There has been a lot of news coverage lately about identity conflict.
I have decided that if loving tacos is any indication,
then I have a serious identity conflict.
In North Dakota,
I almost had up the nerve to defy my husbands orders to not stop at the taco bus
(yes, a big yellow school bus with a hand painted "TACO" sign),
when it caught fire and burned.
The locals recommend the Mexican Food Restaurant in Williston,
but I usually say that Texans don't eat Mexican food north of Amarillo.
However, one day we saw a hand painted sign from down the street.
It just said,
I stuck my head in the door, did the sniff test, then surveyed the non-gringo clientele.
The owner said he was from Mexico and that he makes street tacos.
I love tacos -
corn tortilla, shredded beef, chicken, pork, or fish
with guacamole, lettuce, fresh salsa, cilantro, and a little lime.
I luuuuuv tacos
and I speak enough Spanglish to get me in trouble.
My earliest memories of tacos were from Carlos' Little Mexico
in my hometown Texas.
Then my mama's homemade tacos were next.
Her recipe was delish:
one pound of browned ground beef
one can of Wolf Brand Chili
corn tortillas dipped in hot Crisco.
The blazing orange grease dripped off our elbows when we ate them.
Oh, they were good.
Of course there's not enough Rolaids in the state of Texas to get me to eat one now.
My next memory was hanging out in the chinaberry tree
with Jimmy, the neighbor kid.
The tree was right beside our farm workers' temporary hacienda behind my Daddy's shop.
I can almost still smell the frijoles, lard, tortillas, and kerosene cook stove.
They came from Mexico legally to move irrigation pipe, hoe weeds, and pick cotton.
This is Shorty, who was our trusted favorite playing with me.
I have curlers in my hair - that means it was Saturday.
We always washed and curled our hair on Saturday.
I wish I still had that car.
Years later, Shorty tried to come back to us,
but was turned away at the border because he had T.B. (tuberculosis).
My how things have changed at the border.
On our little 19 day trip through the Pacific Northwest,
we came through a little town in Idaho that had a taco wagon on every corner.
We imagined and theorized for an hour about how they all got there.
We decided they must have come to work in the potato fields,
but found tacos to be more lucrative.
Somehow menus written in Spanish give taco wagons the most credibility.
I have tried to perfect my own Mexican food cooking skills during my stay in North Dakota
and have come up with the best
Taco Seasoning recipe:
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1/4 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper
Of course, I make it by the quart.
I love tacos.
If I have an identity conflict,
then I must identify as
Me encantan los tacos!