Saturday, August 7, 2010

A time for change

Now is a time of change. It's scary and sad but leaves me feeling hopeful. I'm where I've been afraid to be, my Grandparent's house. It's been almost eight years of fear and sadness being here in the house, a haven of cold air and soft pink carpet. The aura of a home whose family has moved and shifted and in essence left it behind. There are still lots of love and laughter here but the hole left by my Grandma feels evident. It feels like she is on vacation and even though we all have aged and moved on I feel her loss like a brick on my chest, like her presence or lack thereof is a white elephant in the room.

My grandfather has moved on. He has a new wife, Emily, and at times I feel conflicted. I like her a lot; she makes my grandpa happy and for that I am so grateful. She brings a youthfulness and vitality to him that suits him well. It's been a long road to get to this place of acceptance but I am happy to be here now. I am facing the fact that even if my grandpa has moved on and found love outside of my grandma, it doesn't change the life, love and family that they created. It just expanded it an a different way. I have to realign my thinking from one of replacing my grandma to one of making a new friend.

Today, I had the opportunity to hang out with Emily and talk to her and learn about her family and life before US. She taught me how to turn leftover barbacoa with the addition of simple vegetables into machaca, delicious comfort food. She also taught me how to make homemade salsa. It was to die for and so sinfully simple that I will never buy salsa again. Ok well maybe Chachie's mango salsa. I guess food really is a great unifier and a true means of healing.

So without further ado, please make and enjoy Emily's machaca.

Since this is more an art than science, you will need to use as much vegetables as you see fit. The amount listed below were added to about 1/2 a gallon ziplock bag of barbecued shredded beef, I.e. Barbacoa.

2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tomatoes diced
1 green bell pepper
1 Anaheim chili de-seeded
1 onion large dice
2 tbl spoons canola oil

Sauté all the vegetables except the tomatoes in canola oil over medium high heat for between 2-5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add the barbacoa and mix with the sweated veggies. Cover and steam for a few
minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and add a small palm of cumin, approximately a teaspoon. Add a cup of liquid, we used water but a stock or other liquid would work. Adjust seasoning and continent to cook. Once the veggies are tender and the meat is warm and steamed through you are done. Heat up your tortillas, fill with the machaca and eat. You can mix leftover machaca with eggs and cook for breakfast. So so good.

I'll be back later with the salsa recipe. Time to go visit my family. It's a trying time for my family with my two Uncle's being sick. Please pray for us or toss a kind thought our way.



Josh said...

This is my favorite post yet. It shows how food can be a universal language.

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