Doing Right

Yesterday I gave my students the following prompt: Write about a time you felt a strong emotion; do not name the emotion. I explained to them that everyone has their own definition of feeling sad, for example, and I wanted to know what it felt like for them at a specific time and place. It was the last ten minutes of class, but when I looked up, they were all writing their little hearts out. They were serious and engrossed and the lines on their faces smoothed out with concentration. Whatever else happened yesterday, I did one thing right.

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Wait, there was something else I did right yesterday. I am very locally famed for my pico de gallo. According to Wikipedia, pico de gallo means rooster’s beak. It’s a sharp little addition to any kind of food. My traditional pico de gallo consists of a small handful of heirloom tomatoes (we used to grow them) chopped up in a small dice. Add the tomato juice/guts to the bowl. This is not a neat dish. Add a chopped up chile pepper (as hot as you can stand), cilantro (if you have it), lime juice (or lemon, I won’t judge), a tablespoon of olive oil. My pico always has a tablespoon of cumin, a bit of coriander, and a bit of paprika. You could stop there, if you wanted.

Yesterday I made pico with a big local tomato, corn cut from the cob, cilantro, lemon juice (it was what I had), diced yellow pepper, olive oil, cumin, coriander, paprika, pepper, and a wee bit of salt. It was the best thing I ate all week.

Traditionally, pico contains onions as well, but DP is not a fan of raw onions. (Neither is his sister. My brother-in-law and I had a moment together where we mourned our inability to eat onions.) I ate the pico on top of chicken tacos made with corn tortillas, shredded slow-cooker chicken, and a bit of shredded cheese. If one were a vegan, I imagine the pico itself would make a pretty good taco filling, maybe with some beans.

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What are you doing right?

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