The last five days have meant
Crispy bacon cheeseburgers with frizzled onions, the size of the fullest moon
Ancho chili dusted fries, frenched and dipped in chipotle aioli
Cupcakes in shades of s’mores and carrot cake and red velvet
Buttered buttermilk pancakes
Pumpkin custard pancakes swimming in molasses caramel
Lasagna, saucy and six-layered
Porchetta with white beans and caramelized leeks
The most sincere of Philly cheesesteaks
Chocolate cake wedges, four layers tall and teetering
Berry pie, lattice-topped
Apple pie, double-crusted
anything, everything a la mode
We’re eccentric, my mother and I. Apart and especially together.
This morning she flew from Seattle and headed back home to Boston. It feels as if she stayed only a day. In fact, I can almost still hear her whispering in my ear as we hugged a ferocious ‘hello’ outside of baggage claim, assuring me,
“Francie, we’ll just relax this week. Me and you. Okay, luv luvs?”
And just after she bleached my bathtub, replaced all my light bulbs to a new, more lovable wattage, disinfected and de-dust bunnied the surface above my fridge, insisted on higher quality, softer toilet paper, and asked me when I was going to transition to better jewelry,
the sun began to dry the sidewalks and
we did relax.
I clung to her, 5’9” of me glomming onto 5’7” of her.
Happy and full and still digesting the deliciousness that was, and always is, my mother.
Without a moment of lamenting just how much food we loved and just how much we adored every sticky finger, every stain and stomach ache,
I’m going back to simple and wholesome and
shacking up with my slow cooker and every vegetable I know and love.
These fajitas are super easy, soft and tender, and perfectly spiced. They make for a fresh, filling dinner without any fuss or fancy.
Two of them made my first day without her sweet Boston accent more bearable.
Slow Cooked Chili Steak Fajitas
- 1 lb beef flank steak
- 1 medium onion, cut into strips
- 1/2 cup medium salsa
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 bell peppers, cut into strips
- Flour tortillas, fresh salsa, fresh cilantro, finely chopped lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado
- Thinly slice the flank steak and place it along with the sliced onion in the base of a slow cooker.
- Mix the salsa, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl and pour over to evenly cover. Cook on the lowest setting for 10 hours.
- One hour before the beef is done cooking, add the sliced bell peppers to the slow cooker so that they may soften slightly.
- Serve the beef, onion, and peppers in warmed flour tortillas with any toppings you like.