Friday, July 29, 2016

waiter, there's a head in my soup

My misadventures in Spanish continue.

As promised, I have been consciously getting away from the house to try out my Spanish on unwary souls in my neighborhood. Because of my limited vocabulary, the conversations are a bit sketchy.

Cole Porter once wrote a song about the letter he wished he had written to the hostess of a disastrous weekend. Where the bracing conversation consisted of "Racing. And racing. And -- racing."

My conversations are about as limited. They are usually about Barco. And Barco And -- Barco. But my neighbors never seem to tire of dog tales. Or weather comments. Or the number of Mexican tourists in town.  That last topic is always a happy one.

A week ago, I was talking with one of the cooks at Rooster's about my bean soup recipe. She wanted to know the ingredients. Fortunately, I knew all of the words in Spanish. Or so I thought.

I told her, the soup consisted of: frijoles (beans), jamón (ham -- ham steak, in this recipe), cebolla (onion), ajo (garlic), tres jalapeños (three jalapeños), cuatro zanahorias (four carrots), un moron amarillo (a yellow bell pepper), un moron rojo (a red bell pepper), and -- tres cabezas.

She looked shocked at that last revelation. When she started laughing, I knew what I had done. Instead of saying I had put three zucchini (tres calabazas) in my soup, I told her I had used three heads. A slightly different meaning.

Of course, if I had been cooking up pozole (a Mexican hominy-based soup) using the pre-Conquest Aztec recipe, a head would have been an acceptable ingredient. Along with the rest of the vanquished warrior's body. Pork is now the acceptable substitute.

At least, it was a topic that did not involve my dog, the humidity, or the local influx of pesos.

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