Mexico cooks. Frijoles, Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán.
At the very dawn of 2006, a dear friend wrote to me from California, insisting that I start writing a culinary report from Mexico. WHAT? I had no idea what to write about, no idea how to create interest in what I might find to say, no idea about publishing online. The result was that I told him I'll do it later... Later, of course, arrived right on schedule, but I just couldn't get started. Week after week, my friend bugged me via email: when are you going to start? When are you going to start? For one entire year he wrote: when are you going to start?
Pamela Peña cookin' in Mexico--in that other sense.
After a year, and only because he was (and continues to be) my very dear friend, I let him walk me through the rigamarole of setting up a host site for this page. I was terrified, and I couldn't think of what to name what I was thinking about. I wrote various names for the page on long yellow legal pads, scratching them out one by one. Finally se me prendió el foco--the light bulb went on. Since that moment, it's been Mexico Cooks!, in both senses. When Mexican friends ask what that means, 'cooks', I explain to them that it's a play on words, as so many Mexican phrases are. The culinary reference is immediately apparent, but the sense of moves, jumps, happenin' makes everyone grin a hearty SÍ SEÑOR!
The very first--well, not an article, but just barely a note--went live here on February 2, 2007. Mexico Cooks! looks different today, but believe me, we're still cookin'. Here's the very first step of this journey, complete with its original photograph:
The joy of Mexico rings out multi-colored, multi-faceted, multi-flavored, the adventure of a lifetime. From the first tentative step across the border, we're led into a world that is not one we've known. Whether we cross a culinary border that shoots us into a new sphere of Mexico's rich flavors, an intellectual border that makes the mind reel with new ways of thinking, or a spiritual border that leads us to reconsider our feelings about a country so 'other' that we might as well be on the moon, we'll never look at life quite the same way as before we crossed over. Mexico, Mexico...beloved land of the sun...we greet you as we greet the dawn, with joy and gladness.
Stick with us, folks. Thanks to more than two million faithful readers, we're still plugging along.
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