Monday, September 27, 2010

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.” — Norman Kolpas

     This is gonna be a whoooole different abrupt pace here but so be it people!!! "Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine."  Ha!!
      I have managed to connect with this ridiculous, amazing group of women through Twitter (I have met them in real life so I am permitted to state this for real!) and in that connection I have been invited to contribute to a link up called Sabroso Saturday. To my non-Latina readers, this means Tasty Saturday. Basically it is an opportunity for us to recipe share the yumminess we all inevitably Tweet about.  Let's face it kids, we all Tweet about food. Hell, I upload more pictures of food than I do my own children. LOL I am slightly embarrassed to share just how easy this recipe is but when I make this, I do the shopping the day before & prep it as soon as I wake up.
*You may have also noticed that it is in fact, Monday but I am a damn slacker, deal with it!!

    So here it is. I've talked about this, Tweeted about it & cooked this for all of my favorite people. So from my kitchen to yours:

Slow-Cooked Pork Carnitas Tacos

You will need:
1 1/2 lbs Pork shoulder (Boston Butt) cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. I usually buy a 2lbs & trim away excess fat.
1tsp salt
2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 large white onion cut into 4 pieces
2 garlic cloves (I like more personally, just saying...)
1/2 tsp ground cumin 
1 avocado sliced
1/2 lb shredded queso blanco (you can buy it solid at the deli counter & shred it yourself. It is SO much better than the stuff you buy bagged)
corn tortillas
your favorite tomatillo salsa
fresh bunch of cilantro
1 or 2 limes cut into wedges

    Toss the cut up pork in the bowl of a slow cooker with the salt, pepper, cumin, & oregano. With tongs, give this a good mix up. Place the onion pieces and the garlic cloves on top of the pork. Cover it and cook on the low setting for SIX HOURS until the meat is very tender and falling apart. Now, you may get to about hour three and find your mouth watering and be tempted to open the lid. DO NOT. It will add 30 minutes to your cooking time, and've waited long enough.

     When that timer goes off, get you a slotted spoon and transfer the pork to a cutting board. You can discard the onion & garlic pieces but me personally, I like to keep them in. Depends on how much flava you're used to cooking with. (Can I get an Amen Mamis!!) Using your fingers (or two forks if you're weird about it) shred the pork up. Wrap the tortillas in a damp clean kitchen towel & nuke for 1 minute. Transfer the pork to a platter and then let everyone build up their tacos.

     Serve them wrapped in a warm tortilla with avocado, (or guac!! OMG even better!) cilantro, tomatillo sauce, cheese & a lime wedge. Buen Provecho mi gente!!!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

~ Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible~ - Anonymous

Something about the turning of the seasons has always made me feel a little bit sad. As a kid, I always assumed it was because the end of summer meant going back to school. Or, the end of fall meant that the cold winter was coming. I guess, I've always been a bit pessimistic...

When I got older, I always noticed the turning of the seasons even more so when I was alone. As in; not having a significant other alone. I suppose I thought, oh the winter is over. It'd be nice to have someone to go on a picnic with when it warms up or something to that effect. Now I realize what it is about the season change that makes me feel just a little bit down.

It's another notch of time that has been marked away.  It's more time lost to the other side of the hourglass. The older I get, the longer the melancholy lasts. Tonight I noticed that the temperature has been dropping just a bit  further every evening. I pulled on a cozy sweater and I got to wondering about this melancholy that I am already beginning to feel. Why do I look at the passing of time in such a way that it makes me feel so sad...? Inevitably this makes me step out of myself and look a bit more closely at my life...or should I say, what I thought my life would be.

I grew up in pretty rough conditions (I'll save you the sob story, we all have one.) that certainly shaped my outlook on things but the truth matter how rough it ever was, I always believed that my life was destined for something great and that with that great life would come this amazing love. You know, the kind people tell their grandchildren about...The kind that start with a kid looking up, asking you to tell them how you both met... I guess I just saw one as coming with the other quite naturally.

I never fully understood why I felt so confident in it but it was always there and very clear to me. Given the circumstances, the odds for it actually happening were slim to none. But I was always a pretty smart kid so I suppose I figured I had a lot of control in it all just panning out. And growing up;  it really stood with me.

Life though, is a funny thing and suddenly here I am very close to another birthday and there is no charmed life. And though I am certainly not living a terrible life by any means, I do find myself mourning this idea of one that I was so confident I was going to have. As an adult I accept that this may have truly been the idealistic wide-eyed illusions of a young girl who had it rough & just imagined something grand as a coping mechanism to move forward through what was in fact my reality. But in that acceptance comes the disappointment in the possibility that the great love that I have always believed was out there, may not actually be. That maybe this life I am actually living is as good as it gets. And in admitting that I feel like I am tempting fate to hand me over some horrible blow to make me more grateful of what I DO indeed actually have. This part...not so easy to accept or admit. But this blog has never been about sunshine & daisies has it...?

Suddenly I'm wondering...have I walked right passed him? Did I miss some turn on the road? And when I imagined this beautiful, destined life...was it only good because I imagined a partner to live it with me? I've always been a woman so confident in being alone that this possibility has me quite rattled. And so there it is. The question that women (especially ones my age) aren't supposed to think, never mind actually ask:

Is a life less of a life if there is no partner to share it with? Is its value lessened if I end up alone?

And I know it is silly of me to waste my time thinking about the things that could have been. The things that I don't really get a say-so in. Yet here I am, sitting in the dark pondering it. The weight of it on my shoulders tells me that the answer is yes. But then some spot in my logical brain starts to kick my own ass at the stupidity of that....

Ultimately though, I think that the answer, for me, is this. A life is something that has value because it is a life. A spiritual person would say that because God created it, it has value. I think that that is true however, I think that a life shared. A life that is witnessed; is the kind that is the stuff that little girls sitting in their rooms wish up into the heavens for.

So no matter how many candles I blow out on the cake this year or the next...or the next; I will always be that little girl. And I still believe that it (ALL of it) is out there...and that makes me look forward to autumn....