Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doing nothing much in Antigua, but that's okay

Our daily life in Antigua:

-long breakfast involving tamales, black beans, fruit, coffee
-walk to buy candy and look at crafts
-long lunch involving tamales, black beans, grilled meat, beer. Or, if you are Owen, chicken fingers. 
-walk to buy candy and look at crafts
-long dinner involving tamales, black beans, grilled meat, beer

My mother is elated. She received her cancer diagnosis two years ago, almost to the day, and this whole trip -- with her American family, visiting extended Guatemalan family -- is a triumph. Guatemala is her laughing place, and seeing her so relaxed and happy is a joy for my sister and me.

Meanwhile! The obsession with Guatemalan candy only grows. You find these exotic sweets in immaculate, old-fashioned shops that are no less formal or exquisite than chocolate boutiques in Paris. Behind glass are displayed dozens of fresh, beautiful, ornate confections made from fruits, tamarinds, nuts, eggs, milk, squashes. You order by the piece and forbidding ladies in uniforms place your selections in a decorative box using metal tongs. Yesterday, I bought a glistening, golden slab of huevos chimbos, which looks like undercooked poundcake but is actually an ambrosial confection of egg yolk and sugar. It's grainy and super-sweet and moist -- almost wet -- and I must learn how to make it.  


  1. everyone should have a laughing place.

  2. I went to Mexico years ago and have been searching for the kind of penuche I remember ever since. And the tamales . . . I am jealous of you.

  3. yes. laughing places are key. I know my laughing place and I have seem MY mother in her laughing place so I know how wonderful it is.

    what is it about candy? We had swedish candies this summer and they were fabulous also.