In my vast pile of half-started blog posts I have been trying to search for good topics to inspire my writing motivation. Then, I was reminded of something a friend told me months ago, “You have so many stories, you should write a book of your stories.” It was in that moment, I first considered this silly blog thing idea that got me writing; thinking it could morph into a book some how, some way. But as I was sitting under my tarp camping in the rain last week trying to decide what to write, I was remembering a fun story from my teaching days. And it all started with Chicken Enchiladas…
Although I am not the biggest fan of Mexican food, I have developed a legendary Chicken Enchiladas recipe. As I was planning and plotting my next great cooking adventure I thought I could do Chicken Enchiladas because I have heard the ones I make are fabulous. The last time I made them it was for a pastor appreciation month where I got one day to show my appreciation. So I decided to make a meal and of course I couldn’t JUST make the enchiladas, but added the chips and salsa as well as a green salad to go with. The man was full of compliments and praise about HOW incredibly good the enchiladas were and how it took them several days to eat them ALL. There is just something about that action that makes me feel completely happy and satisfied.
Cooking is something I enjoy and it is one of the things I love to give. I am not as good as a certain gourmet friend of mine. And I do not claim to be a master chef or AMAZING baker, but when it comes to those comfort foods that rock the potluck I usually leave my audience impressed. I have even come to master a delightful chocolate chip recipe that I make and donate at any moments notice. Not to mention the bestest CHOCOLATEY brownies EVER, but alas that was a recipe I found off the internet. But this story is about the chicken enchiladas, because I cannot think about the dish without remembering the first time I attempted it.
I was having one of those summers where I was “house-sitting” with the Jr High and High School children while their parents went to Brazil for a couple weeks. I was also their teacher at the time (private school) and so it just worked out to have me stay in their place and manage the house while they were away. I was in my early 20’s and this seemed like such the perfect natural thing at the time. So I don’t know if it was my idea or the kid’s idea for enchiladas; but there I was attempting to follow a recipe and prepare this dish I had never done before. I also think I was attempting to make them from ingredients I had from the house. But some where in the process I managed to neglect noticing this ITEEEY BITEEEY HOT label on the side of the enchilada sauce until it was too late. And I was under some silly impression that a HEALTHY dose of Sour Cream would counter act the effects. Silly SILLY GIRL!!
But complete them I did and they smelled DELIGHTFUL, and for the first second or two of each bite they TASTED delightful. We had chips and MORE sour cream but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING would lighten the BURNING FIRE that had posed as an innocent enchilada sauce. And I remember the scene sitting around the table watching each of us eat these enchiladas: One bite enchilada, chew, chew, chew, One HUGE drink of water. But that just didn’t work, so the older sister, went to the fridge and grabbed the GALLON of milk and we each had the TALLEST glass you could possibly imagine. It amazed me that we were ALL determined to finish these enchiladas, I guess that means they were good? Because some how we continued to eat with each painful bite until we could not stomach another bite. There were plenty left over and I do believe I had to take them to school to SHARE them because we couldn’t endure another night of the FLAMING HOT CHICKEN ENCHILADAS!!!
To this day I check my labels ALL too closely when it comes to ALL Mexican sauces: Enchilada, Taco, Seasonings, Salsa, etc. It doesn’t matter what I am planning because I never again want to be trapped in a situation where all I can do is eat the flame because buried in there the flavor is just SO GOOOOOD I can’t waste it.