Monday, August 2, 2010

A Gringo Makes Horchata

My dad is a white dude with an affinity for Mexican stuff.

He married my mother because she was the perfect shade of brown, curvy and he couldn’t understand a word she uttered for her thick, exotic accent.

All of the women in my Mexican family have powerful gifts. Persuasion through the fine art of physical allurement being the greatest. I did not say physical touch. My mother was untouched until the day of her wedding at the age of 25.

She cast a magical love spell on my clueless daddy and he left the comfort of The Camden Cabin in the Woods and followed her blindly into the uncharted territory of a desert wasteland. He took with him his guitar, the shirt on his back and his desire for my mother. He was powerless against the black of her eyes and the narrowness of her waist.

Over the years he has learned to speak Spanish with all the enthusiasm of a gringo immersed in a sea of tortilla loving Hispanics.

Mas Menudo, por favor, Catalina,” he has said to my Abuelita. More menudo, please, Catalina.

He used to HATE menudo. He acquired a taste for tripe soup and now devours bowl after bowl whenever the occasion arises.

He learned to enjoy the sweet thirst quenching relief of fresh horchata under the life saving shade of The Mequite tree as he watched coyotes chase down cottontails on his job sites.

My Abueltia calls him “Yoey” which is to say “Joey”. Joseph.

Yesterday we attended the blessing of my cousin, Angelica’s, baby girl.

Sofia Divina.

I was touched and felt protected by the men of God in crisp, white shirts offering a special blessing upon the future of this angelic addition to our family. The men consisted of several Mexicans and TWO GRINGOS.

Both of the gringos belonged to me. My daddy and my husband.

I welled with pride at the sight of my very own gringos.

Some people think The White Man is All-Powerful. I happen to know the power belongs to The Brown Woman. The Brown Woman weakens the resolve and the sanity of The White Man.

The blessing was offered in Spanish by Sofia Divina’s father, Diego. He blessed her with many bendiciones. My favorite of the blessings being that her mouth would only utter “cosas bonitas”. Beauitiful things.

I was touched and grateful to be a witness.

After all the buttoned up spiritual stuff, we did what Mexicans do best.

We ate Mexican food. You can’t BUY the food we ate. You WISH you could buy this food! Manna from heaven, I tell you. Manna from heaven…

When my daddy saw Diego making horchata he perked up.

“Hey, man! You makin’ horchata?! How do you make it?” asked Dad.

Diego and dad had a discussion regarding the creation of this illustrious drink.

“Hey, Crys, do you have Diego’s e-mail so he can send you the recipe?” asked Dad as he stirred the pot.

I couldn’t help but smile.

“Yeah. I’ve got it.”