Today is Sinco de Mayo and this always reminds me of my brief, close encounter with the Mexican culture.
You see, my name used to be Figueroa (back in 1969 to 1974.) I can hear you going "What?" but, nobody believed me back then and thought I was pulling their leg when I said that my name was Figueroa. Having just come from Germany, speaking very little English and no Spanish at all, I was married to a handsome young man with olive skin and almond shaped eyes (sigh!) who was born in California, but his mother was Hopi Indian and his daddy was from Mexico. That was a very interesting and educational part of my life and I always remember it fondly. I traveled to Mexico several times for family festivities and got to mingle with ordinary people and be part of their every day lives. I became a Godmother and the party included homemade tortillas and meat from a goat and pig that were buried underground in hot coal for the day...it was the most tender meat I ever ate. The people were of limited means, but their hearts where big and open. I am so glad I had the chance to experience that.
Living in California for 33 years, I had the opportunity to eat a lot of Mexican food and never had any better than there, unless I made it myself. My Hopi Indian ex-MIL taught me how to cook Tamales, Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Mole and all sorts of other delicious meals...and on the weekends, if I wanted Mexican breakfast, I'd just drive to Santa Ana and get fresh Carnitas or Menudo and there were several Cantinas that made homemade Tamales all the time:
(during Christmas, they offered the sweet ones with nuts and raisins in them)
When I discovered Cilantro I became addicted to it and still love to make burritos even though I quit eating meat. The Mexican sweet breads are so good with coffee in the morning...or afternoons:
I finally discovered a place here that sells them fresh from the bakery and now that I have wheels, I can go get some once in a while.
I also enjoy some of the Mexican candy, especially candied yam and cactus. We actually have a small Mexican grocery store in town now that sells a few of those things.
Anyway, just thought I'd say Happy Cinco de Mayo and remind you that tonight might be a good time to go out for Mexican - Ole!
Listen to the sound of Mariachi music and enjoy the big, flowing colorful skirts:
Click here for some more fine Mariachi fiddling!
I am a very colorful person and miss the Mexian flair I saw so much in Southern California! If I were there today, I'd drive to Los Angeles to visit Olvera Street to get a good dose of Mexian culture!
Here is a little serape and sombrero I crocheted for a hot sauce bottle that fits thoday's theme:
I've listened to many a Mariachi bands over the years and every time I hear that music I want to have chips and salsa. I was so glad when I discovered that a Mexican family opened a restaurant right here in town called El Carrisal. I have been sampling their food and found it to be very authentic tasting. I will probably get some for my dinner tonight.