Saturday, November 17, 2012
I want so badly to be a true mexican that I claim I am one, when with the locals. They usually laugh and smile at my joke as they look at my white (even for a gringa) skin. So, when our pastor asks for volunteers to make tortillas for an outreach, I give a good college try at proving them wrong. I raise my hand in church with all of the other ladies who can make tortillas in their sleep. It is mere seconds before our pastor exclaims in the microphone, “Stephanie?! Puedes hacer tortillas?!” In a small (because I am now in the entire church’s spotlight), but stubborn voice (because I want to be mexican enough to not be singled out) I respond, “Si! Yo puedo!” He smiles at me with an incredulous and surprised expression and continues with the announcements.
Fast forward a few days and I am in my kitchen up to my forearms in flour and sticky dough. I make little balls and start rolling out the dough into thin circular(ish) sheets. When my first tortilla is more of a chip than the warm, floppy creation I was hoping for, I start to panic. “I can never be a mexican!” But I forge ahead, determined to not contribute to the outreach by buying tortillas down the street. “I am helping by making these myself, gosh darn it!” My second one rolls out easier and cooks soft. I breath a sigh of relief and finish making all my little balls into sheets. All the while, eating about five of them and making everyone try a piece because I am so excited that they worked.
Fast forward again to that evening when I arrive at the church to deliver my two-kilos-of-flour-made-quesadilla-supplies. I continue to make everyone there try my tortillas to get a true mexican’s opinion of them. They were all shocked. They thought that when I had raised my hand in church I was going to take my pesos to the store and buy tortillas. But when I show up with fresh, still-warm tortillas (that taste like a real Mexican’s) I attain true Mexican status. And for once, when I claim “soy mexicana,” they agree.