As I was smothering the corn tortillas with red enchilada sauce, I thought about the first time I brought New Mexican fare back to the college dorms. I remember Shanel and our friend, Kristi examining the freshly made tortillas with great concern.
“What are these brown spots?” Kristi asked as she examined the packaged. Shanel took it from her and declared that my tortillas were moldy. I grabbed the package back, turning it back and forth in my hands in great confusion. The tortillas that had been hand-made at Roberto’s the morning before appeared as flawless and delicious as possible.
I looked back up at their concerned faces and realized that these two Midwestern girls had never seen authentic tortillas. They didn’t know that tortillas spit and sizzle on the frying pan until they are covered with a little brown spots. All the tortillas they had consumed where bleached to a crazy, white perfection.
I’m not sure what they thought of their first New Mexican meal, but I can tell you that Shanel throws back the hot stuff like a seasoned gringa. And her request for her birthday dinner was “your enchiladas!” To which every member of my family said, “Amen.”
Being the little hostess that she is, Ava decorated Shanel’s white-on-white cake with sprinkles, sprinkles, and more sprinkles. According to these too, there is never enough sprinkles.
Ava was on then on-hand to help her blow out her candles.
She also wrapped up a “surprise” present and stashed it at the bottom of Shanel’s gift bag.
Oh, what is it? What could it be?
Ah, a stick of sidewalk. Precisely what every condo-dwelling chica needs.
Oh, wait, Shanel, do you know what “chica” means?
Can anyone help the birthday girl out?