Shakin’ my bon-bon, so to speak

For those of you who may not have ever seen me in person, I am ridiculously tall, especially considering my teensy Lilliputian of a mother. I am of the Express/Hollister/Abercrombie school of outfits. I rarely wear anything on my feet that doesn’t have the little swoosh on them, lovingly embroidered by the delicate, nimble fingers of children in third world countries. I am shockingly pale and I wear pink lipstick, despite being in my mid-twenties. I am, basically, the absolute epitome of “White Chick.” So this next story should come as no surprise to you. This is an actual transcript of an email that I sent Chris yesterday. Enjoy.

“I have a story for you. This will hopefully help your lunch go down easier, although my imagination tells me you will likely be expelling beef fry-riiiice out your nose when you picture it.

I was WAY sore this morning from a)losing my poor big toenail to the colors and pageantry of running so freakin’ much and b)just the simple ACT of running so freakin’ much. I determined that doing a spinning class this morning where I was expected to jam my toes into the front of a pedal basket and climb imaginary bitch-hills was probably not ideal. Also my knee was clamoring for either attention or vicodin, I’m not sure which. What it might actually GET is amputated. Yeah knee, you heard me.

So I went online and saw a class was being held at 10:30 called “Zoomba.” I read the description and it said “A motivating cardio class using upbeat Latin rhythms” or something like that. I thought to myself, “Hey, self! Let’s go get motivated! To Latin rhythms!” This was my first mistake.

I showed up to class in cheer shorts and a fitted tee-shirt because I thought they created the illusion of being tall AND thin. Turns out this was my second mistake. The studio was full of about 15 “curvy” hispanic women, 1 EXTRA-curvy but very pretty black girl, and myself–the hipless wonder. The instructor was a bodacious Latina. There was a (frankly) unnecessary amount of spandex happening, considering the cpi (cellulite per inch). “Okay,” I thought, “This can’t be so bad if they’re all so…thick.” Third mistake.

The music came on, and it was unmistakably upbeat and Latin. We began the warm up, and I noticed there was far more pelvic activity in this warm-up than the ones for, oh, I don’t know, my kickboxing classes. It only went downhill from there.

You know how Dennis said he saw a class at Spectrum once that looked like it was a stripper class. This was the one. Only it wasn’t so much “stripper” as it was “Mexican dance club.” Part traditional dance, including (I’m ashamed to say) the use of a pair of hot pink maracas, and part bizzaro Swayze-esque nuevo-dirty-dancing. Would you like to guess how much rhythm the class required, versus how much rhythm I actually am in posession of at any given moment? That’s right. It was ridiculous.

In some dances there were parts where we’d wave our hands in the air in sweeping circles, then stopping to do those pushes away from our chest while our chest bounced forward and back, finally culminating in what I could only describe as “that dance where you back that ass up.” At one part we actually did the dance that you’ frequently perform when you complete a level on an Xbox game. You know, where you pretend to ride a horse around the room? Yes. That one.

What was interesting about this is that the curvy Latinas were SKILLED at this business. They looked smooth and sensual and at one with the music. They managed to follow all of the arbitrary steps like a choreographed Bring It On routine in a ghetto dance club. They looked GOOD. The one black woman followed along pretty well, looking like she was supposed to be doing the moves, and whenever she couldn’t keep up she’d just stop and, no bullshit, “make the booty go ‘clap'” until she caught back up. I’m not kidding.

I, on the other hand, looked incredibly awkward, my lanky body completely at odds with the movements it was supposed to be making. I’d swirl my hips (HA) around and be completely off beat, looking like I was trying to dry hump an invisible leg. I’d do the pony dance and look like something off of the SNL Cheerleaders. Will Farrell, though, not the chick. I’d do the hip-shaky dance in a circle and look like an overenthusiastic step aerobics teacher who’s had too much caffeine and too little brain matter to really participate in life as we know it. I have never, ever, ever looked so stupid, and I include the time that I got so drunk that I tackled Katie, football-style, on a dance floor on her 21st birthday and told her it was “Broncos season” in the middle of May.

Somehow, having the extra body fat, having the hips to create a waist, having that shelf-like booty that we disparage in Caucasian culture looks way, way, way better dancing than my pasty blonde ass. The bright side? I did not feel fat. The downside? This seemed to be a liability at the time. The worst part? The classroom is flanked by a glass wall that has treadmills on the other side, with people watching the class. Awesome. I shall forevermore be known as Epileptic Barbie by the gym people. The ones I see every day.

Also, my spin instructor saw me seizing and waved. So now she knows I was playing hookie, and that I’m rhythmically impaired. Are you sure we can’t have an elaborate high-five sequence instead of a first dance at our wedding reception? And maybe Hovarounds to wheel me up the aisle at the ceremony? Because I’m now not at all sure that I will be able to keep step with ‘Here comes the bride.'”

So now that you know what yesterday morning encompassed, I can share with you my “solution.” I decided to get in touch with my Latin flava. I may not be able to dance, sing, play an instrument, or, let’s be honest, WALK with any skill or grace, but I can make food.

