LET'S HAVE A PICNIC ‑ VAMOS A LA PLAYA
On March 21st, Mexicans render homage to their greatest President, Benito Juarez, and his declaration of separation of church and state, of equality for all before the law. He is often compared to President Abe Lincoln of the United States. In Puerto Vallarta, the anniversary of Juarez's birthday is celebrated in the center of town around the main public square and Parques de Aquiles Serdan Amphitheatre with decorations of tricolor flags and buntings, military salutes, parades and solemn political speeches. With no work or school scheduled on this day, thoughts turn to a picnic and the local population flocks to the beaches. It also happens to be the first day of spring and everyone is alerted by nature's messengers. Migrating egrets greet the dawn over the bay waters as they wing their way northward. Rivers start shrinking to a trickle and the prickly pear puts forth its first blossom of the season. Primavera trees burst with golden yellow and pink flowers. The sky is clear and bright with sunshine.
In La Manzanilla, the scene is a tropical paradise where ocean, son, sea and lush jungle meet, inviting one and all to relax. It is a beautiful day and somebody is bound to sing out, "Let's go on a picnic" ‑ "Vamos a la playa" or "Vamos para nna partida de campo". What better place than one of the many beaches in and around the Bahia Tenacatita. As yet, it is not impossible to find an undeveloped sandy white beach along the shore just north of town or a private little cove going south. Remember, all beaches in Mexico are public domain, to be enjoyed by everyone and the roost exclusive homes and hotels have to provide public access. Rent a car, which gives you time to explore the virgin stretch of coastline in the area.
Picnics are a carefree adaptation of the cave man's earliest habit of banding together to share food. Archeological studies have found that roaming herdsman and hunters gathered together to cock pieces of meat on sticks over low fires in the open fields as early as 3000 B.C. In medieval Europe, whole carcasses of animals were roasted on spits turning over roaring fires, where the travelers passing by merely carved off his own portion. In revolutionary France, with the glorification of the noble savage and its new ideas of natural man, "Le pique nigue" became the rage. The early Nineteenth Century brought the English gentry out into the countryside with B.Y.O.B. (bring your own basket). These elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen dined al fresco on the ground under a tree where they performed whimsical theatricals and played charades. They were followed by servants toting wicker baskets filled with goodies to eat and drink; hence the present day familiar symbol of a picnic, the basket. In the New World, picnics were turned into outdoor social gatherings for the everyday working man. After a 6 day week of hard toil, pot luck suppers, barbeques and church socials provided the opportunities to share in a common and binding experience of eating together. In keeping with the rhythm of modern times, picnics are still informal, portable, easy and spontaneous affairs.
Today with the modern wonders of plastic thermals to keep food hot or cold, the imagination can ran amok with the large variety of foods one can pack for a picnic. The menu may be simple with a basket of sandwiches and disposable plasticware, or an elegant affair with fine crystal, china and fancy linens. The key to success is plenty of food, for outdoor appetites know no bounds. Playtime at the beach makes everyone twice as hungry. One needs to be reminded that hot foods should be served piping hot and cold food chilly cold to avoid food spoilage, which can readily ruin the fun and good times of picnicking.
In La Manzanilla, picnics are portable feasts especially popular on holidays ‑ a time free of worries and responsibilities, an opportunity to be in harmony with nature. A picnic, Mexican style, el día de campo, starts off early in the morning to round up all the relatives, with their children, friends, maids and family pets, and ends up late at night with relaxed feelings of being alive again and renewed energy for the next work day. The little bugs, V.W. cars, are loaded down with passengers and each participant brings some part of the food stuffs necessary for the outing. It is not uncommon to stop the whole caravan on the road to pick up something someone forgot, like a watermelon, a fresh coconut or some more beer. Finally everyone turns onto the main highway to join the parade of other families headed out of town to enjoy the spectacular wilds of the countryside and beaches.
