Monday, May 5, 2008

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

When I was in 6th grade (1973), we lived in a tiny home in Pico Rivera, California. We were surrounded by the rich culture of Mexico! I got a very valuable taste of what it is like to be a minority: I was one of two caucasians in my 6th grade class. (We had an amazing teacher, Miss Harper, whom I'll write about another time. What a woman! I am still in touch with her. She is a dear, dear lady who influences me to this day.)

Probably weekly, our family would exchange a plate of our very American, white-bread-type of cuisine (Delicious, Mom! Thank you!) for a plate from our spicy neighbors across the street: Reuben & Angela Garcia, their adorable 2 y/o son, Reuben, Jr. and Angela's adult siblings, Luis & Hilda. We went into previously unknown culinary territory for our family, sampling beef brain, beef tongue, tripe (the first and second divisions of the stomach of a ruminant, esp. oxen, sheep, or goats,, chorizo and other more common delights: tacos, burritos, beans & rice. I cannot say I enjoyed it all, but it was good to branch out.

When I met David here in Nebraska in 1983, I was stunned to hear that he did not think he liked Mexican food! I don't recall how we ended up at El Bee's restaurant (Waterloo, NE) early in our courtship, eating chimichangas....hallelujah! He DOES like it! Our favorite Mexican restaurant these days is Hector's (156 & Pacific St., Omaha) - AMAZING guacamole. And we recently tried Rivera's (122 & Blondo, Omaha), a little place run by the parents of one of the preschoolers I teach. Yum. Authentico. Delicioso!

So ends my Cinco de Mayo homage to my affectionate affiliation with Mexican culture and cuisine! Viva la Mexico!!!!! I raise my Baked Tostitos & Pace Picante Sauce (yellow lid) to you.


julie martin said...

feliz cinco de mayo to you ferbie! we too love our mexican food. in fact if we go for more than three days without some form of the delicious cuisine, we all get grumpy. and alan has a theory that when he has an upset stomach, what he really needs is a good plate of mexican food to blow that flu bug right out! viva la mexico!!

Brian said...

Do you really still keep in touch with your sixth grade teacher?? Amazing...