Growing up in a home where both parents worked from dawn till dusk, I didn’t get to see much of them. Our family days were Sundays. We would get up and have a full on Mexican breakfast that consisted of coffee, eggs, beans, tortillas and pan dulce. I wasn’t in favor of the beans in the morning, but I ate them anyway. While my mom cooked, I would make my way to the local panaderia, Arreola’s Bakery in Lennox, CA to buy any ingredient we needed, fresh pan dulce, my dad’s paper (La Opinion), saladitos (for later) and a Mazapan to eat on the way home. We would take our time eating. My dad would read his paper, we would all sip on our coffee (yes, we drank coffee as kids) and then all of a sudden the dreaded moment…family talk. My dad was so strict I had to be careful with my words. I was a good kid for the most part, but I still was scared to say any word that would insinuate any sinful nature. But once that part of the day was over, we would enjoy a nice trip.
We would all get dressed nicely and gather our stuff to be out all day. We never knew where we would end up. All of us would hop in his old, beat up beach bum Volkswagon van and head on out. We would drive to San Pedro and visit the aquarium, or to Palos Verdes, park and enjoy the coastal view. Sometimes we would go to Redondo Beach and visit every family member in town. Those were the long days for us kids. What was a kid to do in those days of no ipod, ipads or a DS? We sat there bored as could be wishing we could at least blink. The family visits were fine but what we didn’t like (not even my mom), was when my dad wanted to visit his friends. OH MAN!!!!! WWlll would break out…. Let’s just leave it at that.
My parents were hard working and I know it was all for us, the kids. My dad made sure we had a roof over our head and all the bills were payed. My mom made sure we always had food waiting for us when we got home even when she knew she wouldn’t be around. She owned her own beauty salon in El Segundo, CA and it was thriving and it became very demanding. Even then she would wake up extra early before work and cook a full on meal so we could eat after school or just in case she didn’t make it home by dinner time. But one question I’ve always had was, why wasn’t there ever any chile or salsa available? Y el Chile? Come to think of it, my dad didn’t eat chile. There was no medical reason or indigestion problems LOL! I think he just didn’t like it for some. Maybe it was something he didn’t grow up with.
Since we didn’t have salsa or chile regularly at home, my siblings and I never really were fond of it. More like we couldn’t handle the heat. Till this day, my brother isn’t a huge fan of the things that are too spicy. But through the years I have grown to love and enjoy salsa. I have even experimented with making different types and I love it! I don’t even know how I lived without it! Now my food needs it and can’t enjoy a good traditional Mexican dish without it.
Y el chile? Let me make some!