Thursday, February 05, 2004

Dinner Party Number Two: Cena Messicana

Last night we had our second dinner party: this one with friends from our caving excursions. Antonello had decided already that he wanted it to be a mexican-themed dinner, so our first dinner-party-gift as of yet was delivered to us by our friend Giampaolo--a cactus! I am not sure exactly where to put the cactus (since I have no windows), but I thought it was justly Mexican-themed and, therefore, made a nice start to the night.

Actually, I started preparing rather frantically about two hours earlier--everything from my new Spanish Rice/Risotto recipe (from scratch, since I only have two boxes of the precious stuff--Rice-A-Roni style--and I wanted to learn how to make it myself) to refried beans, cheese, and all of the lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and other goodies you need to make a successful burrito. But, before I had even put the flour tortillas on the stove to heat, some 3 minutes before 8:30, Giampaolo and Sbiff (yes, that's a nick-name, but I don't understand what it comes from. The opposite of Biff, I guess...) showed up. Antonello still hadn't arrived, I was in a ratty t-shirt and jeans, and the apartment had a very strong cumin smell. Ah, the beginning of Mexican Night.

Overall the whole evening went well. We had found Corona at the local supermarket, and Antonello was really proud to show his friends that he knew something about Mexican food, as he opened up the bottles and then went to work on preparing his burrito. Sbiff and Giampaolo, though, felt it was best to watch me as I rolled up my burrito, taking careful steps to add the ingredients--beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc.--in the right order. Giampaolo, especially, looked a little confounded as he tried to fold the burrito shut but instead wound up with an odd-looking wonton-shaped concoction. After a few bites, however, everyone was happily surprised, and by the end Sbiff claimed he loved the jalapeno peppers.

Yes, Mexican food isn't as scary as it seems.



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