It's marked on the calendar every week. Tuesday night supper = tacos. A no-brainer, decide-once, crowd-pleaser meal. (And yes, those are Lazy Genius principles by which I govern much of my life.) It's needed on a Tuesday, something simple to throw together and have dinner on the table in half hour after being out for the afternoon with eye appointments or skating or working in the yard. Today it was eye appointments. It feels weird to be devoting a hundred plus words to a dinner menu and the celebration of ordinary days when for the past week and a bit life in our area has been anything but ordinary. Wildfires have ravaged our county and the neighbouring county, houses and more have been lost. We've seen the glow each night from the top of our hill and prayed for rain. It's come and more will come. We're grateful. And the past days have made me even more grateful to be sitting around our dining room table as a family, safe and enjoying taco Tuesday once again.
The tacos come together quickly with diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and shredded lettuce. Yoghurt and salsa are set on the table and my husband fries the tortillas. Sometimes the meat is braised, put in the slow cooker with salsa while I'm boiling water for our breakfast oatmeal. Sometimes it's a quick browning of ground beef done while the kids do their evening tidy jobs and I pack the school books away from where they've lived on the table all day. Sometimes we make it fancy and add charred corn, black beans and a fresh lime crema.
Sometimes I forget to add tortillas to the grocery pickup and we've eaten our way through the stash in the freezer so we have taco bowls or taco salad. We'll switch up the protein, braising beef, chicken or pork, adding lentils in near the end to stretch out the meat.
The children all ask for ketchup sauce which is pretty much as inauthentic as you can make tacos but it's a sauce I grew up on and it makes taco night unique to us.
Tacos have become one of my go-to company meals. Everyone likes tacos and they are customizable to practically every dietary concern. Vegan! Gluten free! Vegetarian! Dairy free! There's a taco for everyone and room at the table for all. We pass the dishes around and around, more tortillas. Here's a napkin. It's hard to be stuffy when your hands are dripping with sauce.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the memories and treasures we're storing in our children's minds and I hope that Taco Tuesday will forever conjure up fond memories of ordinary days filled with good food and laughter. And if you come over for dinner, there's a good chance I'll serve you tacos.