When life hands you a blob of masa, make tamales!

tamaleexpertWhen I arrived at Northgate Gonzalez market and was immediately handed a free apron that read I ❤️ Tamales and several blobs of uncooked masa, I knew immediately I had made the right decision for a Friday night.

Even my mother, who invited herself along after her favorite novela was cancelled due to soccer, looked grudgingly impressed. She’d spent the entire ride complaining  she did not need tamales-cooking classes because she was a world-class tamales expert.

Let me be clear: In all the years I’ve been alive, my mother has never produced a single tamal.

Instead, she criticizes everyone else’s tamales.

Mas…When life hands you a blob of masa, make tamales!

Five ways to get your tio to stop wearing that stupid pinche ‘fedora’

tacohatYou roll up to your tio’s carne asada ready to down some truly inhuman amount of your tia’s arroz rojo when suddenly, you realize that your uncle has traded in his authentic sombrero for a weird plaid fedora.

What will you do? WHAT WILL YOU DO?

First of all, don’t be scared. Just choose one or more options from the list below:

  • el brinca brincaToss the fedora into the bouncy house and watch 17 of your little cousins gleefully smash it to death. No one can stop el brinca brinca. No one.

  • Mas…Five ways to get your tio to stop wearing that stupid pinche ‘fedora’

    Dancing with Selena, memories of childhood, and pepperoni pizza

    Three hours into Selena night at the Regent in downtown Los Angeles, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom starts playing.

    I feel this deep, animal sense of belonging.

    This is my song and I need to be on stage. I claw my way up to the stage and slip in a puddle of what is maybe human sweat.

    The hands of my fellow Selena enthusiasts pull me up.

    We do what we came here to do: we dance.

    Mas…Dancing with Selena, memories of childhood, and pepperoni pizza

    The REAL problem with Kelly Osbourne’s racist toilet-cleaner remark

    kellyo“If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilets, Donald Trump?”

    Uh. Yikes. Yikes yikes yikes.

    By now you’re probably familiar with our latest racist media frenzy centered on remarks Kelly Osbourne made on The View, a response to the incredibly racist Donald Trump.

    But she sounded just as racist.

    Mas…The REAL problem with Kelly Osbourne’s racist toilet-cleaner remark

    Born in the USA: The secret downside of espeaking Spanglish

    primos“Wow, it’s so cool you can speak Spanish,” people tell me after they hear me on the phone with my mom.

    I say thanks and try to shrug it off, but I worry that letting them think that gives a mistaken impression.

    I mean, yes. I can speak Spanish.

    My parents taught me Spanish when I was growing up in California because it was the only language they had to give.

    Like a lot of children of immigrants, I grew up in a Mexican immigrant bubble – my tias and tios spoke only Spanish. My baby primos spoke Spanish with me when we watched Plaza Sesamo and ate conchitas.

    Mas…Born in the USA: The secret downside of espeaking Spanglish

    Grammar vigilantes are on a mission to correct Quito graffiti (photos)

    They may not be the heroes that Ecuador needs or deserves but they sure do get pissed off when you don’t know where a comma goes.

    Since January, vigilantes in Quito, Ecuador have been correcting mistakes in the city’s graffiti.

    These guerillas use stencils cut from pizza boxes to add commas, question marks and, ah yes, even accent marks to imperfect street art around town.

    The members of Acción Ortográfica Quito take their pseudonyms (or superhero names) from punctuation marks: Diéresis, Tilde and Coma.

    Diéresis, a 30-year-old lawyer/vigilante, told The Guardian in an interview, “Grammatical errors cause stress. We only make texts comprehensible that otherwise would not send any message whatsoever.”

    Mas…Grammar vigilantes are on a mission to correct Quito graffiti (photos)

    Area executive thinks about delicious lunch torta all day long

    hungryguy(PNS reporting from LAREDO) District III Regional Supervisor Pablo Gutierrez, 35, could not wait for yesterday’s pinche lunch break to begin so he could buy a firme torta at Joaquin’s Lonchera.

    “Tortas were all I could think about,” the middle management exec told PNS Monday evening.

    “I mean, when Andy from Financing handed me all those reports, I said ‘thanks’ but I was really imagining that he was a giant slice of avocado in my torta.”

    Mas…Area executive thinks about delicious lunch torta all day long

    No justice, no peas? Eight excellent ways to rock the guac

    timesguac

    1. Go for it! Actually try that loco New York Times pea guacamole recipe that has been dividing the nation. Worst case scenario, it’s guácala but you can call your mama and brag to her that you ate an entire vegetable. Maybe she’ll make you some real guacamole as a reward!
    2. Got a fierce sweet tooth? Scandalize everyone by making this dessert guacamole with lots and lots of chocolate!
    3. Impress your Filipino friends by making this sabroso avocado milkshake with condensed milk. (Tell the metiches that ask you what it is that it’s full of nopales!)
    4. Just go ahead and throw everything in your ethnic identity in a bowl with this Chorizo-Queso Fresco-Guacamole!!

      Mas…No justice, no peas? Eight excellent ways to rock the guac

    Paletas y Racismo: I was a teenage paletero – in Georgia

    omarAfter we published our shocking story about a missing El Paso paletero, a real-life former ice cream man reached out to POCHO on Facebook.

    Jonathan Omar Ramirez (Facebook profile pic, right) had been a teenage paletero, he said. We asked him for his story:

    POCHO: So what led you to become a paletero?

