13 August 2008

un echec

1 August 2008

Un Echec

Tonight I tried to make my family an "American" meal. I decided to make burritos – just a bean mix with guacamole. The real tough part I figured would be making tortillas.
I was still hovering over the beans 2 hours after I'd befun the meal.
Oops – timed that one poorly. I'd only made 4 tortillas, the guacamole had been sitting long enough to no longer taste fresh. It was, all in all, a failure.
I hate failing.
In junior high, my best friend and I wrote a skit for a speech competition called "The B". My friend played a girl who thought getting a D grade was 'delightful' and her mom was so proud of her C grades they got posted on the fridge. I played a girl who just received a B on a test and I'm ready to basically cry a river because of it.
The skit wasn't too far from the truth for me. I've always been the toughest on myself. A B was not the best I could so therefore it was a failure (I would like to note that barely surviving Calculus II for Engineers my first semester at Notre Dame really helped me appreciate the glorious sense of C+ achievement (no, i'm not talking about
programming here) – woot woot I didn't fail huzzah!!
But the point today is my failed dinner. So, here are the things I could have done in order Not to fail:
1) Make the tortillas in advance I could've made these suckers during lunch – that lovely hour-long rest period would've been perfect. It's not hard to do (although I could really use a better surface for rolling out the dough) it just takes time.
2) Soak the beans overnight I used red beans. They really need pre-soaking or 2 hours of cooking.
The best thing would've been to track down some lentils, but that's probably a task for a big city, no my small village.
3) Don't add the avocado until the last minute.
Get those tomatoes and onions marinating in lime juice, but don't add
the avocados until it's nearly ready to serve.
4) Put the taco seasoning in the beans not the guac
At this point, I was desperate. I figured the beans were not going to be ready to eat before midnight, so I might as well put all the best ingredients together. But cumin in guacamole is NOT a good choice in my book. It totally drowned out the sweetness of the avocados and the tartness of the lime leaving us with a cumin-scented mush.

Those 4 details would've made the whole things so much better. In addition, I really should've asked my host family whether they had the ingredients I needed as I spent a lot of money on stuff that my family already had, like limes, beans, oil, etc.
Next time I'm going for something really simple and hard to mess up like tuna pasta (although all the tuna I've found here is packed in sunflower oil, which really isn't my first choice).

Pic is of a bunch of my friends on the walk back to the techhouse after a lunchtime trip to the buvette

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