Picnics create an informal setting and make chefs out of everyone and willing waiters of the youngsters. Everyone pitches in with the preparation of the food; peeling cucumbers, slicing onions and squeezing limes for limeade right on the spot with plenty of kibbitzers and ribbing on the side. Clean up is a cinch with no dishes to wash ‑ just throw it into a plastic bag and keep the environment unpolluted. Fun starts the minute the fire gets going. The first step is to dig a pit in the sand, line it with flat stones and ignite chips of dried coconut husks followed by a bed of charcoal, sending back a smoky message of good things to come. And, so the proceedings begin, while some athletes get the volley ball game going, others search for seafood and/or seashells and the rest just lean back and pour on the sun tan lotion; but all pause for a refreshing sip out of a communal spiked watermelon bowl or iced coconut milk right out of fresh tree picked coconuts. A jug of iced licuado or fruitade and/or a light alcoholic citric punch with sherry called Sangrilla, are the best thirst quenchers in the tropical outdoors.
You can't beat a Mexican style picnic, una partida de campo, with its hearty come and get it food. Try some of the following recipes at your next picnic and work out the combinations that best suit you and the setting. Enjoy a day at the beach with your friends and family with fabulous, prepare‑ahead finger food appetizers designed to please all. From an endless list of possibilities, some nibbles may include bean tostadas, zucchini pancakes, cold staffed chiles, cold meat loaf or pate and a cold cucumber soup. Whether you are a slap dash cook or a real gourmet, some of the suggested main dishes can brighten up your standard picnic repetoire. It can be a simple fish fry with the day's fresh catch, an all day clambake or a quick bistec grill for 'Little Joe' sandwiches and crisp borrito tortilla sandwiches. Add a large make ahead Mexican cole slow (see Index) with some fresh fruit from the cooler for a satisfying out of doors meal. A light picnic menu may center around a meal‑in‑one salad like beans and tuna or fresh fruit and shrimp. This can easily be filled out with a cup of cold cucumber soup, Mexican rolls (bolillos or teleras), a platter of panela soft white cheese with fresh slices of jicama, cucumber and oranges along with a chilled white wine or sangrilla punch. Picnic salads should be able to take a little traveling without mussing, keep their crispness and fresh flavor, dip up easily and satisfy with heartiness. Lots of cookies and crackers spread with homemade preserves like magic raspberry jam are standard fare at picnics. For those who long for something sweet with some quick energy for more games at the picnic, serve a popular Mexican homemade candy, brandied prunes staffed with a coconut fondant. Have a good day! Disfrate Bien!
A favorite thirst quencher for the tropical outdoors is a citric drink with a squirt of club soda and a bit of sherry called Sangrilla; a kissing cousin of Sangria, which is made with red wine. It is easy to make right on the spot, adding more to the jug as quickly as it empties out.
1 liter dry sherry
1 liter fresh orange juice 1/2 liter club soda or Agua Mineral
1/2 c. orange liqueur or Cointreau
Fresh squeeze orange juice and strain, discarding pulp and seeds. Add sherry, club soda, orange liqueur and crusted ice. Stir until all is blended. Pour into a thermal jug or keep in a plastic pitcher, adding more ire to serve sangrilla cold.
PILED HIGH TOSTADAS (Tostadas Compuestas)
An adorned open faced sandwich on a whole crisp fried tortilla is the simplest of the Mexican snacks or antojitos to prepare, especially with the already prepared packages of tostadas available in the markets. Any combination of foods is layered on the tostada, with refried beans, shredded greens, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese and sour cream being the most popular mixture. In Guadalajara and thusly in Puerto Vallarta, chopped pig's feet are also included as one of the layers. And, for patriotic occasions, this edible plateful is adorned with the tricolors i of the Mexican flag, using red, white and green garnishes.
3 c. refried beans (see Index)
1 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1 c. shredded lettuce 2 limes
1 pt. sour cream
1 (9 oz.) jar pickled pig's feet (semi‑boneless)
1 can peeled green chiles
bottled hot sauce
Assemble the tostadas in this order: First spread a heaping tablespoon of refried beans (canned refried beans may be substituted) on the tostada and add 1 tablespoon chopped pig's feet. Mix chopped onion and chopped tomato and sprinkle with juice of 1 lime and salt to taste. Scatter a bit of onion and tomato with salad greens (presoaked in a microdyne solution) on top of beans and pig's feet. Garnish with a dab of sour cream, a thin slice of avocado dipped in juice of 1 lime. Note the tricolor garnish. If more spicy flavor is desired, add some chopped canned green chiles to the sour cream. Offer bottled hot sauce on the side.
