A family BBQ is something really incredible with my family. After the funeral, and after the funeral lunch, of course the very next thing for us to do was to take a nap and then eat again. “Somebody will grill something later,” my aunt dismissed us to a brief snooze.
This kind of serendipity is what childhood meals at my Abuelita’s were made of: tostadas that appeared out of nowhere, rice pulled out of a cabinet and seasoned with miracles, plain skirt steak being turned into something nearly divine. This was no exception.
“The beans aren’t done yet, but everything else is out back,” my aunt welcomed us. “Out back” is a covered porch in the summer, and a tarped-in second living room in the winter. I climbed around a handful of uncles in lawn chairs to the opening near the back stairs, where my uncle Chon was grilling, as promised. There’s nothing better than a stack of tortillas warmed on a grill next to slightly limey, salty, burn-your-fingers hot steak; at least, not until you add chopped jalapeño, tomato, and onion to it. I spent plenty of time visiting Chon and plucking sizzling, delicious food right from the grill.
The food takes me right back to being a little kid again, running around the yard with a fistful of tortilla and not a care in the world. That kind of memory was exactly what our family needed this weekend.