I am always looking for my mother’s kitchen. The scents, the sounds. The tastes, the textures. The colors, the flavors. The love she used to stretch each meal so that we were all left satiated once again. Each meal a true labor of love, whether it was a simple dish of eggs scrambled with tortilla bits, called Migas. Or a grand presentation of Mole Poblano, chicken in a spicy chocolate-based sauce.
I doubt I will ever find even a semblance of it, not even in my kitchen as my own table pales by comparison. She is cooking in heaven now and I am left with memories that propel me to keep looking so that every time I walk into a Mexican restaurant I wonder, is this it?
An occasional treat. If I eat too much corn, I notice swollen hands the next morning. RA imposing its limitations. The salsa has several health benefits, but what is salsa without chips?
White Zinfandel. Something not found anywhere in my mother’s kitchen. Or my own actually. I keep Moscato around, and I found a strawberry Moscato that hits the right spot after dinner. Who needs dessert?
Guacamole. Avocados were a mainstay of my diet growing up and are a frequent part of my diet now. Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals, plus they are delicious plain or mixed to make guacamole.
Beef tacos. Another thing I don’t indulge in often, red meat, especially when it comes in a corn tortilla embrace. Another staple from my childhood was rice and beans, though I gave up white rice a long time ago. The beans (B vitamins and Folic Acid) remain an important part of my diet, minus the sour cream and cheese topping.
We were enchanted with the star-shaped hanging lanterns. When we asked our server where we could buy some he said, “Guadalajara.” Hmm, that’s a ways away; maybe I’ll check online.
Though this was a lovely place, the food delicious, and we received excellent service, it was not quite my mother’s kitchen. I know it no longer exists, but I can’t help wanting to find it.
***One of my favorite novels: Like Water for Chocolate, (Como Agua Para Chocolate) a luscious love story with a bonus of delectable recipes preceding each chapter, written by Laura Esquivel and translated into English by Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen
Lovely post, full of warmth and love. Perhaps you’ll never find a kitchen as wonderful but you’ll always be able to visit in your memory, and keep her alive in your heart. Hugs.
I wish I’d paid more attention when she was cooking. But I do have my memories. Thanks, J. 🙂
Oh, mole poblano! I ate that for the very first time just a few years ago while visiting my sister in Santa Fe, NM. I’d never heard of using chocolate that way, but oh, my, Irma it was delicious! I can understand completely your quest to re-experience the special flavors your mom was so good at bringing out in her meals. I suspect the ingredient that’s missing now is her special love.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this with us. 🙂
Oh, yes, Mole. It’s one thing I never learned how to make. But it was something to look forward to. We had all kinds of sudden drop-ins on Mole Sunday. Thanks, Wren.