Before I scare you with the video chronicling our run-in at an abandoned, haunted hotel on a secluded beach where the ghosts of past guests still checking into their desiccated rooms can be heard, let me share about the goodies I’ve been baking!
As you know, my family went organic, plant-based vegan almost four years ago, but that doesn’t mean we have missed out on the sweeter things in life. On Wednesday, I improvised a brownie recipe using leftover chocolate from our recent camping trip at Xpu-Ha (which also happens to be the location of the nightmarish hotel.) I have an affinity for baking complex confections with strange ingredients, so my family is sometimes hesitant to taste my creations, especially since they rarely follow a recipe, but afterwards they typically find the dessert delectable- and this time was no different. I added a sugar/water/lemon juice/avocado whip as frosting to the brownies, and although it was a brilliant green hue, the consistency was perfectly creamy and there was no trace of an avocado flavor! Highly recommend.
Today I baked three different kinds of “mini-pies”, all of which had a warm graham cracker crust.
As you can see in the photo, the pies on the far left are suspiciously reminiscent of moose poop, but I assure you they were just a mixture of blueberries and blackberries in melted chocolate. The middle cakes were another spur-of-the-moment invention: key-lime pie topped with various berries. I strained limes, mashed three graham crackers, poured in rice milk, and plopped a tablespoon of imitation butter into the blender to whip up that concoction, which turned out with a fluffy, sink-your-teeth-into consistency. Lastly we have the apple crumble pies, the graham crust plainly visible below the warm, buttery apple bits and crunchy baked sugar. Vegans indulge, too!
Now for the paranormal, time-and-space paradox: Horror Hotel. (Cue foreboding music.)
On Saturday the Jackson family arrived back home from a visit to the quaint island city of Cozumel, the buildings of which are visible on the horizon from the beach in Playa. The 30 minute ferry ride was tumultuous for everyone but my brother Aidan and I, the only kids who weren’t racked with motion sickness. Unfortunately, we were unable to snorkel to the extent we had hoped for at the world-famous beaches because the weather we unruly- grey skies and wind, wind, wind. On the upside, we had a fantastic time on the town, my personal favorite being the street musicians we fell in love with on the night of our first day on the island. Two young guys on guitar, one of them vocals, played an awesome, eclectic set; it was as if they had picked up my iPod and hit shuffle. We ended up getting a table at the restaurant they were set up at, Woody’s, and my parents bought them drinks. I sat with my feet dangling off the armrest of my chair and sang all the words to the songs with the singer, a guy no older than mid-twenties with a mop of curly brown hair and fantastic shirt that had an eyeball sticking its tongue out on it. He would look over to me periodically through each song to see if I was keeping up lyrically, and I am proud to say I didn’t miss a beat, thanks to my parents and the exposure to music they have instilled in me. Kira and I giggled as we walked back to the hotel that night, arguing about who called dibs on the singer/guitarist first.
So all in all, the abandoned hotel at Xpu-Ha and Cozumel were two more check marks off our to-do list before we say goodbye to Playa for the summer.