Sunday, December 23, 2007

barbecue for breakfast


(photo notes: the picture is part of a mural in Aguascalientes in the government building) You can see the comal where the corn tortillas are being made)

This morning I had barbecued lamb and soup made with the lamb broth for breakfast. A friend of ours has been employing some Mexicans in his tree cutting business for years and told us about the Sunday morning meal. Every Saturday night an animal of some kind is barbecued, lamb or goat being the most typical. Most of the Mexicans who live around here are from the state of Hidalgo where it is very typical to cook the meat in the ground with wood and cover the meat with layers of earth and maguey (agave) leaves. I have seen this in done in Mexico so I am not surprised that the custom continues here. They even sell the maguey leaves in some of the tiendas here.

The “restaurant” is in a trailer, which I assume is also someone’s home. I am sure that if the health department knew about this place, it would not be allowed, so you have to "know someone" to find out about the food.
A comal (flat clay surface over a heating source) is set up in the corner of the kitchen and the quintessentialMexican sound of the masa (cornmeal) being slapped and shaped by hand to form tortillas is heard. The other corner of the kitchen has a cutting board where the lamb is being cut up to serve in the tortillas Of course, there is “real” salsa that has some heat and lime, cilantro and onion. People were coming in and out of the trailer some eating there and some taking home the food.

I enjoyed talking with everyone, people are always surprised to meet a gringa who has no interest in Cancun and has actually been to their small, untouristed town somewhere in rural Mexico. Everyone there was enjoying the meal, talking and laughing. However, this trailer park has seen some horrible examples of how the Mexican people who live here are preyed upon. An owner of the store that catered to the Mexican community in front of this trailer park was brutally beaten to death not long ago (2 young black men were arrested and charged with the crime) and a few months ago a local policeman was finally caught taking money from Hispanics when he stopped them on the highway, supposedly he had been doing this for years, but until recently no one had reported him out of fear of being noticed by immigration. And there has been a big outcry by the usual bigoted idiots who do not want to allow undocumented youth to attend the local community college, even though in most cases they were brought here as very young children.
It was wonderful to be in this little corner of Mexico, and John was with me! He enjoyed the breakfast and said he would return with me on another Sunday.

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