I decided to roll out beef tamales with pork and chorizo green chili. Yeah, yeah, I know. Beef and pork at the same time. Whatever, I do what I want.

Tamales are a giant pain in the butt to make. That’s why all the Mexican women get together for holidays and collaborate to make them, setting up efficient assembly lines and making hundreds of the little buggers in a two-day period. I had an afternoon.

I made the masa without lard or shortening, using beef broth and a touch of olive oil and egg whites instead. I can tell you that it didn’t make a HUGE textural difference, and it at least halved the caloric content of the tamales. I threw a hunk of beef roast in the crock pot with a can of adobo chiles and their sauce, added a cup of water, and let it ride until it was shred-y. I soaked my corn husks in warm water and weeded out the small, weak ones. Thus, I had my own one person assembly line.

I spread the masa on the corn husk, which presented the only challenge in not using lard. The masa was just a lot stickier without the lube (Yeeeow!).

A small amount of shredded beef was placed in the center

then rolled in a manner that shamelessly pimps my awesome engagement ring.

——Side note: Am I the only one who is completely incapable of keeping their ring shiny? When I got it, it was a beautiful, sparkling, flawless diamond set in platinum, surrounded by other brilliant diamonds. It is now, as best I can tell, a history of the foods I’ve made in a given week. Like the rings on a tree, you can chip through each layer of frosting and dough to get information about my life. I clean it pretty frequently, but my guess is I’ll have to buy a steam cleaner, because the poor little fella just wants to SHINE, but keeps taking culinary beatings.————

Back to the matter at hand.

After piling them all in the steamer basket, I set them over simmering water on the stove to steam for approximately 7 years. Twice during this time period (TWICE) I managed to boil the steamer pot dry. This happens almost every time I make tamales. I don’t know why I haven’t figured out that I need to keep adding water yet. I am kind of a twit. I imagine it takes so long to steam because I have a smallish steamer pot and overload it so I can cook them all at once. I should probably register for a larger one, but my registry is already disgustingly full of only kitchen stuff, despite having had a Kitchenaid and Cuisinart since I was 19. I am marrying a very patient and understanding man. One who is now responsible for making sure we always have a kitchen that is larger than your average apartment, as I’ve now filled our Texas-sized kitchen and am bringing in more stuff. It’s starting to become less like a family area and more like my den of kitchen iniquity.

The pork/chorizo chili was made with the last of my Hatch chiles from this year, meaning I have to go hold a sign on one of the street corners here saying “Will work for fire-roasted Hatch chiles.” I have never run out so quickly before, and football season is just starting. Central Market wouldn’t sell me a bushel at a time, so I blame this partially on them. Selfish, I call it.

I also made some tortillas from uncooked tortilla disks I had in my fridge, then put tamales, cheese, tortillas and chili on a plate. I call it the Kristie combo. Who knew a ‘wege could come up with such good Mexican food, right?
OOooooooh. Aaaaaaaah.

Sadly, when trying to demonstrate the dance moves to Chris later, despite having immersed myself in Latin culture, I still failed to the point where he was holding on to the dog for support and gasping for air.

15 thoughts on “Shakin’ my bon-bon, so to speak”

  1. Let’s keep in mind what chair I was (704th). And the fact that I got in trouble about twice a week for skipping practice to go tap my creative side in the form of making bongs out of produce. Now I make pies out of produce. How the mighty have fallen.

  2. If I didn’t detest punkin pie so much, I could have killed two birds with one stone.

    Step one: Scoop out pumpkin innards
    Step two: Mix with other ingredients to create pie.
    Step three: Insert pipe pieces into hollowed out pumpkin.
    Step four: Bake pie
    Step five: Bake self
    Step six: Get munchies
    Step seven: Cure munchies with pie

    I’m just thinking out loud.

  3. And before you say anything, mom, I have not made a bong in YEARS. I only smoked “the pot” in high school, and probably wouldn’t have if you hadn’t honeymooned in Columbia, conceived me in Columbia, and thereby made me a cartel baby.

  4. Also, so you know, my ring came from Jared’s (he went to JARED’s…well, fuck you and your stupid ass commercials Jared!). But I digress. Anyhow, the point is: every 6 months I have to go to Jared’s to get the ring checked out to make sure all the diamonds are still securely fastened, that the white gold doesn’t need to be re-rhodium-ed, and furthermore, to have it cleaned so it stays all sparkley and therefore distracting to the general unwashed masses.

    but really I can only keep it clean for maybe 3 months. and I take it off every night, and when I clean, and when I am doing any sort of dough application.

  5. I had this very same “dancing” experience last week and almost wrote an identical blog about said experience until I realized there was no way I could ever put into words the ridiculousity that was my “dancing”. I was one of two white girls in a “Soul Grooves” class among a room full of soul sisters and Latinas. I spent an hour laughing at myself in the mirror as I attempted various undulations and backings of the ass which looked more like seizing punctuated by bouts of touretts-like tics and the occasional foot spasm which gave the impression that I had just stepped in a fire ant den.

