The tradition began with my parents, as we lived in southern California about 2 hours from the border of Mexico , we would often take trips across the border, we camped on the beach , fished and enjoyed the atmosphere of Mexico. This was in the early seventies, things were much simpler and safer then , but the food has remained wonderful.
We would travel to a small village one hour south of the border called Puerta Nuevo. It is a small fishing village. They would sell Lobster dinners, complete with all the beans, rice and tortillas you could eat and the entire dinner, $5.00 a plate. These restaurants were made from peoples homes, if one filled up the next door would open. It was a memorable time for me as a kid. My dad would pitch pennies with me against the wall of the house outside ,while we waited for a table. He was so generous and always let me win,
I always thought that was funny, but we waited our turn and so has our kids. They have fond memories of going on the journey to this little village across the border for the delicious goodness of fresh grilled lobster with all the trimmings and cold soda from glass bottles and the girls would have their hair braided and they would swoon over the turquoise and silver bracelets calling out to them as they would drag their Dad from stand to stand and the boys would have high hopes of a kool trinket, like bull horns or a leather slingshot or a miniature accordian to torture us with on the long trek home, slowly moving in the neverending stream of cars awaiting the signal to cross over into Freedom.
The poor children and adults would walk in and out of the cars, trying to sell their wares ,men carrying blankets and statues,children also barefoot and dirty trying to sell chiclet(GUM) for change. young mothers would walk to the window with paper cups begging for change while the babies would be wrapped in material around the backs of these women, inhaling the car fumes and barefoot on the hot, dirty, asphalt.
These images are seared forever in my mind . I remember my parents as they would give to the street vendors as we waited our turn to cross the Border to journey home.I think I had an accordian from one of those long line moments and I'm sure it drove them crazy too. As my kids had these experiences, I would engage with them in specific conversations about gratitude for the blessings in their lives and to be more mindful of them as they see these other children juggling golf balls, for entertainment to the massive lines of cars, jetting infront of cars for a solo performance in hopes of a monitary response. I remember my husband gave this boy a larger bill for his willingness to entertain us, but that he wanted to share his talent not just beg and you could tell he was happy for the gift of his talent.We talked about him all the way home, so many have exploited their children to do anything they can to survive, it was all very sad and heartbraking to watch it as it unfolded all around our vehicle , the glass seperating us from such devastating levels of poverty.The pounding on the windows with kids wearing multiple sombreros one on top of the other hoping for a sale.Their faces dusty and sweat lines dried on their cheeks...we were penniless by the time we reached the Border, we dug for every cent we had to give even in the ashtray and under seats with what we could...but it never, ever seemed to be enough to feel like we gave in some small way, they are just so poor!
By the time you reach the Guard at the border and declare your purchases your elated and somehow you exhale with a huge sigh of relief that you are headed for safe passage to the comforts of home.But the images of these people and their struggle doesn't dissappear, the ride home is quiet, the kids fall fast asleep and we both ponder our family day in Mexico....
And so our Sunday Dinner was tasty Mexican food with memories of our trips to Puerto Nuevo and the days of our youth. It is so great to have memories that are generational. I wonder if my children will ever take their kids to the little village of Puerto Nuevo that is a part of my childhood and a part of theirs too.
No Lobster!! darn it!! on Sunday, but we did do the traditional beef tacos, homemade beans and rice with chocolate cake . It was loved by all, hope you enjoy it too!
This recipe is super easy!
follow Duncan Hines Chocolate cake box directions
adding 1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1 large bag of powder sugar or 2 boxes
1 stick butter room temp
1 tsp vanilla
add cream a little at a time until frosting is perfect consistency
try 1/4 cup of cream little by little, add more if necessary.
frost cooled cake and serve
you will LOVE IT!!
the instant espresso powder is the secret...shhhh...
it makes it so chocolatie that everyone will FLIP!!
I promise you will not be dissapointed,
just promise you will share the recipe with those you love...
All My Aloha