McGee: Boy meets burritos

By Grant McGee: Freedom columnist

Don’t you just love burritos?

I’ve had a love affair with burritos since I was in high school back east.

They’re so good; chowing down on that tasty, sometimes gooey, warm stuff wrapped up inside a soft tortilla.

It started with beans, the main attraction in many a burrito.

I just thought it was culinary heaven when my grandma put a big ol’ ham hock in a big ol’ pot and slow cooked a big ol’ mess o’ beans.

One day I was thumbing through a copy of Ladies Home Journal and I ran across a section on Mexican food. Yes, Ladies Home Journal. I was a bored teenager and grandma’s house wasn’t a National Geographic kind of place.

“Make Your Own Mexican Specialties” proclaimed the headline of the article. Then I read about burritos: Mashed beans stuffed in a tortilla. This sounded divine.

“Grandma, can I use your kitchen to fix burritos?” I asked.

There was this long silence between us.

“Fix what?” she said with a scrunched face. Grandma was raised in the high Appalachians back east.

“Burritos. Mashed beans stuffed in a tortilla, that’s like a thin

pancake.”

“Why would you mess up perfectly good beans by mashin’ ‘em then puttin’ ‘em in a pancake?” She said. “Besides boy, no one cooks in my kitchen but me.”

I would not understand the kitchen philosophy until I met up with The Lady of the House years in the future. I don’t cook in her kitchen and she doesn’t touch my turntable.

I ended up fixing my frijoles and tortillas over at my buddy Catfish’s house. They were tickled to have someone whip up some vittles for the family, especially Catfish’s mom.

They liked my burritos.

Who would have known that a lifelong love affair with burritos began with a teenage boy and a copy of Ladies Home Journal.