Monday, October 26, 2015
Cooking for a Mexican
The other day I was thinking back and remembered what the very FIRST thing I every cooked for my Mexican man was while we were still dating. The Epitome of Single-White-Girl fancy at the time and really, mom's everywhere I imagine - the Deluxe Ortega Taco Kit. Hard AND soft shell taco's. I believe at the time it came with a Taco Bell seasoning packet and as far as I was concerned was the shit.
I was so fancy that I diced fresh tomatoes, shredded lettuce, got out the shredded cheddar cheese AND super fancy thank you - a dish of sour cream. Ohhh yeaaahhh.
Ground beef and all the fixin's, I was gonna show this Mexican man my SKILLZ. Aaaand no. He was quick to inform me that these were not tacos. That tacos don't come with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce or sour cream. OR Taco bell seasoning. Lucky for him it was the couple weeks of dating and I was already head over heals for his booty because seven years later I would tell him right where to put those tacos with the hard shell. He did eat them though, he choked them down and I give him credit.
Years later I understand how absolutely disgusting those flower tortillas are that somehow were totally ok living in a cardboard box for what was possibly years. I still love a crunchy taco on my white days but shudder at the thought of those medicine-y smelling store-bought flour tortilla abominations.
Many years have come and gone and through the God given lake of knowledge known as YouTube and a good friend and fellow blogger (FOOD blogger, hallelujia!) Leslie Limon I've come a looong way. Rice took me a good 5 years to figure out and salsa about .... well hell, salsa is still iffy, some days amazing and other days wtf-is-this-and-why-God?? And bless me I haven't burned the beans in over a year. *PRAAAIIISSE*
It's crazy the judgment that is placed upon women here - I don't know if it's all, but certainly the gringa - on home cooking skills. I knew within months that I had to figure out some basics so that the family could stop worrying that he would die from hunger.
And then there's street cred. Basics sure, but can I make homemade mole and not Doña Maria? (check). Pozole? (check as of this last month), tortillas hecho de mano? (check but gawd whyyyyy when the tortilla shop 3 blocks away sells them for cheaper than I can make them and come hot and fresh??), and perhaps the ultimate holy grail - tamales. (check sort of, I've helped the family a couple of times and that I think counts so I say "yes" because I could do it alone, but nobody does, cuz damn.)
People don't actually drink margarita's very much here (the horror I know!) but I sure can whip up a yummy one, and they always like it, even the ladies who always claim that they don't drink (and yet end up asking for 4ths *cough*)
The kids are getting in on the action these days and are working on their tong-skills for the carne asadas (cook out). There's also the coming of age beer-fetching that is a requizite starting somewhere around the age of 4 that they've both mastered. *sigh* That part of my hillbilly past seems to have found me even here, but they feel important and useful so that's totally what counts. So there.