Beans, Rice and Tortillas. A Personal Tale.

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Some nights you just want to have something simple, something familiar. Something that warms the soul. For me, that dish is beans and rice with fresh tortillas on the side.

I missed National Bean Day. It was on January 06th! It was on my blogging and calendar and I totally spaced. I love charro and refried beans. Whether they’re dehydrated in a bag or I soak them and cook them slowly myself. Who can resist EL FRIJOLE! If I wanted, I could probably make that into some sort of book character…

I digress.

I was raised by the white side (Mom’s) of my family. I was raised by my grandparents, who I call Nanny and Papa. I love them to death. But food wise I felt very cheated. My Nanny wasn’t too much of a cook but was an awesome baker. She did teach me to make a good pot of beans. At least the basics of soaking and whatnot. I have memories of running past the pressure cooker as the lid shook violently. I also remember a time or two when my Nanny’s beans exploded and ended up all over the ceiling. The stains are still there to this day.

When I was a very young girl, I spent a lot of time with my dad’s sister, my Tia Janie, bless her soul! She made the best food and her house always smelled heavenly. Hand made food and purple Fabuloso. I always wanted to make Mexican food like her. I watched her diligently roll out tortillas. When I roll them, I can never get them even. My sweet companion Cory gifted me this when we started dating. I use it to make tortilla making a breeze!

As I grew older, I grew apart from my extended family. Although when I was a teenager and even a young adult I don’t think I realized it was my mental illness that caused me to not have close relationships with people. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve been able to admit to myself that my mental illness has had disastrous consequences in concern to my personal relationships. I can’t keep up with people to save my life!

That’s what I truly love about food. It brings people together and promotes healing. When we heal, our ancestors heal!

Now,

I know it seems ridiculous but I had what I’m going call a food identity crisis. When I moved out at the age of 18, I had a friend who taught me how to make authentic Mexican rice. I became obsessed! I wanted to feel more connected with my Mexican heritage but had too much pride to talk to my family. So instead I made Mexican rice once a week for a year. Practice makes perfect, I kept telling myself. I wanted the seasoning to balance out perfectly. I was looking for that special taste. I feel like I’m finally ready to share that with others. I’ve had so many people on Instagram ask me for my recipe and I can never put enough thoughts together to actually respond to anyone. It’s pathetic, really. I’m hoping blogging helps me in that area and others too!

Apparently, there’s a National Fried Rice day but no Mexican Rice Day. So here we are! An authentic Mexican rice recipe, Happy Very Merry Un-Rice Day! To you? To me! I hope you sang that 🙂

I only make my rice in this one pan. It’s a stainless steel saucepan that I got at Albertson’s with collectible coupons. I can’t remember the exact promotion as it was years ago. I haven’t tried using this recipe any other way but I’m sure you could adapt it to your needs.

Thank you so much for reading if you’ve gotten this far!

Brittney Shae, xoxo.

(Edit: I still haven’t made rice for this blog post but I have every intention of doing so. Sometimes we just have to go with things even when they aren’t perfect; lest they never get posted.

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