yesterday on my way home from work, i had to finally buy some actual groceries, so i stopped at the Mexican market on the corner. it's a pretty sad little market, really -- the prices are amazing, but the produce is pathetic (what there is of it -- they sell one kind of lettuce: wilted iceberg, and only three kinds of fresh peppers even).
at the butcher counter, i was momentarily stymied, because i couldn't identify most of what was in the glass case. i'm going to have to look this stuff up so i can figure out what's actually edible. but i knew what chorizo suerto was, so i bought some of that, and also some puerco al pastor, pre-marinated. the butcher asked if i spoke Spanish and i panicked and said no, even though i actually do speak a little. i always panic when i have to speak any non-english language to a native speaker, for some reason. either i try and i stutter and hopelessly mispronounce things i can ordinarily say just fine, or i pretend i don't speak any at all. it's stupid and lame and if i'm going to get around in Austin i'm going to HAVE to pick up more Spanish than i know. (for god's sake, i could have at least managed '¿qué es?'.)
anyway, he leered at me. i'd never been actually seriously leered
at. i would've laughed except i was afraid of offending him. and then he charged me half price for the al pastor and said "special for you!" so now he's my favorite butcher, even if he does leer.
so i took home a pound each of chorizo and al pastor, a couple of pounds of onions, a couple of pounds of tomatoes, some jalapenos, lettuce, limes, cilantro, and 36 corn tortillas (the smallest package they had) for $10. i could get to like this place, although i wish they at least had romaine lettuce.
i also found there's a Central Market not too far from me, so now i know where to go if i need romaine and a non-leering butcher.
did i ever mention that i had an aunt Romaine? she was a Marine during the Korean war, but i think she died a few years ago. i only ever met her once that i remember; she married a descendant of Valentín Canalizo
and lived in Long Island, where she had dogs instead of children. i think i'd probably have liked her if i'd had a chance to know her.
i made tacos al pastor for dinner, and god damn, but that was some fine pork -- tender, well-seasoned, and muy delicioso. and while i ate it, i watched the Mythbusters guys try to cut a pig in half with a steel cable. so i guess puerco was the theme of the evening.