I’m blessed in my life to have a local Mexican restaurant that not only do I love, but is also owned by a close family friend. (Los Angeles folks, check out Joselito’s, especially if you live in the San Fernando Valley or its environs.) So when Jose, the owner, auctioned off a zoom cooking class to benefit my mom’s synagogue, I just knew I wanted to build a second Mexican date night around it!
With a country like Mexico, there is zero pressure to find new things to do, see, or watch. The country has so much to offer that it could even easily be divided into regional date nights. Perhaps if Covid continues…
Mexican-Themed Date Night (V2)
Eat: Chile Rellenos, Ranchera Sauce, Margaritas
This was the menu for the cooking class, and it was pretty excellent. Jose of Joselito’s Restaurant in Tujunga guided us expertly and patiently through a zoom presentation of how to prepare and serve a dish I’d never made before: chile rellenos, stuffed and pan-fried mild chile peppers. The most challenging part was peeling the roasted chiles without them falling completely apart! Jose doesn’t bread his rellenos; rather, he batters them in whipped eggs for a super light and crisp coating that helps to hold the cheese inside my mostly disintegrated poblano chiles. (I exaggerate slightly, but watching him peel his over zoom made me feel completely inadequate.)
Ranchera sauce is similar to what one would use for enchiladas, a red sauce of stock and tomato sauce seasoned with onions, peppers, and spices. A handful of fresh cilantro at the end brightens it!
The finished product! Thank you, Joselito’s!!
Our margaritas were top-shelf: Don Julio silver, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and agave syrup. And we added Mexican chocolate brownies for dessert just because we could.
Learn: The Animated History of Mexico
This was a longer and more in-depth animated history, and we are glad for it. Mexico has a deep – and sometimes sad – history, and it helps to illuminate the people who live there. And yes, we caused some of the sad parts.
Visit: The National Museum of Anthropology
When I was in Mexico City a few years ago, I exclaimed that this might be the best museum in the world. Today, after having done so much travel and having seen so many museums, I feel exactly the same way. If not the best, the National Museum of Anthropology is at least easily in the top tier. Google Arts and Culture offers peeks at several important artifacts there, and a street view inside the Aztec exhibit. (It is no replacement for visiting, and history buffs would find the trip to Mexico City worthwhile for just a day at this museum, but it’s what we have available to us right now.)
This huge stone is one of the highlights of the museum’s Aztec exhibit.
Ok, I know the film won all kinds of awards. The cinematography is fantastic, and it shines in black and white. But while I enjoyed it, Roma didn’t quite come together for me as a film that would leave me thinking or feeling. That said, it was nice to catch up to everyone else in society who had already seen it – which seems to be pretty much everyone I know. I also realize my opinion is very much in the minority, and that most critics and viewers loved it much more than I did.
Mexico is such an amazing place, and while we can’t travel there easily right now, a virtual date night to experience some of the food, history, and culture of this wonderful country is well within our power. I hope this inspires you to plan your own Mexican date night!
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