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Staff and Management of Snowy Palms Resort - always on a continuous improvement journey, or a train wreck...

Snowy Palms Resort

Broke Down in Bucerias

30 some-odd years ago Susan and I traveled to Mexico for our Honeymoon, we had a great time, even if we left the hotel room.We met another couple that, like us, had committed to a lifetime together, and when they left their room we hooked up and drank, laughed, fished, then drank some more.

We all decided to rent a jeep to go about the countryside exploring and sightseeing. It was extremely hot out and the jeep (VW Thing) was roofless which did little to keep us out of the sun, so driving north from PV in the hot sun we developed a thirst and it only grew in size as we drove further up the road. After what seemed to be forever, we happened upon a little town called Bucerias, so we stopped at a store in the center of town to have a beer, which we discovered was also a tortilla factory. We finished our beer then headed to the Thing. It wouldn' start!!

The store closed behind us to allow the operator to make tortillas it turned out. The only pay telephone in Bucerias was in the store, so there we sat, roasting in the sun, being stared at by a few dozen people standing in line to buy their tortillas. They looked at us, we looked at them, I felt like an exhibit in a zoo, quite uncomfortable really. I learned then what a chimpanzee must feel like when being stared at by dozens of strangers. Without the poo flicking of course.

Finally the tortilla rush was over and the operator returned to his storekeeper duties. We asked for and received 4 bottles of Coke. When he delivered the bottles I touched one and found out it was hot so I asked the kind man for some glasses and then asked, "Do you have ice?" and he immediately responded, "Si senor!". I then asked the nice man if the ice was made with purified water (agua purificada). "Si! Hielo hecha con agua purificada!!!" But as he was telling me this he was squinting his eyes, averting eye contact and the tone was ominous. We passed on glasses and ice and drank our steaming bottles of Coke.

I will add at this point that having taken Spanish in high school and having had traveled to Mexico previously to use and practice that newly acquired language, I was somewhat proficient with it and could converse moderately okay if the speaker spoke slow. Better than the average tourist but not a native tongue by any means.

I called the rental company and once someone answered I asked for the lovely lady that rented the car to us, and she said "Soy yo", "It is me". I have to say, she spoke flawless English when we rented the Thing, but when calling for help she didn't speak a lick of English. Not a word!!!

Talking with her, trying to get her to help us and getting angrier by the moment, an older American gentleman, who was listening to me talk on the phone struggling with the language and my temper and knowing we were broke down in Bucerias, stepped up to help, I gladly handed him the phone.

He spoke in very direct terms to the now monolingual car rental hostess and from what I could understand he was suggesting that he would ensure she would lose her job if she did not get help for us stranded travelers, then handed the phone back to me. Imagine my surprise when I began to speak to her that she had had a miraculous recovery from her mental lapse and began to speak English to me once again. Only in Mexico you say...

So as she told me that help would be there in an hour or so we offered our wonderful interpreter a beer, he accepted and then we sat and visited for a bit.  Turns out he was a retired businessman of some means from New York who retired in PV and was developing property in the area. He was a big man, ex-Marine, and a great guy. Finally the "tow truck" arrived, we were headed back to our hotel in PV. The ride from hell had begun.

When we finally got off that life-threatening ride in the "recovery vehicle" and stood face to face with the lovely part-time unilinguist we were a little "agitated".  Susan having been subjected to more than she could bear started to talk with little Miss Forgethowtospeakenglish demanding a refund; it became a catfight.  The clerk was holding the paperwork with our Visa imprint in hand, (remember those?), Susan reached over the counter and grabbed the Visa slip. An epic wrestling match ensued with both parties giving it their all.

When the tug-of-war ended, each feuding female was holding half a Visa slip. Susan spoke some enlightening words to the clerk and marched off with her half of the Visa slip with me following close behind, certain now that we were going to spend time in a Mexican jail for assault and theft. We got to our hotel room unaccosted by any authority figure, quickly closing and barring the door to keep out the SWAT team that we were certain was going to be there any time. 

Now back in our locked hotel room, calmed and relaxed, we were able to honeymoon, stomp cockroaches, drink ice water with purified ice while enjoying the air conditioning.

We haven't been to Bucerias since.

