June 8, 2012


Did you know that's one of Chef Mark's favorite words? Well I didn't know either, until today, when I had to see one for myself. It means otorhinolaryngologist, or ear nose throat (ENT) doctor.

My worsening sore throat had me worried, especially since it coincided with another flare-up of the canker sores I've been carrying around for a month. So Chef took me to the dentist around the corner from the Instituto, who probed around in my mouth and took pictures with this baton she inserted into my mouth cavity.

She suggested topical treatments (iodine rinse and anesthetic), which we purchased at the pharmacy. Chef took the opportunity to get a free consultation with the doctor stationed at the pharmacy for the ENT things he'd been experiencing. (Honestly, they should have free doctor consults at pharmacies everywhere.)

topical treatments

While I was gone, my culinary cohorts were instructed by Señora Soledad on how to make potato leek soup (seen here being colored/thickened by hard-boiled egg yolks mashed to a paste with some broth). I was eventually able to try some of this but the potatoes were still too hard for me to swallow.

egg yolks to potato leek soup

They also made caper sauce, with poached chicken pieces added in as seen here.

chicken in caper sauce

I got back in time to help with some of the prep for mole negro tomorrow. We seeded three different types of chile, in order from left to right: chilhuacle (the most expensive and often omitted), pasilla mexicano, and mulato.

chiles for mole negro

Of course, the whole experience of seeding chiles reminded me of my time making mole in Chef Hammerich's section, except there were no bugs this time.

seeding chiles

The other prep we did for mole included toasting the peppers, frying bread, and sauteeing onion/garlic/almonds/sesame.

mole prepped ingredients

To take advantage of the tamarind tree on the Instituto grounds, we went pod-picking. Nick, being the tallest, was tasked with getting the pods while I simply held the bucket.

tamarind pods

Then all of us went to town separating the flesh from the pods. Tomorrow we'll be making a tamarind drink out of this.

picking out tamarind seeds

In the afternoon I went to an otorrinolaringólogo, as the dentist suggested. He prescribed many things, including an oral gel mouth rinse, an immune system-boosting liquid, and an antiviral. Despite the supposedly mouth-numbing properties of the mouth rinse, it still hurt badly to eat, so much so that I cried while trying to coax down porridge.


Thankfully there are more liquid foods in the supermarket, and I was able to stock up in the evening with some variety: yogurt drinks, jello, soup packets, and... baby food! Baby food is delicious. I'm sure one day I'll be feeding it to my baby and sneaking spoonfuls for myself.

liquid foods


  1. I had fun googling the meds, because there are some meds that aren't approved for use here :)

  2. omg. i'm addicted, joseppe. you in mexico. <3! pure <3!