    I now reserve dance classes for people who aren’t ethnically challenged or people who actually WERE cheerleaders.

    I also have the inability to keep my ring shiny. In California I’d get it cleaned on a regular basis at Shane Co but there isn’t one here and I don’t trust crappy mall jewelry stores. So now I get all excited when I go back to California or Colorado and take it to get cleaned because I forget how sparkly it is. I suppose I should invest in a steam cleaner as well but I’m having a hard time taking on a task that is so clearly Shane Co’s responsibility.

  6. Aw lady, I've got T&A; from here to Tuesday but I bet you were much better in that class than I would have been. I had to do a pole dancing class at a bachelorette last month, and let me tell you – gyrating like a 3 leg elephant and falling OFF the pole is probably the darkest chapter in my Trying-To-Be-Sexy-And-Failing-Miserably history.

    On the plus side, I've never made OR eaten empanadas, and now I want to.

  7. Katina: I took mine to the jeweler to get a “deep cleaning” today. It is currently attractive and the channel looks silver in that white way that makes me love platinum so much. Within, oh, two hours, it’s going to be covered in dough, because I’m making sourdough boules for some kind of football dip on Sunday. What I have discovered, then verified, is that I can soak the ring in Dawn and boiling hot water for a few minutes, til it’s cool enough to reach, then put it in a towel and blast the crap out of it under the cappuccino machine’s steaming tool. Did I mention that my ostensibly heterosexual life partner had a full-on Italian espresso machine when I met him? And that it’s taking up valuable counter real estate as we speak? And that he makes himself a vanilla latte every morning before he leaves for ARMY? It took a while for him to convince me he wasn’t going to leave me for a dude when our children were in their teens. He succeeded.

    Kristen: I’m a ShaneCo girl myself, because I hated the commercials so much that Chris went there out of spite (or a devotion to all things Colorado). I now love them for their role in my avoidance of spinsterhood. Also, if I remember correctly, you were WAY better at dancing than I was in H.S. and college. Don’t get me wrong, you were still a total white girl, but you have something I lack. I believe scientists call it “gross motor skills.” I don’t even want to know what I look like when I run.

    Laurel: No way in hell am I taking you to that class. You are 8 years younger than I am, and have had more experience with the “music kids are listening to these days” and less experience with the bodily effects of time. Also, you were a cheerleader, meaning your arms and legs can be coordinated into joint efforts of motion. Mine cannot.

    Tina: Pole dancing class?? Dude. If I can turn that information into a way to financially support my mascara habit, I’ll be forever in your debt.

    Peter: Why thank you! I’m also quite fond of myself.

  8. It is a known fact that cheerleaders cannot dance. We have about 30 seconds of “dance” in which we make arm motions quickly to kind of run together. Also, we don’t have any coordination which is why we cheered instead of played basketball or something that requires that sort of thing.

  9. Princess,
    It might be a good idea if you figure out, before the actual nuptials,exactly WHICH branch of the military it is that your fiance is serving. (That would be the one with the airplanes and the girly pt)! Love you. Momma

  10. When I got engaged, I was working at Starbucks. They have this cleaner from a company called Kay-5 and it saved my life on more than one occasion. Sidle up to the Bucks and ask for some. Then I had a job baking at a fancy French restaurant. I got flour in it and I pretended to be Carrie Bradshaw and put it around my neck. Yeah, I felt dumb doing that. So I let it cake up with flour and then I’d steal the Kay-5 every now and again to remember what it looked like when I 1st got it.

  11. Laurel-that was funny. You’ve got some solid family humor in you from time to time. I’m, as we speak, baking for you. If I send a double batch of each, will you deliver one half to Erik that same day? It’d save me a shipping charge and the chance that they’ll go bad after a roomie of his just sticks them behind the couch for 3 weeks, only noticing it’s there because somebody spills Jaeger on it and then tries to Zambonie the spilled liquor off of a strange box, prompting “hey dude. What’s in this box?” and opening it to find moths and rotting food. Then eating it anyway.

    Mom: Aren’t librarians supposed to be “jiggy” with pop-culture references? I’d suggest watching Arrested Development. Two episodes a night, getting through at least the first season before deciding whether or not you like it. It took me that long, and then was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Chris introduced me to it. It’s his favorite. And in it, all military is referred to as “army.” Not “THE army,” just “army.”

    Nik: I’ll try talking to the Starbucks people, but in this state they don’t seem very bright. For example, they cannot figure out, despite my many walk-throughs, how to make a fat-free, sugar-free green tea latte. I know, it’s complicated, but it wouldn’t be if they would just make with some sugar-free raspberry syrup already. Or if I could stand the flavor of coffee in any form. Also, you could probably be a way cute Carrie girl, but I lack even a modicum of style and would be laughed at if I wore it on a necklace. And it’s been nice to have guys feel at least a twinge of guilt when they’re caught staring at my breasts. The ring has helped so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *