A Meal for my Husband

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One day, not long before we were married, I decided I wanted to prepare a big, delicious dinner for Sal. I wanted to cater it to his tastes as best as I could having never really been exposed to authentic Mexican cooking–certainly not the cuisine of his region. So, relatively clueless, I researched some recipes online and set about making him the meal.

He arrived home at the end of my prep stage, right before I was about to cook. He came into the kitchen and asked me what I was making.

I honestly do not remember most of what I was preparing. I know the main dish was pork with some sauce. What I do remember, however, was that I was making a spicy, red rice dish for a side. And I told him so.

He laughed at me. “You cannot make the spicy rice, Sarah!”

“Why not?” I asked him, indignant. “I already have the sauce prepared in the refrigerator, I’m just going to simmer the rice in it.”

“You have no good spicy sauce. You only know the buffalo sauce. That is not for rice.”

“I’m not making buffalo rice, just spicy rice.” I then went and pulled the sauce out of the refrigerator. “See? I made this.”

He came over and inspected the sauce. “This is not right,” he told me. “You do not make rice like this.”

“Well some people must, because I found the recipe online and other people like it.”

He thought about this for a moment. Then he looked at me and said, “It is okay, Sarah. You can go watch the TV. I will fix this.”

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13 responses »

  1. My husband is from Mexico also. I decided to make empanadas one day from a recipe I got off the internet. All was going well as far as making the filling but alas as I was just starting to put everything together he comes home and says “what is this?”. I reply empanadas of course – he just shakes his head and says “that’s not how you do it. move over… then imagine his surprise when the dough I made was with flour not mesa…and then he tells me that its completely wrong…..” We’ve had this same conversation when I tried to make tamales, and my tortillas are horrible. I have no idea what goes wrong and generally I am an excellent cook with rave reviews from everyone but trying to create some authentic foods for him is just not working out…..

    • I think much of the problem is that there is no single Mexican cuisine, so even when I find a very authentic recipe, it does not fit his region. The other part of the problem is that I am not his mother.

        • One day we were talking about me cooking in Mexico and he told me that his mother could teach me. I am open to learning from her, but I told him that he better be happy with my best efforts. He’ll get to come home five days a week to a hot dinner, so I think he should be happy with that.

  2. At that matters was you tried. This also happened to me but I made Javi stick around and watch me do it his way that way I could do it the next time. I thought I was getting good at some of the dishes he liked until we actually went to Mexico and I ate his moms food.

    • It hurt at the time, but now I find it funny. My brother and I have always been the cooks in the family and I had never had anyone react to my cooking like that before.

      I have learned a lot from watching him cook, but I do not feel good about the idea of cooking for his family anytime soon. One of his sisters has been very rude to me in the past when I brought along some store bought food for a quick meal on our way to the hot springs, so I am sure I would not win any praises with my cooking.

      I totally understand the whole confidence whack once eating mama’s food. I thought I had been making pozole the way he wanted, but it was nothing at all like what his mother whipped up in a giant pot for Christmas.

  3. OMG!! Your husband sounds like mine….he looks at me all confused when I’m doing something he considers “weird”. The thing with us is that I’m Mexican-American, he’s just Mexican. I know how to make some food from the region where my family is from which is way different from what he’s used to 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by to read my blog!

      You think they would just be happy we are feeding them, much less trying to serve up a piece of home. But I have learned a lot from him–in terms of cooking and so much more–so I can hardly complain.

  4. LOL! I think all of us Gringas married to Mexicans have gone through this! Mexican food in the States, most of the “Mexican” recipes found online, and even food made by Mexican-Americans is nothing like the food in Mexico. That’s actually one of the reasons I started my food blog.

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve added your blog to my blogroll! Hope you don’t mind. 🙂

    • Thank you for commenting! I love both of your blogs (I dream of being able to cook like you) and I really appreciate you including my blog.

  5. I learned a lot from the 2 weeks I spent in mexico watching his mom, sisters and tias cook. I’ve managed to keep some of it up, but talk about a lot of prep!!! WOW! I’m so pressed for time that he gets what he gets and thankfully he’s happy with that.

    Leslie’s cooking blog is awesome! There are so many things I want to try. At least us gringas have an online resource to authentic mexican recipes!!!! (Thanks Leslie)

  6. So, how did he fix it? LoL My husband tells me all the time: “Darling, you cook a lot better than my mom,” to what I always reply: Yeah, you tell me this because she is not in front of us. lol

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