ZUCCHINI PANCAKES (Tortitas; de Calabacitas)
Zucchini pancakes or patties with a fried golden crust are delicious cold as well as hot. They may be served as a simple luncheon or first course dish and are very popular during Lent. Smaller bite size portions dipped into a Mexican tomato sauce are popular finger foods at picnics.
2 c. grated zucchini
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 eggs dry
4 Tbsp. oil
Grate unpeeled zucchini and onion. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Combine with soft bread crumbs (day old bread pulled apart with a fork and piled lightly in a cup to measure ‑do not crush bread). Add slightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Form into 12 patties and dredge in dry bread crumbs (soft bread crumbs dried and toasted in oven and finely crushed). Using a heaping tablespoon for each patty, fry in hot oil as pancakes, until crisp golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Cool. Stack in plastic container to serve at picnic with sour cream or a cold Mexican tomato sauce.
STUFFED CHILES WITH CHEESE (Chiles Rellenos con Queso)
There are many recipes for cold stuffed chiles. A favorite one is marinated chile poblanos ‑ large dark green peppers stuffed with creamy, slightly acid, stringy cheese called queso Asadero (similar to Mozzarella) with full flavor and a bite. It is served cold as an antojito with warmed tortillas or as a vegetable to accompany grilled or roasted meats at a picnic. A sardine filling (see Index) is also popular for picnics and Lent.
2 Tbsp. oil
1 jalapeno chile (optional)
1 c. water
1/2 c. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed cilantro seeds
8 chile poblanos or bell peppers
1 1/2 c. diced Asadero cheese
1 c. refried beans (optional)
4 eggs, separated
4 Tbsp. flour
oil for deep frying
1 recipe Aztec sauce
The day before serving, prepare chile poblanos as directed in Chapter II. Blister crackle and pop peppers over direct flame. Char, but do not burn or cook chiles. Allow to sweat in plastic bag before carefully peeling under cold water. Without dislodging stalk, make a 3 inch slit in each chile and remove seeds and veins. Set aside. Prepare marinade.
Saute' 1 chopped onion and 1 minced garlic in hot oil. Add water, vinegar, salt, oregano and crushed cilantro. Boil for 5 minutes. While boiling, add prepared chile poblanos and cook for 5 minutes more, turning once or twice. Cool chiles in marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain and pat chiles dry. Grate second onion and mix with diced Asadero cheese. Stuff chile cavities. Secure opening with a toothpick. Beat egg whites until stiff. Beat egg yolks slightly and fold into whites. Dust each stuffed Chile with flour and dip into egg batter to cover both sides. With a large slotted spoon, gently slide chiles one at a time n— into hot oil, 1/2 inch deep to deep fry. Fry until golden brown on one side, turn and brown other side. Drain on paper towels. Cool. Stack in plastic container and refrigerate until ready to tote to picnic. Note: To serve hot at home, arrange stuffed and fried Chile peppers in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with some more cheese. Bake in oven at 170° C for 20 minutes. To serve, garnish with salsa Mexicana crude or Aztec sauce (see Index).
MEXICAN MEAT LOAF (Albondigon para Playa)
Albondigon or beach pate is a spiced Mexican meat loaf that tastes good hot or cold and like the Mexican meatball, it is full of surprises tucked in the center. Served cold and sliced like a pate, this meat loaf is studded with pimento stuffed green olives, pine nuts and tiny pasta shells. Twice ground meat and gentle long cooking will keep the meat loaf light. Baked in free form shape, it will be firmer in texture for easy slicing and a more flavorful outer crust.
