It’s a bunch of tomato-y goodness: peppers, onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, serranos, cilantro. …
But it’s more than all that.
It’s fall, it’s football, it’s baseball, it’s beat-up-coffeetable, it’s watching TV from the floor, it’s Sunday brunches, it’s gold bowl, it’s Saturdays, it’s Sundays.
It’s Superman’s salsa.
He’s been making this concoction since we got married or so. He started putting it together himself, then kept adding and refining until he got it just right – just the right number of Serrano chilis, just the right amount of El Pato tomato sauce. And now it’s perfect.
He makes it every “big game day.” So he’s been making it a lot lately (as our Angels are in the playoffs, our UCLA is playing again, and pro football is back on every Sunday).
He gets up on Saturday mornings, throws on some shorts, runs across the street to the supermarket and gets a million of those little vegetable baggies and fills them up with all the secret ingredients. The supermarket checkout lady knows him, and knows he’s the guy who buys tomatillos, because no one else is sure what tomatillos are used for.
I know the sound of his knife in the kitchen on Saturday morning as he starts cutting everything into tiny little pieces. Sometimes he uses a food processor for part of it, but if he has time he likes to do everything by hand. I know the look of his hands when he halves the onion, and the sound of the knife against the cutting board, and the way the light comes through the window on those particular fall mornings. I know the way the cilantro smells, and the way he always has the game on in the corner of the kitchen. It’s one of the things I adore about him.
Superman’s salsa even made a guest appearance in my “Earning Wings” manuscript – it’s what Adam makes for Simone in the kitchen after they search for the box. I put it in the book because it’s a little romantic to me, and a little sexy, and very traditional, and speaks to me of a kind of love and passion and care-giving.
So tell me – do you have a recipe in your life that’s a little special?