May 27, 2013 Comments Off on taco night
A win-win-win situation–my folks had the kids this weekend for a sleepover, which gives the grandparents time with them, gives them time away from me, and gives L and I an evening out. We had big plans, since the Big City’s best wine bar has a new chef, but other folks had the same idea and we ended up hitting a taqueria on the southeast side that has been on our list for a long time, but that’s fallen victim to sushi being our go-to backup plan. At $1.79 a taco, this place was a good meal–and with tacos ranging from the normal up to carne asada and (best of all) lingua, it wasn’t uninteresting, either.
“No fair that you got tacos,” O said the next morning. No worries, I told her, I’ve got some leftover pork shoulder in the freezer. I’ll throw some tortillas together and we’ll do that for dinner. Fine, she said, but I also owe her a stir-fry before they go back to their mom’s.
So this is as close as I can come to the array of condiments L and I had the other night. Once you’ve got the meat cooked and warming, and the tortillas pressed and griddled, this is a meal that’s really about garnish prep. Queso fresco just involves hitting the almost-hidden Mexican dairy case at the local grocery store, and cilantro, peppers, and cabbage just need slicing. Radishes? I salted them for an hour or so, and that seemed to give them the tender, not-so-bitter bite that good taqueria radishes seem to have. And the salsa is simple–tomatoes, blanched white onions, some lime juice and cumin, throw half of it in the food processor, recombine, and let it marinate for an afternoon.
The kiddos prefer their tacos a bit less garnished than I do, but they went through the salsa with chips, anyway. Not a jar or an Old El Paso jar in sight, but I doubt this took any longer than a kit taco night would have taken to make.
Summer beckons. I put C on the school bus tomorrow for the last time this school year. She’ll get a ride, since it’s stormy, but collectively the school morning madness at Dad’s takes a hiatus until August.
O is cramming for finals, and part of World Studies is world religions. This has been a topic of much discussion between us as born-again humanists. “I don’t understand,” she said. “If your God is all-powerful, how can you have free will? Hasn’t God already figured out everything you’re going to do?”
I told her that was what her ancestors–good Scottish Presbyterians–held. “If it’s already been decided,” I said, “then there’s no penance. Once you’ve done something bad, it shows that you were made bad–nothing you can do about it.”
“That’s awful,” she said.
“That’s why Presbyterians sort of gave up on pre-destination and went with punch and cookies as a tenet of faith instead. Better for attendance.”
The conversation then veered into William James territory, with the idea of moral holiday and all that coming up before I got wise.
“None of THIS is going to be on your World Studies final,” I told her. Back to the books. A conversation worthy of tacos, though, for sure.