Monday, July 2, 2007

The comforts of posole

Just when I thought my month of eye-opening, homemade Oaxacan food was over, Patty served posole for our Saturday comida. Her entire family had been up late celebrating her second oldest’s graduation. Unlike American teenagers, Valeria and her friends had big party at which her mother, father, little brother, aunt, uncle, and 84-year-old grandmother were all very welcome. Valeria, according to her own words, had several shots of whiskey mixed with soda, right in view of her parents, probably with her parents for all I know. Her grandmother got home around midnight because she was tired; her parents, Patty and Homero, came home at 4 in the morning. Valeria and most of her family were tired and “cruda” or hungover, and posole was the most restorative thing Patty could make. I love Mexican family values.

Posole is a soup made of chicken or pork broth and rehydrated dried corn kernels, bigger than any most Americans have ever seen, to which various kinds of meat can be added, depending on your regional definition of “posole.” Patty’s was chicken-intensive, to which you could add shredded cabbage and a fresh squeeze of lime. Some crunchy, fried tortillas crumbled into the broth made it even better. It’s my favorite kind of food, homey, warming, and very, very delicious.

I wasn’t hungover, since I’d spent much of the night watching the Simpsons in Spanish, but I think the posole did me a lot of good, too.

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