¡El Grito! Of Mexican Independence that is. This year to commemorate this very special day in history for all of us mexicanos around the world I thought about writing something that would explain a little more about what this day means… only I had already done that in this post here. Then I thought about blogging about the dozens of hardworking men and women who have taught me what it is to be a true mexicano throughout my life, only, guess what?… I had already done that too.
Finally, it came to me! What better way to celebrate El Día de la Independencia than by showing you physically, well through images anyways, how everyday in my world is a little celebration of my Mexican heritage. These are a few of the little mundane things that always make me feel a little extra mexicano:
We use them for keeping tortillas warm, to sit hot pans on top of, in the center of our table, to not burn our hands when handling hot skillets or a comal, and though I don’t think “cloth towelettes” is the proper term exactly, these crafty little artesanias are extra special to me because they are all hand made and were all gifted to us. Look at the detail and color. How could you not feel proud of these?
I used to wear them a lot more when I was flaco. Then, the panza started protruding and they no longer were as flattering! Lately though I’ve noticed my collection of guayaberas is actually growing again. These two were given to me as gifts.
By the bite, in a salsa, or straight from the mata, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh chile to make you feel real damn Mexican all of the time! The red ones my jefecita grew herself. The smaller ones she brought back from Mexico.
Okay, Anjelica bought these for a party we never had, and ever since then they have been a huge hit with all of our friends and family who see them. They’re about six inches tall and six inches wide and can’t fit any real candy inside, but they are just real chingonas, I think.
Not much to say here. My brother and I both bought this same molcajete in Cerritos, San Luis Potosi, Mexico for our wives – without knowing what the other was getting, I promise – and brought them home as gifts. To date, we’ve only really used it a handful of times here. I wonder if my brother has gotten any more usage out of his. LOL!
Guess we’re moving on up! Growing up we used to just use the bottom of a cup to smash beans, or anything else with a flat surface that was small enough to fit in the pan, but nowadays they’ve got this fancy little contraption that makes you feel all sophisticated when you’re cooking frijoles refritos. Just goes to show some of us will buy just about anything.
Rodeo is only a couple of weeks every year here and though we hardly ever go (too many crowds), when I put on my boots, everybody knows that ¡ya es hora! To hit the road for a rumba – usually a quinceañera or a wedding, but sometimes a baile here and there too – being a Texan bien mexicano I can definitely say there’s nothing like kicking your boots up at the end of a long, hard day.
The Finger… err, I mean Lemon Squeezer
Officially the perfect counterpart for anything spicy, the lemon is also huge in our diets here at casa Juan of Words. Whether it’s on a corn on a cob, a beef stew, in tacos, or anything else, there’s nothing like a little lemon and chile to make your lips and tongue feel all the Mexican you can handle. Oh yeah, the squeezer should only be used on lemons… not fingers!
Hope you enjoyed and have a very happy Mexican Independence Day.
Last trip to Mexico I purchased several of these embroidered thingies for my (“gringa”) side of the family from my brother-in-law’s friend’s wife, who is out en el rancho with no electricity so she sits around doing this a lot of the time, and you can imagine how intricate they are (I may be going to hell for paying her 160 pesos each). When my family received them, they were all completely flabbergasted and immediately asked “what are these called?”. The folks in Michoacan just call them servietas so all I could say was, “uh, napkins?… um, but they’re not used like napkins… nevermind I dunno.”
I know exactly what you mean, Beth. We have them and have had them at the house forever, since I can remember, but we rarely, if ever, used them as just napkins. I think it had something to do with the fact that we know how labor intensive they are and didn’t want to ruin them. They were used a lot more as decorations or as tortilla covers when we had company… who knows exactly what their intended use is, but I would not want to use them as napkins even now… And hey, don’t worry about how little you paid, most of ours were gifts which we paid nada for!
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