First, it's freakin' cold here. I remember winters like this when I was a kid, you know, when October hits the snow flies. I remember Hallowe'en costumes being made to be worn over our winter coats. No cute little ballerinas for the Colorado Kiddos. But, honestly, I've gotten spoiled since childhood. We've not had bad, snowy weather on Hallowe'en for a long time. And it's not even Hallowe'en yet. We've got weeks to go before then. Being Colorado, it can be in the 70s come All Hallows Eve or it could be 7. You just never know. Neither do the weather professionals.
Jay and I watch a lot of cooking competitions now: Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, The Next Iron Chef and Chopped. Our schedule revolves around those three shows. There are others, of course. Ash is a big fan of Food Network's cooking challenges. One of the most common contests in these shows is to do a "biography of your life in food"; we see that over and over again. Or, the variation, "make a favorite dish from your childhood." Always, I'm stumped, I couldn't just choose one favorite dish. That was, until last night. I really, really wanted some of Grandma Mary's fried tacos so I went to the store and bought the makings. As I was making them, in all of their simple, fried glory, I realized that those tacos would be what I'd have to make for such a challenge. Since it is a cooking challenge, I'd have to fancy it up a bit, I suppose. Do something like make my own corn masa tortillas and use ground kobe beef (please don't gasp at the thought of grinding up kobe beef - it's okay) or something. But the one thing, the absolute one thing that I would not give up...the lard. The lard makes the dish. Just can't fry Grandma's tacos in Crisco or vegetable oil. It's not right.
So as I was frying up the tacos last night, I was reminded of my all-time favorite meal EVER! My all-time, very favorite, has-not-been-matched-since (sorry Jay) meal...drum roll please... the fried tacos we had in Mexico when we went to the tortilla factory, got fresh tortillas, made up the tacos in the condo and cut up and fried the remainder of the tortillas as chips to eat our fresh guacamole with. Yum. Just the smell of the frying tacos last night transported me back to that condo. I guess that's what the judges mean when they are asking for a "food memory".
On another note, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time and was a little worried about my ability to write 50,000 words in just 30 days. Last night, I worked on my Tales from the Trail post and in just under an hour and a half had completed a post of 1,400+ words. That hour and a half included editing and formatting, not the stream-of-conscious writing that I'll have to do for NaNoWriMo. As long as I have at least an hour and a half a day of seat time with my computer, I should do just fine. I hope. I did get Jay and Jordan to join me in the NaNo challenge, so it's kind of a family thing right now. Wish us all luck.