Saturday, July 31, 2010
THE DREADED COLD BEAN SAMMICH
So you see, it was a sad day for dad when he burned the top. I thought it was kinda cool the way it left a perfect circle of burn in the wood. (I was into my woodburning kit from Christmas), but all of us kids stood there lookin at dads fear, knowing damn well that when mom came home all hell was gonna break loose. Even though it was dads fault, we knew that we would ALL pay for this but at least us kids could cry so mom would feel sorry for us. In those days dads didnt cry. But thats another story.
My dad was a good man. Still is. But in the kitchen the only thing, to this day, he is allowed to make , is salsa. He makes a mean salsa so thats his only job. Men in those days never had to cook, or clean. All they had to do was go to work, and beat the kids when he came home. I am not joking here. My dad would come home and the first words that came from moms mouth was usually, "Edward, go in there and kill that boy". Its a job he didnt really want to do but as a kid I was pretty bad so he was usually ready to give pain. And if it meant getting mom in a good mood again, hell, I was glad to volunteer a beating.
As I grew older my dad and I bonded pretty good. I was a thinker so I would always have a story that went along with my wrong doings and my dad sometimes would give me a Governers pardon if the story was good enough. The coolest thing he ever did was go into my bedroon with a belt, close the door, and whispered to me to "pretend" he was spanking me while he wailed the belt upon the bed. But that too is another story.
What I want to talk about is the horrifying cold bean sandwich.
In my house growing up, we didnt have a lot of money. Mom and dad struggled to feed four kids But we never went to bed hungry. One of the reasons why is because mom always made beans. Always. Pinto beans is usually a staple in a mexican family so thats what we ate. They were inexpensive to buy and eat so we learned to like pinto beans. Luckily mom makes KILLER home made tortillas. Theres nothing in this world as sweet and satifying as a fresh homemade tortilla straight off the grill. My mom makes the best, still does. I still remember the smell of them cooking in the kitchen while I was sleeping. It would wake me up (mom knew this, it was like her only way to wake this lazy teenager up sometimes). I would stumble down to the kitchen, she would routinely hand me a tortilla and smile at me while I smeared hot butter on it and fold it into my eager lil hands. It was like GOLD to me. Sometimes I would put grape jelly on a tortilla and roll it up like a burrito.Theres a million ways to eat tortillas including using it as a napkin. A trick I kearned from my great grandfather. The disposable edible tortilla napkin.
With Pinto beans its different. They usually only go through 2 stages. The first stage is "Ranchero" style the beans forst boiled in water for 5 hours then poured into a bowl eaten whole with fresh chopped green onions and cubed cheddar chunks of cheese. Salsa optional. The second stage is "Refries", smashed pinto beans with a lil milk and cheese.They can be eaten plain as a side dish or as a burrito filling.
There are 3 things in the mexican culture that I consider to be a sacriledge.
The FIRST rule, for me, is to NEVER EVER make a taco with hambuger meat. If you do, please dont call it a taco. I like Taco Bell too but its not real Mexican food. Its like serving Spagettios to a bunch of Italians.
The SECOND rule is to NEVER EVER EVER put ketchup on mexican food. If i find out, I will personally go to your house and slap you so hard, my feet will come off the ground.
The THIRD rule goes out to the reason I hate my dads cooking. After a hard days work in our backyard, my dad asks me. "Hey you hungry?" I say "Yeah" thinking hes gonna treat me to a burger, fries and a shake from the Dairy Queen. He says "Hold on....keep working" and goes inside
So now i'm thinkin CHEESEBURGER! It was a rare treat to go to the Dairy Queen with my dad.Since we never had much money we would sometimes pack up the car, drive over to Henrys Hambugers and order just french fries and share them. So Dairy Queen was like HEAVEN! My dad always ordered a "Tutti Frutti" milkshake for himself which always made me wonder if he ever knew that it was a metaphor for something else. I wondered this only to myself for fear of never being able to go to Dairy Queen again.
While im pulling weeds with my mouth watering dreamin about all this Dairy Queen shit. I awaken in a cloud, but not a pleasant cloud.....I blink my eyes and see dad, standing there, Huge and Ugly, with an outstreched arm holding in his filthy brown hard workin mexican hands....the most horrible thing I have ever seen in my life!!! It was from the Devil himself....straight out of Hell. A half folded slice of whitebread, cradling inside, cold refried beans.
A COLD BEAN SAMMICH!
...........................................................To this day, I still havent forgiven dad for the cold bean sammich. I sometimes have nightmares about it. He didnt even have the decency to serve it warm. I still have chills thinkin about the inprints of his fingers on the bread. Hearing him say "EAT IT"" theres kids starving in Africa" ....."Or somewhere".....
As to which I replied, "Well lets find those kids and they can have this f'kin sammich"
I said this to myself.