All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


May 5th

Happy excuse to drink Mexican beer day. Today is the one day a year that it is cool to be Mexican in America.  Seriously today it is cool to be Mexican because today is Cinco De Mayo.  For those of you reading the last 3 words in that last sentence and wondering what "cinco" is and why its in your mayo, have a Corona.  This too will pass.  Corona btw was regarded in Mexico as a women's beer.  It became popular in the US because Tom Cruise was seen drinking them in Top Gun.

Today as I mentioned, is the one day it is cool to be Mexican in America. Go ahead and break out your finely tuned multi-cultural skills.  Order a burrito, nacho's or taco while drinking your imported beer and  tequila.  Incidentally Mexicans have many wonderful dishes in their culinary repertoire, Americans can't pronounce them, but that doesn't take away from the quality of the food.  It just keeps us from experiencing something better than Taco Bell.

Go into an ethnic themed restaurant.  If its an Asian eatery you can order by number.  "I'll have a number 14 and some hot and sour soup please".  They will bring you something wonderful and not curse you for your inability to speak Cantonese.  Actually most Asians would rather you not pronounce their dishes.  They don't like that funny face you get when you say, "I'd like some chow yuc and som young dong".  They know why they are smiling politely, you sound  like a retard trying to speak their language.  They don't get why you take pleasure in asking for an extra side of dong sauce.

The French know their food is good, at least compared to any English speaking nation.  They despise you for not speaking French, because you are not as good as they are.   In France, the superiority of all things French is an universal law, sort of like gravity, except the law of gravity may have exceptions.

Go into a good Mexican restraint, order something that isn't deep fried or wrapped in a tortilla.  You aren't going to be able to pronounce it.  Which is why you probably never order it.  Yes the waiter is looking down at you while pretending to be deferential.  That's OK because on May 5th we celebrate the Mexican army beating the French.  At least you didn't ask to puk som dong.

Of course everyone beats the French Army.  The only time the French win is when a.) they are lead by someone who isn't French, of b.) America is involved in the war effort.  The reason we like the Mexicans over the French, isn't just because they beat the French.  When you go to French Restaurant you pay $100 for a salad made from ditch weeds, three frog legs and a glass of white wine that was filtered through a Frenchmen's sock before being funneled into a fancy bottle.  You go home hungry, with a headache and the knowledge that even though you tipped $250 on a $100 dinner, you still somehow didn't do enough.

Compare that to dinner in a good Mexican joint.  The chips and salsa are free.  The wait staff are friendly.  For $30 bucks you get 3 beers and a shot or two, a great big plate of food and the staff smiles and is nice to you.  They don't expect a big tip.  If you leave one, they love you and next time you come in they remember and treat you even better.

So happy Cinco de Mayo.  Celebrate.  Enjoy yourself.  Please respect yourself enough to not drink Corona.  Have a Dos Equis instead.  Try the barbacoa, cabrito, or something in a Oaxacan  Mole Sauce.  You'll be glad you did.


  1. black2:47 PM

    Mexican is about the only food I'll be more than happy to pay a good restaurant for. I can't cook all the great stuff in a large combo meal for half the price.

    I can, however, make great pancakes and buy a dozen fresh eggs for 1/4 the cost of what Denny's would charge. And the grass-fed beef in the freezer is difficult to beat for a steak or a hamburger.

  2. WaterBoy5:24 PM

    We're going to celebrate by going out tonight and drinking vast quantities of...craft beer!

  3. Res Ipsa5:31 PM

    I do most of my special occasion cooking too. I get better results for 1/3 of the price.

    Sounds like a good time

  4. Anonymous6:44 AM

    I don't eat anything made from moles.

    It's a rule.

  5. Susan9:15 AM

    We have 3 wonderful Mexican restaurants in our area that have the best food. My favorite does 3 different kinds of enchilada sauce that make your stomach just purr in contentment. My favorite is made with roasted pumpkin seeds and is not overly spicy. With pork enchiladas it is fabulous.

    What you said about French food reminded me of an indie movie called Bottle Shock. It is about the California wine industry knocking the French wines off the throne, so to speak. It was set in 1979, and the reaction of the judges when they find out that the little upstart winery from California beat out the French wines was very entertaining.

    Alan Ruckman and Bill Pullman starred. Dennis Farina had a small role in it too. For an indie movie, I did not think it was too bad. It showed the winery guy working his tail off to achieve his dream of sitting at the big boys table with the French vintners.

  6. Susan9:21 AM

    I have a cookbook on Mexican cuisine by a gentleman named Roberto Santibanez. It is called Truly Mexican, and I love it.

    He has owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he is a fabulous chef. Most of the stuff in this book is very simple and achievable by anyone. I like his book for the sauces. I haven't bought a can of sauce since I got this book. I make my own and freeze it. I can sure tell the difference.

  7. About 5 blocks from the new house is a Mexican restaurant that's as good as any hole in the wall in Boulder. We've beaten a fair path to the place.

    As for Corona, I thought it was cheap, one time, long ago and established itself as a good cheap beer.

  8. Susan,

    Doing your own sauces makes a lot of difference in the final product.

    About 5 years ago Mrs Ipsa saw some research on the benefits of natural stocks for nutritional value. She asked me if I knew how to make stocks. I replied "what kind?". That was dumb. I now make and can dozens of quarts of chicken and beef stock each year. You can't really home can fish stock so I get out of that one. I never have enough duck on hand to make stock to can so it gets used up.

    Good stock makes for good sauces. As with most things homemade really is better.

  9. Susan5:39 PM

    I even have a couple of recipes around for making my own cream of chicken soup. I could not believe how much different mine was from the can.

    If you can process tuna and such, why can't you can your own fish stock? Forgive my ignorance, but I would have thought you could at least can the fish stock.

  10. Res Ipsa9:56 PM

    When you can any stock it has to be pressured processed. A quality fish/shellfish stock imparts flavor with out "fishiness". I've never been able to process the finished product without wrecking the flavor. Maybe it can be done at a lower elevation successfully. I can't get it to work out at my processing times. I know commercially processed fish stock is available so somebody is doing it.

  11. WaterBoy11:51 PM

    Ah, what better way to spend a Mexican holiday than quaffing a variety of English and Scottish ales. Best Cinco de Mayo ever.

  12. Susan7:51 AM

    Res, I forgot about the pressurized part. Your answer makes perfect sense to me. Thanks.

  13. Semi-Quick Aside:
    Susan, "Bottle Shock" is a fun and wonderful film I recommend to everyone.

    I put it up with "Robot & Frank" and "The World's Fastest Indian" as some of the most unexpected and joyfully human films I've ever seen.

    I keep wanting to get into canning / jarring. But I have too many projects unfinished already.