Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tortillas Are Home

Her arms are strong from years 
of kneading flour, salt, lard and water
mixed in a large ceramic bowl
belonging to her grandmother
the recipe remembered 

in her finger tips
a ritual before every meal
rolled out in perfect circles
the right size for individual
servings, ready to be eaten

with every meal.

Her favorite is with chili and beans
torn apart to make little scoops
a quick and easy snack
rolled and eaten with melted 

butter or, on a special occasion, 

sliced up and fried
to make
sprinkled with powdered sugar
and filled with honey. 

When I fix them at home it is a big deal
I’m awkward, flour is everywhere
the tortillas are sometimes rolled
too thick and don’t taste right
but when she is in the kitchen
they are perfect every time.

She does it automatically
can stay involved in the conversation
changing from English and Spanish
while she stirs the food cooking
on the stove, slices meat in small pieces
for the chili simmering in a pan.

She has a steady rhythm with the rolling pin
flipping tortillas on a cast iron grill
laughter and love fill the room
everything about the moment
is the aroma of home.

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