May 21, 2013

Mexicans Know a Good Bar-b-que...

My neighbors wanted to throw us a good-bye bar-b-que last week. I've been to quite a few bar-b-ques over this last year, and let me tell you...Mexicans know how to do it. Typically, they don't start until around 8pm (which is pretty much how everything rolls here), and they will go until the wee hours of the night. You know you're at a Mexican bar-b-que when there is meat, lots and lots of meat. There will also always be the usual stand-bys of baked potatoes, onions, chips, and beer. But really, its about the meat. This is so different than the US which is all about the sides and dessert. I think I like the Mexican way
much more than the US way. I mean, really, who doesn't like a good piece of meat?

These guys are our expert bar-b-quers. They do all the cooking for us, and the rest of us, just sit around and drink. Here they are putting the potatoes down into the coals to give them that nice, outside flavor. On the top of the bar-b-que is steak, chorizo Mexicano (from Guadalajara), bacon in the open foil container, whole onions in the wrapped up foil, and cebollitas (Mexican green onions). I know it may seem weird to just serve people onions, but its a pretty typical accompaniment to meat here. When cooked right, they are delicious!
I will miss these get togethers dearly. It was not uncommon for someone to knock on my door at 7 or 8 o'clock at night and say, "We decided to have a bar-b-que tonight. Come out to the palapa at 9 with some beer." They could pull together a full blown bar-b-que in a matter of 30 minutes, and everyone would pour of their homes to come sit and eat and talk like they didn't just see their neighbor an hour ago. Such good memories.

 I made some American queso out of velveeta so everyone could see what Americans bring to bar-b-ques. They liked it, but I think they wanted to save room for the steak. Me too!
 This is my friend Katya's son, Matel. He comes to all our bar-b-ques and gets shuffled around and held by pretty much everyone at some point. He's learning how to cook early so he can take his dad's place at the bar-b-que some day. Gotta teach 'em young.

 Mundo is the papa's (potatoes) expert. Little bit of butter, lots of cheese wiz, bit of mozzarella, good squeeze of creama, and a good spoonful of bacon. All the essentials for a good baked potato. After he's done, the foil is just dropped on the table, and everyone runs in to get their spoonful before they are all gobbled up. These people are vultures! You should see what happens when the meat hits the table! Grab and run! No one sits down. Its all about just hunching over your plate and stuffing this deliciousness into your mouth.

 Because I'm American, I always bring the dessert. Usually, Mexicans don't really care about the dessert, but when I bring Pineapple Upside Down Cake, they always seem to save some room for it. In fact, I was out of brown sugar and wasn't going to make it. My friend, Maria, went to the store and bought the sugar just to make sure her favorite cake would make an appearance. It took them 5 minutes, and this plate was completely empty.

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