    Well my friends from high school told me about it. Many did it before and they said there was a lot of cash involved and within a couple of hours of work. Also I was very poor.

    POCHO: Was this right after high school?

    No [it was] while I was in high school. Still I got money to go to the movies and for food or whatever I wanted to buy

    POCHO: Wow, cool! So were you allowed to eat your own ice cream? Did you just have to pay it back?

    Mas…Paletas y Racismo: I was a teenage paletero – in Georgia

    Area kids have the sad because where is the Paletero Man?

    paletero01(PNS reporting from EL PASO) The Montezuma Street kids met Tuesday evening, at “their tree,” the oak next to Mrs. Moreno’s house.

    It was still light out on the longest day of the year, and they could have kept on bike riding, but they needed an answer, and they needed it quick.

    Where, everyone wanted to know, was the Paletero Man?

    Mas…Area kids have the sad because where is the Paletero Man?

    Abuela with iPad terrorizes area family via Facebook

    IGgrannyipad(PNS reporting from CHICAGO) Rigoberto “Rigo” Chavez, 15, cringed in horror when he logged into Facebook Thursday morning and received a notification that his abuelita had once again commented on his status.

    The high school junior had posted a status that read “$waaaag$” and Abuelita replied in ALL CAPS:

    CACHORRITO ERES LA LUZ DE MI VIDA. CUIDATE MUCHO TE QUIERO

    Mas…Abuela with iPad terrorizes area family via Facebook

    Local girl crumbles under stress of learning cousins’ names

    schoolgirl(PNS reporting from EL MONTE) The pressure was too much for Marisol Cruz, a fourth grader at Fernando Valenzuela Elementary, who collapsed on the playground Friday afternoon.

    Friends said Marisol was a total stressball since her mother told her to memorize all of her cousins’ names before her upcoming primera comunión fiesta.

    “I have like 80 cousins!” the Penn Mar Avenue resident told PNS after she had calmed down and accepted a bag of Takis as an incentive to talk.

    “It’s not my fault Mama and Papa have like 20 brothers and sisters each! I just can’t remember them all. Call me ‘Mari’ by the way.”

    Mari listed the names:

    Mas…Local girl crumbles under stress of learning cousins’ names

    BREAKING: Chipotle burrito confuses elderly Mexican man

    chitpotlebillboardunclechipotle(PNS reporting from SACRAMENTO) Felipe Alvarez, 67, bit his tongue Tuesday afternoon.

    The North Sacramento resident bit his tongue when his godson Tommy Alvarez (no relation) handed him a gold-foil-wrapped burrito from the trendy Chipotle Mexican Grill on Truxel Road. The metal-wrapped mystery meal, however, never made it to his mouth.

    Don Felipe (photo) could not quite bring himself to bite the “burrito.”

    “Que tiene adentro?” he asked Tommy, afraid of the answer.

    A California resident for 20 years, Felipe was accustomed to the so-called “California burrito” – refried beans, “Spanish” rice, processed cheese, some wicked salsa, and maybe even French fries. “I’m a modern man y bastante liberal,” he told PNS.

    The aroma of this burrito, however, was entirely unfamiliar.

    Mas…BREAKING: Chipotle burrito confuses elderly Mexican man

    Scientist’s quest to reproduce abuela’s mole recipe ends in failure

    foodscientistabuela(PNS reporting from RIVERSIDE) After a decade-long quest to duplicate his Oaxacan abuela’s mole poblano recipe, UC Riverside food scientist Miguel Jimenez, 33, declared defeat Sunday.

    Microbiologist Jimenez had hoped to identify the ingredients in the mysterious chocolate chile sauce his abuela puts on chicken.

    “She won’t give anyone the recipe!” said Jimenez, as he kicked his chair and wiped away tears at UCR’s Chucheria Research Facility. “Abuelita just pinches my cheek and tells me to portarme bien and go to church more.”

    Mas…Scientist’s quest to reproduce abuela’s mole recipe ends in failure

    Angry area youth calls menudo ‘yucky,’ demands pizza

    menudokid(PNS reporting from ALTADENA) Javier “Flaco” Hernandez outraged his family Sunday night when he refused to eat his bowl of menudo.

    “It’s yucky!” the 8-year-old shouted as he repeatedly banged his spoon on the dinner table and insisted on pizza instead.

    Flaco’s refusal ticked off his mom, who had spent hours preparing the beef stomach broth in the kitchen of their tidy suburban Los Angeles County bungalow.

    Mas…Angry area youth calls menudo ‘yucky,’ demands pizza

    The plastic yellow car, a (true?) story

    yellowcar“Okay, podemos ir a caminar pero si te cansas, es tu problema. No cargo bebes,” Lina says meanly to her four-year-old cousin.

    “I’m not a baby!” says Teresita predictably but then insists on bringing her large plastic car, a hideous yellow contraption with giant painted eyeballs instead of headlights. Teresita gets in the toy car and looks at Lina expectantly. Lina sighs and begins to push her down the street.

    “This is just a stroller, you know.” Lina grumbles. “You’re not making any progress into becoming a real person.”

    Teresita either does not hear or pretends not to understand the English sentence. Lina suspects that rather than being a child “confused by the dichotomies of her bilingual upbringing” as the pre-school teacher suggested, that Teresita is just selectively deaf.

    Mas…The plastic yellow car, a (true?) story