1 c. zucchini 2 onions
6 garlic cloves
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. cilantro seeds
2 tsp. thyme
1 canned chipotle Chile
2 tsp. salt
1 kilo beef ramp
1/2 kilo pork shoulder
1 c. fresh bread crumbs
1 c. very small cooked pasta shells
1/4 c. pine nuts
1 jar pimento stuffed green
6 bacon strips
1 recipe Mexican tomato sauce
In an electric blender, puree raw zucchini, onions, garlic, salt, fresh cilantro, cilantro seeds, thyme and 1 canned chipotle Chile (rinsed, drained and seeds removed) until well mixed and finely chopped. Mix puree with twice ground beef ramp and pork shoulder, fresh bread crumbs (day old slices of bread shredded with a fork), slightly beaten eggs and cocked drained pasta shells. Mix well with hands and form mixture into a flat rectangle. Slice pimento stuffed olives in half. Spread evenly with pine nuts across one surface of flattened meat loaf. Roll long edges inward to form a firm oval loaf. In a shallow baking pan, lay 3 bacon strips lengthwise. Place meat loaf on bacon. Place remaining 3 strips across top. Bake slowly in oven at 180° C for 1 1/2 hours or until done. Cool. Store in plastic container in refrigerator until ready to tote to picnic. Slice thin at serving time or cut into bite size cubes to be dipped in a Mexican tomato sauce (see Index) with the aid of a toothpick.
CUCUMBER COOLER (Sopa Fria de Pepino)
Cold cucumber soup is a light refreshing cooler served as an appetizer soup for a hearty out of doors meal. The delicate sweetness of vine ripened local cucumbers combines well with a shrimp flavored broth producing a pleasant surprise.
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 c. shrimp bouillon
1/2 slice white bread
2 Tbsp. sherry
1/2 can shrimp
1 c. sour cream
Peel, slice and saute' 4 cucumbers with minced white part of leek in margarine. Add to boiling shrimp bouillon (1 teaspoon calde de camaron in 1 1/2 cups boiling water) with bay leaf and cook for 20 minutes. Soak white bread (with crust removed) in sherry and add to soup. Cook 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. Puree soup and cool. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Add 1 peeled grated cucumber, sour cream and juice of 1 lime. Correct seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Mix drained canned shrimp into cold creamed soup. Serve out of a thermal jug at the picnic with a thin slice of lime floating on top and with a dash of chile ancho powder ‑ un sospecho de chile.
CLAMBAKE (Almeja al Vapor)
A clambake is a fun activity for a beach picnic and easy to fix when seafood is available. While some gather the seafood, others prepare the fire. Then the clambake locks after itself while everyone plays. Fresh from the sea or right out of a can, the steam from the clams and wet corn husks offers a distinct flavor boost to a basic mixture of available fresh seafood, chicken legs, lobster tails, corn and potatoes.
several packages of corn husks and/or ferns
5 dozen small clams and mussels or 6 (4 oz.) cans clams
6 frozen lobster tails
6 chicken thighs
6 baking potatoes
6 unhusked ears of corn
3 sticks of butter
2 bell peppers or Chile poblanos
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 loaf French bread
Dig a large pit in the sand, 18 ‑ 24 inches deep and wide enough to hold all the food. Line it with a thick layer of flat stones. Make a fire, burning big pieces of hardwood or charcoal alternating with more stones about the size of a softball for 5 hours or until stones are white hot. Brush off embers and put a thick 5 inch layer of wet corn husks (presoaked in water for 15 minutes) on the hot stones or a layer of presoaked ferns as no kelp is available in Puerto Vallarta. Scrub fresh clams and mussels carefully and put down on the wet corn husks. Discard any clams opened before cooking like the plague. Cover with another 2 inch layer of wet corn husks. Add a layer of washed potatoes in their jackets with a layer of husked ears of corn (with silks removed) on top and then cover with more wet corn husks. Pieces of sausages and chicken thighs are placed on top of all that with the lobster tails on the very top. The last items are the whole onions and Chile poblanos. Sprinkle each layer with a little water.
