Nothing soothes like the food of my homeland – Repost & Update

I posted this entry four years and three months ago, to a blog that is now defunct. I’m reposting it here and now, with two minor changes. I felt it was an entry to share with you guys, because it highlights our connections to food a bit, it highlights how food can, in fact, make a person feel better and, maybe most of all, it’s about the food from the very area I am visiting now. The food I miss so much, and always stuff myself on. On top of all of that, it gives you a little insight into your blogger, and maybe that is valuable too. I’ll post a short four years later update at the end. Hint: My update will involve the handsome man in this photo.

My boyfriend and I split up last night. It was kind, gentle and so painful. He’s a very good man that I care for so much, but we had one deal-breaker that we haven’t been able to work out the entire time we’ve been together. In the end, it was time to let it go.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve spent much of the last evening and morning crying. And crying some more. And a bit more for good measure.

I didn’t eat dinner last night. Not on purpose, just because I never felt hungry. Even my “normal” of emotional eating was stunted a bit, I only had a couple of ice cream bites. I wasn’t hungry this morning either, but my friend reminded me both last night and this morning that I needed to eat. I spent most of the morning on a couple more ice cream bites, and eventually told myself to just take my friend’s advice and go find breakfast.

I will be back to Chicago come fall, but I am rather suddenly spending my summer back in New Mexico. So when I needed to find breakfast, there was nothing more natural that finding the best breakfast burrito I could.

Recently, in another online haunt, I’d been trying to explain that there’s this perfect union of food in a breakfast burrito, and couldn’t convey it. I am definitely a chocoholic, and I tend to have a sweet tooth of insanity, but a green chile breakfast burrito is still better. I don’t think I managed to explain it, but I tried.

However, this morning’s experience really confirmed for me the truth of that statement. I’d had a couple of ice cream bites (vanilla ice cream on top of a cookie thing, dipped in dark chocolate), and they tasted good and all, but it wasn’t anything special.

Walking into the restaurant and seeing the wait made me smile a bit. It’s not the true definition of a hole in the wall, having it’s own building, but it’s tiny and unassuming. I’d lived in this town in the past for years as a child, driven past it even more as an adult and never noticed it was anything until a friend took me almost a week ago. Then I regretted missing it for so many years.

This time in, I noticed they had a small bar off to the side, in case you didn’t insist on a table. I wasn’t hungry enough to care that much, but I’m bad at waiting, so the bar it was. I read the menu, despite knowing what I wanted, then managed to drop it behind the bar. I felt better when another person did the exact same failed maneuver later.

I ordered a one egg breakfast burrito, with bacon and green chile on the side. It came smothered with cheese and with their special potatoes on the side.

One bite in, and I realized it was perfect. There’s something amazing about the combination of eggs and green chile anyway, and no I don’t know what it is. But when the green chile is made just right, and the eggs are mixed with bacon and wrapped in a flour tortilla covered in cheese? That’s comfort food.

Suddenly I really needed to eat, even though my body had still not told me I was hungry. Cutting off big bite-sized pieces of burrito and dunking it in the chile. Feeling my throat sting just a hair. Devouring every bit of burrito on the plate (and no small number of potatoes with green chile as well). Walking out afterward with my lips still tingling.

It doesn’t cure the pain of losing someone so important to me. But for a moment, it sure made me happy. And right now, I’ll take those moments. Sure I still nearly lost it in the restaurant when my wallet fell open to his picture. The radio still had the power to make me cry on my drive home.

But for a moment all that mattered was that I was home, with all the unique pieces that come with it. Like lips that tingle even without a kiss.

So, that was four years and three months ago. Four years ago, my best friend and I found ourselves single at the same time. He came to Chicago for a visit. Three years after that? Well, you can see a little bit here. The wedding was beautiful, fun and full of amazing food.

What about the boyfriend in question, you may ask? Well, about a year after we broke up, he met a woman in a Starbucks. Apparently, she had a great sense of humor. About two months after Bill and I had our wedding, the two of them had theirs. They had their first child mere days ago, and she is beautiful.

Apparently, that breakfast burrito was exactly what I needed in the short term, and that deal-breaker for our relationship was exactly what he and I needed in the long term.