This is what I wish I looked like most of the time. Rosy of cheek and with brightly colored ribbons woven into my my pig tails.
Mexican muñeca, acquired in Mexico City near the Zócalo, May 2005. My own hair has lacked ribbons since 1989.
There’s two very important things about food that I’ve learned from my Dad.
1. How to make ceviche. Ceviche should be like a delicate and colorful flower. Use fresh, non-oily fish. Buy more key limes than you think you will need. Way more. And get comfortable, you will be juicing them for a while. Cut the fish into small pieces and cover with juice in a glass or ceramic bowl, never metal. Let it sit on the counter for an hour. Yes, the counter, at room temperature. The acid in the juice will kill any bacteria. Chop some red onion finely, add it to the fish for the last 10 minutes. Chop some tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro. Mince a Serrano or two. Strain the fish and onions. Mix in the veg. Squeeze one or two fresh key lines in there. Sea salt. Good salt. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Put on a tostade, top with Salsa Huichol, enjoy.
2. The only Mexican beer that should be consumed with lime in it is Tecate, and even then only in a can. There were worries about the qualities of the metal from the old original Tecate cannery. Salt and lime juice where sprinkled on the top of the can. Never directly inside the can! They mixed in when you drank. The salt and the lime juice killed any bacteria. You enjoyed your cold beer.
Dads teach us so many great things.
Mexican pastries require lard. And occasionally they require a hammer. How else does one break up those magical brown sugar cones known as piloncillo? Boiled down sugar cane syrup tasting of caramel, and a slight metallic tang, this is about as pure and natural as sugar gets. And lard? Well, I would rather have a pure snow white block of rendered pork fat in front of me than any hydrogenated vegetable oil or even expensive French butter. Combine flour, lard and piloncillo, make a tortilla sammich, bake. Coyotas, the taste of my childhood and not found outside of the state of Sonora. Why did it take me so long to make these?