My daughter’s boyfriend is Mexican American and his mother is a superb cook. I have pretty much lost my daughter to her.
“David’s mom made soup so I’m going to stay here for dinner. Her soup is the best!”
“We are over here at David’s house eating this great meat dish. I don’t know what it’s called.”
“She made tamales and… wow! They are so tasty! Is it ok if I stay?”
“O.M.G.! David’s mom is making hamburgers tonight and hers are the best! I’m not coming home.”
I’ve been a little jealous, to be honest. Jealous of her time with my daughter. Jealous of my daughter getting to eat the food while I struggle at home deciding whether to serve up hummus and pretzels or hamburger meat with rice or just tell everyone it is (yet again) fend-for-yourself night.
She did bring a few of those tamales home one night and she was right – they were tasty indeed. And she promised me some soup once but it all got consumed by people actually present at the house, so I missed out.
Most recently, she brought home some salsa (flavorful but a bit too hot for me!), some of the best flavored Spanish rice I’ve ever had, and some fresh homemade tortillas. As I carefully unwrapped the tortillas from the moist paper towel wrapped around them, Jane passed on her new mom’s warning: “She said to tell you that they aren’t pretty.”
I glanced down at the goods. They were small, just a bit denser than what you’d get at a restaurant, and perfectly round with some slightly rough edges. I laughed.
You see, I tried making tortillas from scratch once. Once.
I even had instructions from a genuine Mexican American woman.
It didn’t help.
I told Jane to tell her that when I made tortillas, we were able to engage in quality geography lessons. Seriously. Despite my best efforts to make them round, I had one that had a striking resemblance to the state of Texas. Several other noticeably non-circular blobs. And one that incredibly enough, looked just like Florida.
Not even one of the square states.
It was one of those moments that I thought I might lose my husband to a laughing fit. “Breathe, honey! Breathe!”
So, see, just like people, when it comes to tortillas, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.