Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Tale of Two, no, Three, no, Four Comidas

Do I hear FIVE??

We have just emerged with chile stained fingers from another round of fiestas and their attendant comidas. The big, really big fiesta time is, of course at Christmas. Two or more weeks of visiting, eating barbacoa, mole and sopa seca de arroz.

The impetus behind this semi-minor round of parties on the carnitas and mole circuit here was the end of the school terms. These are not celebrated in an "efficient", North of the Border way, like all at once, but extended over as long a period as possible to extract maximum enjoyment.

This period of fiestas and comidas also falls during an optimum time, when the "Summer People" (as I call them) have come for a visit, "del otro lado", that is, taking time off from their jobs in the U.S. to come home. The Summer People are really the local people, but those who went north to work and improve their fortunes. Some have been gone from here as many as 18 years.

Our fiesta and comida schedule started a week ago last Friday, on the 20th of June, with a Mass followed by a big tent party in celebration of a a pair of kids who had attained their third birthday. There were carnitas, soda and beer, then later, cake (which we didn't stay for.)

Last weekend, the Fiesta Circuit ratcheted up: Friday night we went to a pre-graduation/birthday pig pickin' at the house of Rubén and Isabel. The affable mechanic Rubén gave us a warm welcome, then filled our bowls with heaps of pozole. We could have had carnitas instead, but it seemed prudent to avoid those meaty morsels a couple of hours before bedtime.

Saturday evening brought a change of pace and of tastes; an expat party. Susan D invited us at to a birthday party for her husband, Doug, at their lovely new house. That was principally an expat gathering. Guests contributed a wide array of tasty dishes dear to us, the extranjeros. I brought a sort of Cheese and Salami Pizza Bread and a jug of Ginger Beer.

Restored by this contact with "home base", we launched into the Sunday final stretch with renewed vigor.

But a minor social crisis loomed over us. Both my wife, Susan and I had separately accepted invitations to two different comidas a half mile or less apart. We gave the original one priority, and enjoyed a terrific mole made by Señora Carmelina, as well as a tasty sopa seca de arroz. That was at the house of young Sra. Irma and her husband Sr, Ramón, just down the street.

By eating wisely (for once!), then excused ourselves with thanks, to walk up to our second fiesta at the house of Sra. Paz and Sr. Daniel. We made it inside even as freshet of rain broke upon us. We were greeted by more salutations and familiar faces, including those of Rubén and Isabel. I accepted a beer, but Susan couldn't eat anything. Various guests came and left, and then our hosts seated themselves in front of us, and we learned the various family relationships of people we knew and those new to us. This subject requires long and laborious study to fully grasp, assisted by a Cerveza Corona or two.

La Señora Paz made sure that we didn't leave her house empty handed. After we went out and admired their garden, she brought us a substantial bowl of mole de pollo and arroz, topped with a few tortillas.

Now we can rest from fiestas and comidas, with the exception of next Saturday, when we will fire up the charcoal grill in honor of El Día de La Independencia de Los Estados Unidos, and welcome back our neighbors, Geni and Larry.

Then we have a month to prepare for the fiesta and comida we will host for the community in celebration of our two years living here and in appreciation for their amiable kindnesses. It will be a pizza party plus. No mole. I leave the making of that to the cocineras expertas.

For you ladies, here are instructions from another website as to "How To Dress For A Mexican Fiesta". You can take these with several granos de sal.


Bruce said...

Do you dare approach the scales?

Michael Warshauer said...

Scales? We have no scales!
¡Ja ja ja ja!