|A high-up colado being mixed on the street, and carried up to the fourth floor.
For our last big colado we planned a sort of manly party. We wanted it to be festive, as it was the last big construction task here at our house, and the colado was an historic one, on top of a fourth-floor room.
The colado was to have started at 5:30 a.m., but not even the maestros were here then. However we were on the move before 4:30 in the morning.. We had full barrels of water where they were not needed, and zero barrels where they were needed.
We dumped buckets of water into barrels on the ground, from under the tejavan on the second floor. It felt rather festive, and personally, I felt slightly hysterical and silly.
About 6:45 a.m. I could hear the first sounds of shoveling in the still-dark street. The workers seemed to have an air of excited energy, because they all knew there was to be “breakfast” served after the work. Our nephew Luis, a practiced butcher and large-scale cook had offered to make a Caldo De Carpa. This soup has well-known restorative properties, and is often served for la cruda, or hangover.
|Luis, the cook
|Sara, who didn’t really look quite this “together” on this day, as she had locked herself out of her house, and arrived here by bus the night before, without her overnight things, because – well, I have her spare key.
While Chon stayed to manage the work crew (and play DJ for them) Luis and I went to a nearby town with Sara, our wonderful niece. Luis had set up a fogon, a little rigged up brick fireplace.
CALDO DE CARPA (Carp Soup)
for twenty-some hungry people:
In a 50-liter pot with boiling water, put
2 kilos of tomatoes, halved
1 kilo white onions, halved
2 kilos potatoes, in large chunks
a generous handful of chiles de arbol
2 kilos (a very large head) of cabbage, chopped in big chunks
1 kilo chayote, quartered
1 kilo joconoistle, peeled
1 fist-sized can of chipotle chiles
1 liter of tomato paste
a handful of salt
8 kilos (that’s a lot) of carp, in fourths
when the fish is almost done, throw in two or three handfuls of cilantro
We served 60 large rolls that all disappeared. We had purchased 2 kilos of tortillas that were pretty much ignored. There were also 24 large family-sized beers, and 4 liters of tequila.
I had noticed that Luis was pretty quiet while we were shopping for provisions; he later confessed that he had never actually made the caldo before. He and Sara and I were stepping pretty lively for a while, chopping vegetables, because the colado was finished about an hour earlier than we had thought. But the workers seemed satisfied to sit around in circles and I didn’t hear many complaints about the wait.
There were many rough handshakes and heartfelt thank-yous when the workers left around two p.m.