which has been added a little ground tomato, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and a little water. Boil a few moments, then put in the peppers, having first fried them in hot lard. Boil a few moments, and they are ready for use. The peppers can be filled with cheese if preferred, instead of meat.
Green peppers with eggs and cheese:—Roast the peppers over the coals, take off the thin skin, take out the seeds, wash and cut into thin strips. In a dish of hot lard put some tomatoes and onions, cut fine, and about two cups of water. When boiling, break in as many eggs as desired. When cooked, put in the peppers and slices of cheese. Rightly prepared, it is delicious.
Cocoanut dulce:—Grate fine two cocoanuts. Put in a dish three pounds of sugar, let boil, take off the scum, then add the cocoanut, stirring all the time. After a little a bowl of cream, then later eighteen eggs, well beaten. Let cook, stirring constantly, until, when you pass the spoon through the middle of the mixture, you can see the bottom of the dish; then take off. Put in platters. Peel and cut almonds in half; put them in as thickly as you please. Pass over it a hot iron until nicely smoothed.
Pineapple and sweet-potato dulce:—Grate pineapple, and boil sweet potatoes, half and half. For one pineapple two pounds of sugar; let boil and skim. Put in and boil, stirring all the time, until you can see the bottom of the pan as the spoon passes through the center.
Rice and almonds:—One ounce of grated almonds, one ounce of rice washed and ground; put in enough milk so