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Three Ingredient Recipes

Three Ingredient Recipes

Today we are going to talk about the Culinary Arts. A few days ago I was going through lots of books and I pulled out this book:

I might have looked at it before but I have so many goddamn cookbooks, I didn’t pay any attention to it. However, I started really checking out this book. The title is: “Healthy 1, 2, 3” , and the subtitle is: “Fat – Free Low Calorie: The Ultimate 3 – Ingredient Cookbook”

WOW! Something new under the sun: a cookbook where every recipe in it had only three ingredients, and it is going to be healthy and natural; how cool! I love to cook and I like to cook healthy with lots of whole grains, beans, and tons of fresh vegetables. Silly me though. I thought that since there are only three ingredients, it would be fast and easy. All the recipes have only three ingredients however, this author, this culinary genius, made these recipes extremely complicated. Actually, I was hanging out with my brother and I showed him the book and told him to pick out a recipe and I would cook it. The recipe he chose was: “Stir-fried asparagus with tofu” doesn’t that sound absolutely delicious? Of course this is the springtime and that is when asparagus is in season. 

My dear brother journeyed to “Delicias Beef” in Santa Tere to do the necessary shopping. Of course, this cookbook makes everything so complicated they asked for roasted peanut oil, which I do not have and so I substituted it for olive oil. I like to think that I am literate and I have a large vocabulary but this recipe confused me when it said I should cut the asparagus on the bias and all I could wonder was, what the hell is bias? So I just cut it where it seemed natural to me. The recipe says to cook this in a very hot, non-stick pan. When buying the cooking equipment for my kitchen, price was more important than the quality. I could not afford a nice beautiful state of the art stove so I bought a really funky stove, but boy was it inexpensive. The problem is that it has gas burners, but the flame never gets super hot. If anybody knows how to change that please contact me.

Back to cooking. 

I love to cook with and eat tofu as it is so incredibly delicious, natural, healthy, and wonderful. One thing I love to cook is a stir fry. You just go and get a bunch of fresh vegetables, and then I like to add some chicken or tofu. Whenever I make that stir fry my burner is just not hot enough to make it crusty. That “Stir-fried asparagus with tofu” was delicious. Of course it would have been better if the flame would have been higher then the asparagus would have been caramelised and the tofu would have been crusty. 

As you can tell by the inclosed attachment this recipe for tuna is incredibly complicated, incredibly demanding and way too complicated for this guy. However I love this cookbook and it is going into my cookbook collection.

Browse our Culinary Arts section to see what cookbooks we’ve got for sale in the store

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A Book Seller

A Book Seller

In the year of 2012 I had been living in Mexico for about ten years and somehow, my house on the beach was completely full of books. At that time I decided to open a bookstore. What I was looking for was an established store of any kind that would allow me to put books in their store, then I would go away and come back every two or three weeks and check on the books and what was happening. In March of 2013 a friend of mine informed me that his friend had opened up a record store. When I heard this news I went straight to the record store and talked to the owner and we made a deal and his record store became a record store/bookstore. That would have been in March of the year 2013. 

I had a lot of space in an empty room so I needed many more books. One of the first things I did was to put an advertisement in the newspaper El Informador. At that time I was asking for books in English and I got a few responses but not that many, but I kept that advertisement in for a while. Three different people responded and said they had boxes of books for me to purchase so I visited those people and saw the books in three different places that had the same thing in common: in those boxes of books there were many that were stamped with the words “Lake Chapala Society”. After seeing this I decided to contact the Lake Chapala Society and the director of the Lake Chapala Society informed me that he had books to sell and that he wanted to come down to Guadalajara to see what I was doing. He and two of the librarians at the Society visited me and approved of me. One of the librarians that day informed me about the “Lake Chapala Society”.

The Lake Chapala Society is a charity. A woman named Neil James from Mississippi who had spent her life traveling around the world and writing books. She ended up buying a huge piece of land on the shores of Lake Chapala in the town of Ajijic but died about twenty years ago and left her land and her house and other buildings to a charity named “The Lake Chapala Society”. This is a non-profit organisation and their goal, their mission, is to help the poor people and society in general there in Ajijic and other places. One of the things they did is to make an English language library. They told me that they had the largest English language library in Latin America. 

When I met these people I passed their test and they started selling me books. On that day, one of the librarians told me they had so many books that they did not have any space or use for them. Because of this they used to give books to men that made fireworks out of them. They didn’t like doing that and so were very happy to sell me the books so that the books had a chance to live. 

In the years before that happened and before I started my bookstore, I had a serious addiction to reading. To feed that addiction I went to any place I could think of to find books in English here in Guadalajara and wherever else I went.  At that time I would go to a lot of tianguis around the city to find books. One time when I was in a tianguis a man told me that he had books in English at his house. Of course I went to his house to see the books he had but it was not good hunting.

However, on that same day, that book loving bookseller told me to go to the “Bazar Ciudad de los Niños”. Wow, what a find! This charity sits on the most incredible piece of land and is set up to help orphans. I am positive that when this orphanage was opened it used to be out in the country. The city of Guadalajara then grew and surrounded the orphanage, so now it is an orphanage with not that many orphans and it occupies the most incredibly expensive land.

What they have is a giant bazar. I first went there about ten or twelve years ago. As a book junkie this is the greatest fix I could find. They had thousands of thousands of books mostly in Spanish but enough in English to make me extremely happy. Over the years I would go there many times looking for and finding books to read.  Eight years ago I started going to that charity to buy books for my newborn bookstore. I was not the only bookdealer going to that bazar to buy books and that is how I met many of the used book dealers here in Guadalajara.

For a novice bookseller it was very educational. One time when I went to that bazar they had sixteen copies of a book named Folklore, Myths and Legends: A World Perspective by Donna Rosenberg. This blooming bookseller decided to take a chance and bought all of the sixteen copies of that book. My guess is that I paid about 8 pesos per book and priced them at 160 pesos and it took about six years but I sold them all. Somehow one copy of that book made its way to my home and here is a picture of it.

In my life I have read who knows how many thousands of books. However, I have read maybe two or three books of fantasy and about the same amount of science-fiction. Because of that, I did not know how important science fiction and fantasy are to a books seller. One time at the Ciudad de los Niños they had a stack of about thirty copies of “The Once and Future King” by T.H White. Silly, stupid me I could have picked up thirty copies of that book for a few pesos each but I was too stupid to do that. I bought three copies and they sold just like that. Life is very educational.


Browse our Fantasy and Science-Fiction books in our Literature & Fiction section

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

A classic story about pirates, adventure, treasure, and the high-seas…

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A story of four sisters surviving through New England during the Civil War…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A young English girl in Victorian England travels to a bizarre and fantastic world…