(PNS reporting from OXNARD, CA) Sam Fuentes is certain he and his kids would be dead today if God hadn’t intervened.
“The Lord Almighty — with a strong hand and an outstretched arm — saved us from the Grim Reaper, that’s for sure!” the Del Norte businessman and father of two told PNS. “That salsa coulda killed us, but it didn’t.”
Fuentes called the POCHO ñewsroom tipline (408-POCHO-28) to share his story.
The brush with death by salsa, his voicemail said, began Sunday morning after church when he began preparing pot roast for his children Selena, 9, and Chente, 11, who were “his” over the weekend per terms of the custody agreement with his ex-wife Evangelina.
“I got the recipe right off the Internets from the Herdez gente. I trust Herdez Salsa Casera. I have toda confianza, just like the label says. It’s Mexico’s favorite and my mom always swore by it,” Fuentes said:
The Herdez recipe for Santa Fe pot roast is pretty simple, and I followed all the directions. I cut up the roast, seasoned it with taco seasoning, browned the chunks of beef, and then put the meat and salsa in the crockpot on high. About four to five hours later, after we got back from the swap meet, the lowrider show and the farmers’ market, I took out the roast and shredded it for tacos, just like it said.
I did make one change in the recipe, though. WTF is up with these flour tortillas? I used homemade corn tortillas that we got at the farmers’ market. Makes all the difference!
The kids and I scarfed down dinner and everyone was fine. We were all singing and laughing as I drove them back to their mother’s house, well, until we turned onto her block. They weren’t sick or anything. They just knew the party at Dad’s was over.
When I was cleaning up back at my place, I took a good look at the salsa jar, and that’s when I saw it. In teeny tiny letters on the label, it said “BEST IF USED BY 12/2012.”
I lost it. I was terrified, weeping. Did I just poison the kids? There was only one thing to do. I got down on my knees and prayed for a miracle. I know it sounds crazy, but I heard what sounded like Music from Heaven, and I knew we were saved. Later I searched online and I found an MP3 file of the heavenly music.
It sounded just like this:
PNS contacted Herdez headquarters in Cd de Monterrey, Nuevo León, MX, and we were referred to parent company Hormel Foods in Austin, MN, where a representative told us Herdez Salsa Casera does not have a “best if used by date” on its bottles.
Repeated calls to Fuentes’ business, Sam the Sham Shades and Drapes, went straight to voicemail.
Evangelina Fuentes, who now lives in La Colonia, warned PNS not to take everything her ex-husband says at face value:
Pinche drama queen! His stupid laptop reboots and he thinks he hears the sound of God? If he’s so good at reading and writing how come my child support and alimony checks keep getting ‘lost in the mail?’ Don’t be surprised if he tells you next week about how he’s gonna win millions from Hormel in a lawsuit.
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