Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Tonight I began my quest to expand the culinary
horizons of my parent's dinner choices. Don't
get me wrong. My Mom and Dad can be adventuresome
people. They're going on a fall color tour of
New England next week and have been all over this
country and have visited several different countries as
well. However, Hebron Indiana is not exactly a bastion
of ethnic food. So to give their taste buds something
different to contemplate, I've decided to make three
different dinners for them that I think I am pretty good
at creating. Coming up in the next ten days are Indian
(butter chicken with basmati rice) and Thai (Pad Thai).
Tonight though was Fajitas. For much of this country
fajitas are almost like hot dogs and hamburgers. For
some reason, it is really hard to find really good
Mexican food at grocery stores in the Chicago area.
I'm not sure why. Out of the eight million poeple in
Chicagoland, one million are Hispanic. Wouldn't it
make sense that the local grocery stores would carry
a decent selection of Hispanic foods. I might as well
be in New Zealand, where their idea of Mexican is nacho
chips covered in spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese
(their version of nachos...yuck) or where Old El Paso
in the yellow cans is considered ethnic. Hmmm...
So actually through a tip from my Mom, I found a place
about ten miles away that actually had a fair selection.
I'm sure there are hundreds of really good Mexican
grocery stores within a 50 mile radius of here, but like
some masonic lodge or fraternity, you have to know the
secret handshake to find out where they are. So, even
though the prices were about twice what they should have
been, I left the store with the ingredients for all three
meals. Tonight was chicken fajitas with red and green
peppers, onions, and fresh tortillas. Posole and Pork
soup for starters with refried beans and blue corn tortilla
chips. I also added some of my favorite salsa from New
Mexico (505 Brand) and received applause from my Dad
at the end of the meal. I wanted them to know what their
investment in my college tuitition had gotten them (I had
to take lots of cooking classes at Purdue). So in a few
days it will be Thai and Indian. I hope a little bit of
culture has entered this part of Indiana. I don't expect
my Mom to start wearing a sari or my Dad a serape...but
their tastebuds might be.

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