Marvy is laying in the hammock on our back porch while I sit in the shade and look out at the jungle-like foliage which surrounds the back our house; a banana tree at the bottom of our hill, a mango tree next door and star fruit trees dotting the hillside. Extending over and into our back patio is a huge avocado tree. In the autumn, the long limbs of the tree are ladened with large choquette avocados weighing about three pounds each. Their rich buttery texture and flavor is very different from the well know Hass avocados we eat in the States. We eat them diced up on top of soups, in salads and tacos and spread on crackers.

One thing that can be said about where we live in Mexico is there is always an abundance of produce. The costs are lower than anywhere I have ever lived before and often times it is free (right off from the tree). You can even just walk down a path between neighborhoods and see someone’s garden of fresh nopal cactus. A favorite in Mexican cuisine, it is easy to prepare and full of anti-oxidants. It can be stewed with diced tomatoes and onions, cured with salt, candied, or even just grilled. Just be sure to remove the needles first!

One our favorites is the coconut truck. Oh by the way, people are often afraid to come to Mexico and swim at the beach for fear of a shark attack. Did you know that every year 15 times more people die from a coconut falling on the head than from a shark attack? OK, with that said, we love to have one of these guys cut open a coconut and fill a plastic bag with the water from the coconut and put a straw in it to drink. Then take out the white meat of the coconut and put it in another bag and sprinkle chili power on it as a snack. The price for all of that is between $0.75 cents – to $2.00 depending of the location and the guy. Now if you think that is expensive, walk into a Whole Foods store and ask them how much a pint of real coconut water costs!