Korean Barbecue Beef (Galbi)

In making galbi or kalbi as it is also known, the traditional cut of beef to use is thin sliced short ribs called kalbi cut, or Maui cut rubs or Korean cut ribs, depending on the butcher, in most cases regardless of what they are labeled, they are expensive cuts of beef and you can't eat the bone so it is really expensive when you eat it.

One day as I was traipsing through Costco I spied these boneless beef short ribs, and intrigued, I took them home and then wondered what do I do with them. 

Remembering back to a recent meal of galbi that rocked everyone's socks at the taste, and mine at the cost,  I thought that slicing them would offer up the same flavour and texture profile, at a reduced cost. So I set to slicing by first cutting them in half to make them easier to handle.
Next, I set a piece on its side and sliced them lengthwise to ensure the cut went across the grain.

I repeated the slicing getting 3-4 slices out of each piece.

After slicing all the pieces I began to construct the meal as per the recipe below.

The fact that there were no bones to pick around made them very enjoyable for all of us and nary a complaint was heard that evening, in fact, the crowd demanded I do them again real soon.

Beef Galbi (Kalbi)

3 lbs beef short rib, bone-in or boneless, slices should be no thicker than 1/4"

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup mirin

1 medium onion, peeled
1 medium apple, peeled and core removed
1 kiwi fruit peeled or use 1 tsp baking soda instead (for meat tenderizing)
4 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place onion, garlic, apple, and kiwi (if using) into a food processor and pulse until a fine mince or puree is reached. 

Pour into a large stainless steel bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir well to incorporate.

Add sliced beef to the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours.

Remove beef from marinade and let drain well.

Place marinated beef onto a hot grill and cook until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Cook to medium-rare or medium.

Remove from grill and serve hot.

If you are serving this for an appie, slice thinly and serve warm with lettuce leaves to make a lettuce wrap.

This dish is fantastic, probably my favourite barbeque recipe and even the non-beef eater in the house likes them and that's saying a lot.

It is best if the meat is marinated for at least overnight up to 24 hours and drained very well before grilling.

 Snowy Palms Resort

Hot Fudge Sauce

There's nothing quite as wonderful as a warm fudge sauce poured over homemade ice cream, the homemade fudge sauce elevates the already grand ice cream to an ethereal delight. It is impossible to describe, so you need to make some and describe it to yourself.

Hot Fudge Sauce

2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process cocoa is best for this and Fry’s is great!)

1/4 tsp salt
6 oz dark (70%) or extra dark chocolate (85%), chopped and divided in half

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla 

Place cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate into a heavy saucepan.

Place over medium heat then bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low-medium to achieve a light bubbling action, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. 

Add butter, vanilla, and remaining half of the chopped chocolate then stir until smooth. 

Cool sauce to warm before serving. Then watch the smiles and expressions of joy and rapture take over as your guests enjoy a bit of earthly, fudgy, bliss...

Store in a plastic container that has a tight-fitting lid.  It'll last 10 days in the fridge.

Cheesy Beef and Macaroni

We are all, or nearly all, or at least some of us, prisoners in our homes, sans ankle bracelets for most of us. As a result, old favourites come to the table to warm the cockles of our hearts, but first, what are cockles and do they like to be warm? Asking for a friend.

Lazy Bastard gets, meaner, crankier and lazier every day he is locked up inside the Inn. He has tried to escape confinement a few times but She Who Must Be Obeyed, ever the vigilant sleuth, has foiled his every attempt. The last one left him with a puffy eye and a fat lip that has substantially interfered with his wine drinking, which has made him more unpleasant than normal.  But he is still cooking, and for that, we all forgive his constant verbal attacks. For now...
 Not Quite Hamburger Helper

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, minced fine
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup beef stock
½ cup salsa sauce (I like Pace)
2 cups milk
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp ground pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Mix the corn starch, chili powder, salt, sugar, paprika, cumin, ground pepper together in a large measuring cup or bowl, add salsa sauce and beef stock and stir to mix well, set aside.

In a large skillet saute onion and garlic until translucent (about 5 minutes).

 Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain oil (see pictures below).   
Fat removed from 1 pound of ground beef
Add beef stock mixture, milk and pasta to browned beef and bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

When pasta is al dente, remove pot from heat then stir in the cheeses, mix well, cover, then let stand for 5 minutes.

When ready to serve give the pasta a gentle stir and serve hot.
This doesn't last long in the Inn.  Leftovers are hoovered faster than a chocolate bunny at a fat farm.

Snowy Palms Resort