Frijoles, Chile y Tortillas

When I was young, still living at home with my parents, I used to sometimes think we were poor because we ate beans and potatoes so much.

Now, as an adult, there are times when the budget doesn’t stretch adequately or the urge to cook another boneless, skinless chicken breast just doesn’t appeal to the senses.

Tonight was such a night. There is meat in the freezer but that is about it. No potatoes, no rice, no fresh veggies. You get the picture. But on a shelve in my kitchen were sitting mason jars filled with pinto beans my Aunt sent me last Christmas.

Suddenly that is the only thing that sounded right. Frijoles, chile rojo y tortillas. All the time the beans were simmering and I was rolling out fresh tortillas to throw on the comal, I could hear my Daddy’s voice saying “No llores, mi hita.” (Don’t cry, daughter) “The tortillas don’t need to be round. They don’t go down round”. He also used to say that we would never starve as long as we had beans, potatoes and beef in the freezer. That was a lesson I learned well. From those years of scrounging through the cabinets and freezer to see what was on hand to prepare dinner for nine hungry people, I learned how to create a meal with what was on hand.

My dinner tonight was such a wonderful reminder of how blessed we really were.

Thanks, Daddy!


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