Mexican food is probably one of my favorite things to eat. It’s simple and relatively easy to make a healthy meal from the common ingredients in Mexican fare. Somehow when I have Mexican food, it rarely turns out to be as healthy as I would like it to be. Instead of a baked tortillas, I want fried; I want plenty of cheese and sour cream, I want meat along with my beans, and I usually want to wash it down with a few margaritas. Mexican food for me, is no less than an event.
Right now I am reading The Heart is Not A Size, by Beth Kephart and I was struck by the simplicity and the heartiness of the meal that main characters Georgia and Riley have with new friends upon their arrival in Juarez, Mexico for an outreach program and mission trip they take part in during their junior year in high school. Something about the writing that describes the normal fare of this Mexican town reminded me of the simplicity of the meals that I ate growing up – at the table with my family. It prompted me back to the meals I had before I grew up, developed the barest accents of sophistication and started eating trendy ethnic food in fancy and expensive New York restaurants.
Two women in white cooked for us that night-beans that softened to a purple, chicken in a tomato stew, tortillas. There were sodas without ice and sterilized water from a five-gallon jug and some kind of pineapple-watermelon drink that Mack said was safe but that Riley and Sophie and Jazzy and I decided to forgo- all of us sitting together at the two picnic tables that had been dragged out from somewhere into the rubble.
It’s 7 a.m. Is it too early for Mexican?