Fire!!!! Part 2 (Read Part 1 first!)

by Kathryn Baldwin

Last weekend, when my hands had finally recovered from the rashes caused by continuous bleach exposure, I bought some gloves and put away the tequila in preparation for redemption. Two hours later, my family sat down for some fried Poblano chiles, stuffed with Oaxaca cheese, golden potatoes, and cream cheese, with sides of refried pinto beans, and long-grain Spanish rice. Other than the fact that the beans were saltier than the Mediterranean, I wanted to take my plate to bed and spoon with that dinner all night. To avoid this act of infidelity to my boyfriend, I decided to fork it slowly at the dinner table instead.

The heat increased with each ascending bite as I worked my way toward the stem, and the oozing cheese, held together by clumps of sweet yellow potatoes, mellowed the spiciness in preparation for the next bite. Everyone at the table had been present for the previous disaster, making this “normal” Mexican meal seem like a masterpiece on a plate. Watch out Diego Rivera.

This time around I approached the recipe with an entirely different plan. Not to mention, and regardless of my gloves, I Dawn-scrubbed my hands between each step (purely out of fear). Most importantly, I was more mentally prepared. It takes concentration, hours, and midway meditation to pour the amount of love onto these chiles that is required to accomplish what his mother does with such ease.

Other lessons learned:

  1. When it comes to chiles, bigger is not always better.
  2. Take the time to prepare an organized assembly line, or else you’ll be sprinting around between counters, flinging oil, flour, and cheese through the air and blurting F-bombs like you’re Lil-Wayne.
  3. Don’t start drinking until AFTER you’ve served your masterpiece. This helps prevent fires while cooking and helps you to finish the dishes without envisioning hanging yourself with your wet dishcloths.
  4. I still do not understand how the chiles are supposed to shed their skin with careful ease. Someone PLEASE spare me this misery!

And remember kids, keep fire extinguishers near and have an evacuation plan before attempting to be a Mexican mom.



2 Comments to “Fire!!!! Part 2 (Read Part 1 first!)”

  1. You need to bring one of those to class for me…looks good!

  2. My new commenting strategy: quoting the parts that make me laugh uncontrollably because you’ve painted such a hilarious scene with your words: “you’ll be sprinting around between counters, flinging oil, flour, and cheese through the air and blurting F-bombs like you’re Lil-Wayne.”

    love it!

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