I know it is generally understood that Canadians live in igloos and eat whale blubber, usually keeping questionable company with beavers and polar bears while they do so. This is absurd. I'm only going to say it once. We do not eat whale blubber! In fact, we generally enjoy a wide variety of food. I've been surprised a couple times when I mentioned what I ate for dinner and someone has queried: "What's that?" What I'm going to express to you here is NOT one such exotic food. This morsel does not have its roots in the shady reaches of the Ukraine, or in the deep, dark corners of Italy. In fact, its birthplace is in the land of our friendly southern neighbors, the Mexicans! And it is quite familiar to pretty much everyone on this continent. It is known as the fajita.
My family and I got enchanted with fajitas probably the way many people do. We decided to try the fajita seasoning mix instead of the taco seasoning mix, followed the directions, and there we were. We instantly fell in love with them, going on a small fajita-binge until we ran out of seasoning. After a couple such binges, I got tired of this repetitive phenomenon of 'running out'. "This should not be. The fajita should live on from meal to meal!" I said. Thus, I did what I always do when I have a question. I asked Google.
The first hit landed me here. I prepped this in a little resealable bag and shook it up to mix it. It turned out even better than the packaged mix, and came with the added bonus of no MSG, BHT, artificial flavor or color, and so on and so forth. All just pure spices. You couldn't ask for better. Here's the recipe for my version of fajitas.
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into cubes
- 8 regular mushrooms, sliced
- 1 onion (but only if you're into that...), chopped how you like
- 2 peppers (any color you like), chopped how you like
- 3 tbsp Fajita Mix
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 tortillas
- sour cream as needed
- grated cheese (any color you like) as needed
- chopped lettuce as needed
- salsa as needed
Place oil into a large skillet (a wok will also work for this), then insert chicken. Cook chicken on medium-high heat until no pink is visible on the outside. Add in mushrooms (and onions) and stir fry for two to three minutes. Add peppers and stir fry for two to three more minutes until peppers are warm. Add fajita mix and water and stir, cooking for another two to three minutes and stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Place out tortillas, lettuce, sour cream, and salsa. Allow the hungry horde to layer decorations on tortillas, and spoon fajita mix over top. Fold, roll, and enjoy. Serves a family of five.
My son loves going to Grandma's for many reasons but one special one is that there is always something new to discover at her house. Sometimes it's a new hatch of fish swimming tiny and dark under the huge yellow water lilies in her pond, other times it's a crop of fruit that's come ready and you can just walk out and pick it like it just grows on trees! And sometimes my mom has rescued items like the most recent thingamabob that was sitting on her kitchen floor, looking like a medieval torture device for toes.
The oxidized cobwebby thing had a long curved handle that, used by itself, might not have knocked out a moose but most likely would have given it a headache and a nasty grudge. It also had a stomper that slid to the side toward a grid. The whole thing gave the impression that the terrified ex-owner had relegated it to the garage where it had intimidated the power tools.
Pretty impressive for something that turned out to be a french-fry maker.
When my son found a white plastic gazebo with a Christmas tree in the middle that had been sitting on the porch he started carrying it around. I didn't pay much attention and, as often happens when I'm not looking, the little gazebo came home with us.
It turned out that it was something that no longer held any meaning for my brother, he was getting rid of things after a major life event. My son wanted me to 'turn it on' and that's when I really looked at it.
It was a lovely fiber-optic light a little smaller than a shoebox. When we put batteries into it and turned it on the Christmas tree lit up, the shrubbery along the outer railing lit up, all along the steps and the roof little pinpoints of color kept changing, and a yellow star crowned the top under a tiny roof of its own. My son's entranced face was all I needed to see to agree with his immediate decision that this was going to be his night light.
As a little boy who swaggers and acts tough but knows the world is a lot bigger than he is, my son is afraid of a lot of things. Water, heights, and The Dark are all on his list.
Suddenly, though, he didn't mind going to bed. He liked going to bed so that he could lie in the dark (no longer in capital letters) and watch the gentle play of lights beside his pillow until he fell asleep.
Sure, we go through batteries like we own Duracell, Energizer, and EverReady combined but it's hard to be scared when you're looking at Christmas all lit up in colors.
I just now came down from his room where he's curled around the light, his hands behind his head, as though he fell asleep watching his favorite thing again.
One of the rules of deciding how to de-clutter is to only keep what 'blesses your home'. This is wisdom learned from the FlyLady who has lots of great tips (that I'm still struggling to follow). My son found what blessed him most from an item I might not have given a second glance.
And I wish mom best of luck with that french-fry maker, I still think it's pretty scary.