Comida Mexicana

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I met my wife in 2005 while living in San Francisco and since then I’ve led a life guided completely by food. She’s from a large family that moved to San Mateo in the early seventies from Hermosillo, Sonora—one of the larger cities in northern Mexico. Her mother, along with her two aunts, are serious cooks and when the family gets together it’s easily a 10,000 calorie type of affair. Not because the food is unhealthy, but rather because there’s an endless amount of it and you simply can’t stop eating. Over the last few years as we’ve all gotten older and busier, the parties have slowed down (as has my metabolism). But as we’ve aged and new youngsters have joined the clan, we’ve decided to party together more frequently, making sure we set an example for the next generation that should know how to properly live. This past weekend we had an epic Halloween bash the brought out the best in all of us.

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I generally take care of the booze, so I stocked up on handles of Cazadores Tequila, Grey Goose vodka, and Jameson. Squirt and Coke are the preferred mixers. My wife’s aunts handled all the food, whipping up homemade refried beans and barbacoa tacos for the whole crowd. The smells coming out of that kitchen were heavenly, so we all needed to plan ahead. There was also a gigantic table of cheese balls, potato chips, lumpia (from the Filipino side), peanuts, meats, and various other treats to keep us satiated, so pacing oneself was difficult.

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Everyone got dressed up. Julieta Venegas and Selena were pumping on the speakers. There was a bouncy house for the kids. Everyone was dancing—even the grandmothers.

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I dressed as a hair band rocker from the eighties. My wife’s cousin Alan played bartender and mixed the drinks. The party went late. We all went home completely spent.

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But the party doesn’t end when everyone goes to bed. My wife’s aunt stayed up all night cleaning and cooking, then everyone came right back over early the next morning to eat pozole rojo, drink cold Modelo, and party all day on Sunday, too. The combination of spicy red broth with stewed pork, hominy, cabbage, radishes, onions, and cilantro is one of the greatest things on the face of the earth, and this particular batch was an all-time classic. I gorged. Seven hours, six Modelos, and five bowls later, we decided to call it a weekend. Another hedonistic family gathering to remember fondly.

-David Driscoll