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  Thursday December 18th, 2014    

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Al Owne: A taste of Tijuana (05/19/2014)
Well, as the old saying goes, ďA half a nice day is better than none.Ē I was speaking of last Sunday, Motherís Day. It seems like getting even a part of a day without wind, rain, or snow these days is a bonus. As we work our way through this early holiday season, we have been in need of some pleasant weather. We are over May Day, Cinco di Mayo, Motherís Day, Syttende Mai, and Armed Forces Day. But it could warm up for the big one, Memorial Day. Iíve been cautious about plants and flowers after being burned, or rather frozen, last spring by gardening too early.

I noticed some editorial comments attached to last weekís column about delving into some more adventurous cooking. One French egg dish and a baking endeavor called popovers. I think before trying my hand at any of those advanced ventures, Iíll work on my original goal of being able to keep from starving or OD-ing on hot dogs. (That was my late wifeís prediction of my fate if anything happened to her before something happened to her.) Unlike some of my widowed friends who depend on professionals to feed them, I decided to try to eat at home from my own hand if possible without going hungry or poisoning myself. So far Iíve done OK with the possible exception of a couple stomach ailments which could have been virus-related, although they were mighty close to questionable meals. So while Iíve been looking for the popover pans, yes Iím sure theyíre around, and searching antique cookbooks for quiche, Iíll stick to favorites like BLTs, with the ďBĒ usually being bologna, and other traditional American favorites. Once in a while I surprise myself with some foreign dish. Last week I had a taco double header. The first meal was a kind of taco salad which in my case is just tacos in a bowl with the hard shell broken in pieces. The second meal was just plain tacos made with chopped Italian sausage mixed with no-beans canned chili, in the shell, with lettuce and shredded cheese. I guess tacos are no longer considered foreign food since it has become an American fast-food staple.

I had a chance to eat real tacos on the street in Tijuana in a kind of family comedy situation. While living in California, we decided to make the obligatory trip south of the border with our three small children and a baby. My wife, who had become a germ-a-phobe after studying and teaching microbiology, gave us strict warnings about eating or drinking anything in the streets. Not long after arriving in the midway atmosphere of the Tijuana streets we came across a taco cart. Overcome by the aroma, my wife provided us with tacos, throwing her fear of food-borne germs to the wind. I remember her next caution, ďDonít drink any water,Ē going the same way after eating the delicious but hot tacos. So we ate the food and drank water from a drinking fountain in the street without suffering any digestive maladies, much to her surprise.

Enjoy the warm weather thatís always predicted, but seldom arrives, and remember we are all in this together.

You can contact me at alnada2407@gmail.com.

 

 

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