Throw a heavy wet tarp or canvas on top or a wet beach towel with a plastic bag over it. Keep the covering wet during the steaming. Hold down edges with rocks to minimize the escape of steam. Steam all ingredients for 1 1/2 hours or more until it penetrates all the layers, cooking everything thoroughly. When the onions and chiles are cooked, the clambake is ready. Melt butter in a small pot. Add lime juice and garlic powder. When the covering is lifted, move aside each layer until clams are exposed. Spread clam shells apart pouring clam juice into melted butter mix. Lift clams out of shells and dip into butter mix to serve. Use slices of French bread to catch the drippings. Split the lobster tails in half. Cut ears of corn and potatoes in half.
Arrange one piece of each ingredient on a plate and pass the hot melted butter with slices of French bread and dig in. Note: If fresh clams are not available, 6 cans (4 ounce size) of clams may be used for flavoring instead. Simply set aside drained clams, sprinkle reserved clam juice along with water directly over the lobster tails, chicken thighs, potatoes and ears of corn and follow above directions for steaming. Heat the drained clams in the melted butter and serve with other steamed ingredients.
GRILLED BISTEC AND LITTLE JOE SANDWICHES (Carne Asada y El (Pepito de Bistec)
Carne asada or grilled meat is a popular Mexican dish and there are as many recipes as there are cooks. The common feature in all is the way the meat is cut; tender chunks of beef or pork are thinly sliced at a sharp diagonal to the grain and is called bistec. Marinated and grilled over an open fire, carne asada is served hot in a fresh French roll spread with avocado sauce and refried beans and makes a delicious robust picnic sandwich ‑ also known as Jalisco's favorite Little Joe" or "El Pepiton".
1/2 kilo bistec de res (bole or aguayon)
1/2 kilo pork loin (lomo de cerdo)
1/2 c. orange juice
4 garlic cloves
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. all
2 Tbsp. coarse salt
2 ‑ 3 bunches green onions
1/2 c. avocado butter (see Index)
1 c. refried beans (see Index)
8 French rolls
Ask the butcher to cut beef into 4 x 2 1/2 x 1/4 inch bisteces and flatten thinly with the side of a heavy cleaver. Cut pork loin into thin slices. Season meat on both sides with a salsa saltillo ‑crushed garlic cloves with coarse salt and minced onion, orange juice and lime juice. Set aside to marinate for at least an hoar. At the same time, marinate washed green onions with the same salsa saltillo, adding more citrus juice if needed. At the picnic: Sear meat quickly on both sides over a very hot fire on a well &reused grill about 4 inches above coal bed. Tern all meat slices several times, along with the marinated green onions. Grill pork until it loses most of the pink color and bisteces are to one´s taste Split French rolls in half. Remove and‑discard soft doughy part. Spread one side of each with 1 tablespoon retried beans and the other side with 1 tablespoon guacamole or mantequilla de pobre, an avocado butter (1 avocado mashed with juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon salt). Pile a portion of bistec and/or a pork slice on bee side. Put grilled onion on top. Serve sandwich open so that Mexican tomato sauce or a Mexican cole slow (see Index) can be added according to taste before it is closed.
Note: Warm tortillas, kept fresh in a moist towel stored in a plastic or Styrofoam cooler, may be used instead of rolls. A bottled chile sauce is always available on the side for that touch of chile ‑ un sospecho de chile ‑ that Mexicans love and in time, so will you.
TORTILLA SANDWICH (Burritos)
Burritos are large hot sandwiches of paper thin flour tortillas wrapped around a variety of fillings, including refried beans, meat, cheese and stuffed chiles. Deep fried, they are known as chimi changas. Grilled over an open fire at a picnic, the toasted crisp tortilla sandwich brushed with a zippy Mexican sauce is a big show with no fuss.
8 large flour tortillas (12‑inch diameter)
2 c. grated Chihuahua cheese
8 grilled bistec portions
2 serrano chiles
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
bottled chile sauce
After bisteces are grilled over hot coals, assemble burritos right on the grill with a low fire. Working quickly, distribute cheese in a line down center of each flour tortilla to within 1 inch of edge. Top with grilled shredded bistec and a mixture of salsa Mexicana crude or Aztec sauce (see Index) or chopped tomato, chopped onion, chopped serrano chiles (veins and seeds removed), chopped fresh cilantro, mixed with lime juice and salt. Fold narrow edges over filling to center, then fold bottom over filling and roll up enclosing filling completely.
