Monday, January 17, 2011

Burnt Tortillas

I made tacos for lunch today. :)
If you know me at all, you know that tacos take the cake when it comes to any food. They're delicious, and simple to make.

It was nice to have a quiet apartment, be able to wake up late, lay in bed for a while and hear the sounds of the day. It was even better to walk into the kitchen and begin making lunch. Begin heating meat, cutting chiles to make my Mama's salsa borracha (translates to "drunk salsa").
I added onions, tomatoes, cut up some chiles, accidentally rubbed my eye and then cried a little bit, and finally added lemon and salt. It was pretty yummy.
After making sure everything was ready, I heated tortillas. This is probably my favorite part. I love watching the texture of tortillas change, them bubble as they heat up, and begin to brown a bit as they begin to cook.
Yes, sometimes I burn tortillas.
And yes, sometimes it's on purpose.

Burnt, crispy tortillas remind me of my Grandpa.
It takes me back to a time before sixth grade when he passed away, a time when we'd have barbecues what felt like once a month, and I'd help him stoke the grill.
He taught me that to have flames come up from the charcoal, you had to fan it and add a little bit of lighter fluid (don't worry, I wasn't allowed to help with that).
So as I watched mi abuelito, I would ask if I could have a turn fanning the fire with his Stetson as I had watched him week after week.
I remember that smile as he'd admit that he was tired and watch me fan the flames.

The fire would eventually be where it needed to be, weenies, onions, chicken, beef... they got cooked on the grill. Frijoles, corn, and some tortillas would come from inside. Don't forget the salsa! :)

However, my very favorite part of our barbecues was the very end. When everybody would exclaim that they were full, and begin clearing the table. We'd put stuff away, put what needed to go in the fridge where it needed to, our madrina (godmother) would pack us food to take home (the famous "To-Go Plate")... and while all that was happening, somebody would be heating tortillas.
Heating tortillas because even though we were all super full, we couldn't let the last of the fire go to waste. We'd heat tortillas and pass them around, making everyone eat at least one. And more often than not, the tortillas were on the crispy side; burnt a little, just the way I like 'em.

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