"Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power,
has that ability to comfort."
~ Norman Kolpas
I think "frijoles" should be renamed "free-holies", because they taste like divinity!
The last several months have been rather trying, to say the least. Fortunately, I have incredible friends, both here in Ireland and online. They have given me hugs, offered words of encouragement, lent a patient ear, bought me groceries, and one even recently paid for a ticket so that I could attend the World Travel Market in London next month. Incredible!
I have a friend with whom I frequently make all kinds of facetious plans. They sound good on paper, but we both smirk a little when we make our proclamations. "One day we're going to go whale watching!" we say. "Yeah, and when are we going to visit that little museum down in the park? I always get there when it's closed." "We need to make Mexican food one of these nights, too!" …and several other things that seem like a good idea at the time. Still, there was one day last week that I suspected would be particularly trying, so I contacted her in advance.
"You know that tortilla press you never use…?"
She located a store that sold pinto beans in Cork – a rather new occurrence, really – and happened to have a ripe avocado. She had dried masa from the US and several kinds of peppers, too. And of course, there was the all important tortilla press.
The beans were in the pressure cooker when I arrived, though I did look up the final steps on A Mexican Cook in Ireland to confirm. I had met the author, Lily, at a blogger conference in 2011 and was delighted to find that someone in Ireland cared about Mexican food. It's one thing that most American expats I know miss above all else when living abroad. You can get burgers and drinks and chocolate (of varying quality) overseas, but despite the simplicity of the ingredients, Mexican food doesn't seem to ocean hop as well as other cuisines.
I made the guacamole and she made, well, everything else: rice, tortillas, frijoles, salsa, grated cheese, and ground beef. I nearly squealed in delight when I saw the oval plates. I think I actually clapped when she heated them in the oven before serving. "Careful, hot plate!" I felt like I was back in California.
Comfort food often consists of things like mashed potatoes or ice cream. And while I will admit to having curled up with more than one bowl of each in my time, my comfort food of choice is Mexican. It genuinely touches something in my soul and just feels safe, warm, and loving. It's my all time favorite and I'm truly grateful for yet another amazing friend. And her tortilla press.
What's your favorite comfort food?