Place filled burrito, folded side down, on a slightly greased grill over low burning coals and cook until tortilla is toasted and crisp. Turn smooth side down and let cook until toasted. Meanwhile, put together additional burritos. Serve immediately or keep warm at outer edge of grill. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Note: Instead of grilled bistec, stuffed chile peppers prepared at home may be used to fill the flour tortillas and then toasted over an open fire. Lightly brush crisp burrito with a zippy chile sauce (see Index) and serve.
TUNA BEAN SALAD (Ensalada de Frijoles y Atun)
A tangy bean salad that would serve equally as well as a light luncheon dish in the tropics is another make ahead dish that can be toted to a picnic or family get together. It is a meal in itself when served with fresh French bread and a chilled white wine.
1/2 kilo fresh green beans
1 c. oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. capers
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. crumbled basil leaf
1 c. bean sprouts (optional)
1 c. cooked or canned red beans
2 It 1/2 oz.) cans tuna fish 1 can flat anchovies (optional)
3 hard‑cooked eggs
1 onion 1 c. chopped celery
1 can pitted olives
Trim ends of green beans. Cook in enough salted water to cover until crisp tender. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain again. In a screw top jar, combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, mince garlic cloves, drained chopped capers, salt, pepper and crumbled basil leaf. Cover and shake to mix dressing well. Pour 1/4 cup dressing over cooked beans in a salad bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Combine marinated green beans with bean sprouts (raiz de frijole de soya), drained canned red beans, drained tuna fish, drained anchovies, chopped hard‑cooked eggs, diced tomatoes, minced onion, chopped celery and drained pitted olives in a salad bowl. Pour remaining dressing over all. Toss to mix. Cover and chill. Keep cool in a covered plastic bowl fitted into a thermal bag or in ice chest until ready to serve with lots of French bread and white wine. At the picnic, hollow out the long French bread and fill with salad and slice into thick portions.
FRUIT AND SHRIMP SALAD (Ensalada de Fruta y Camarones)
Fresh tropical fruit mixed with fresh cold shrimp and crisp bacon make up a colorful and tasty shrimp salad. Light and luscious for a picnic at the beach, it is delicately flavored with a ginger and orange dressing.
4 c. water with 1 Tbsp. powdered shrimp bouillon
1/2 kilo fresh shrimp
8 pitted prunes
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 pt. strawberries (if available)
8 slices of bacon
Prepare orange ginger dressing a day ahead. Cover and chill overnight. Soak pitted prunes in orange juice and marinate overnight in refrigerator. Drop fresh raw shrimp in shells into boiling water with powdered shrimp bouillon. Simmer 3 minutes until the turn pink. Drain. Reserve broth for other uses such as a cocktail chaser. Rinse with cold water. Chill. Peel and devein. Set aside Crisp fry bacon slices. Drain on paper toweling. Crumble and set aside. Cut pineapple in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving shell 1/4 inch thick. Cut pulp into bite‑size pieces, discarding core. Cover pineapple shell and chill in refrigerator.
Set aside 1 cup pineapple cubes. Reserve remaining pieces for use in other recipes. Cut melon in half and scoop seeds. Slice into wedges, peel and cut into cubes. Peel, seed and section orange. Combine cooled cooked shelled shrimp with 1 cup pineapple pieces, melon cubes, drained pitted prunes and orange sections. Toss lightly. Cover and chill until ready to serve. At the picnic, pour orange ginger nut dressing over all. Toss gently but thoroughly. For a dramatic effect, place salad in chilled pineapple halves out of which to serve.
ORANGE GINGER NUT DRESSING
Out of the modern Mexican kitchen comes this ginger nut fruit dressing.
1 c. unflavored yogurt
1/4 c. orange juice
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger or
1 Tbsp. juice of canned jalapeno chiles
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 c. chopped raisins
1/2 c. chopped toasted almonds
Combine all the ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake thoroughly and marinate in refrigerator at least overnight. Two days will really develop a rich ginger flavor. Pour over fruit and shrimp salad just before serving.