In the Big Garden

In the Big Garden
The Farmer at work...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Peach and Tacos

I am writing this early in the morning.  We had a nearly sleepless night, punctuated by Erin’s regular but distantly occurring contractions.  Today we head to the Dr. at 2PM; if Erin is dilated we will return tomorrow morning for inducement.  If not, she will be induced this afternoon and we will spend the night.  Time suddenly seems to me to be hurtling inexorably towards this moment of our little Peach coming to us. 
I feel strange.
I feel not ready.  I feel a little intimidated still.  I feel something akin to stage fright maybe, or the feeling you get when you stand on the edge before a bungee jump, that fluttering and knocking in your chest.
I wonder if I will feel the way I am supposed to when she comes out.  I don’t even know what that is. I feel like I am acting a part and it scares me because when you perform on stage you get to exit at some point and go home for the night.  And I won’t be doing that.
Oh Peach…I hope I am acting like any normal first time Daddy does, or as normal- no, as perfect a one as you deserve. I promise you that if I behave weirdly at first, it’s just because for the first time in my life I feel a little unprepared. I have no idea what to expect. Erin walked me through the steps of warming a bottle yesterday and I felt for a moment detached, like I was watching myself caught in the starring role in some comedy about a guy faced with…well, faced with what I am now.  I have been unattached most of my life, having had the luxury to take care of myself and my dogs mostly.  I was always that guy at the party who got up smiling and casually slunk away to grab a beer or check cell phone messages whenever baby pictures started being shown.  Oh, I have always been reliable for a couple of funny faces over some Mommy’s shoulder in the airport or a couple of polite diaper jokes.
But Holy crap.  Holy, Holy Crap.
Let’s get on to food because it calms me and makes Erin feel better (when it doesn't give her flaming indigestion).
Venison Tacos
These are awesome; of course, you can make them with beef or chicken, but last night, deer was what came out of our freezer.
In most parts of Mexico, a taco generally refers to a soft tortilla stuffed with meat and served with chilies and or a chile sauce on the side- not the crispy “shells” sold by Ortega-God help us. Born in Mexico City and with a parent still in that country, I retain many wonderful memories of eating them at small stands, especially with my father, who shared my love of them with fillings like Borego (mutton) and Carnitas de Puerco (roasted pork).  This version is nothing like those, but was terrific and easy. 
Season ground venison (if using ground meat) with cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little dried thyme. Heat some canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and sauté a small chopped onion until  slightly browned and then add meat to pan, searing it, working a little carmelization into it. Turn down the heat and cover and finish until there is no more red left and then remove from heat.
On a baking sheet, place a couple of open tortillas.  Brush with a paste of roasted tomato (see my recipe for Jugged Harvest Tomatoes and just mash some into a lovely paste) and then top with shredded Monterey Jack and back at 400 until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and top with whatever you like- last night I dolloped on some of my famous long simmered black beans, fresh avocado and chopped mesclun greens- basically cleaning out my fridge. AWESOME meal!
Talk you all soon...wish me luck!

Happy Farming.

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