slumming it taco salad

During the very early days of our relationship, Steve and I put our practically still in college cooking skills to the test quite often. Before meeting him, I cooked for one or perhaps two if I wanted to make something special (ie not Lipton cheddar broccoli rice). Steve and I met in the spring of my senior year at Northeastern. He did not really know how to grocery shop. He lived on this. No other background information should be required. For the record, my college roommate Natalie and I were known to have hamburger helper nights ourselves, but they were more from the standpoint of tradition to the days of yore when we made it JUST to use the crazy vegetarian roommate’s skillet. Her directions were always the same “Wash it, wash it well!” Boy, did we love to torture people in odd ways.

Steve and I spent many a night at his house off Western Avenue in Brighton scarfing down a shared taco salad. We cooked up taco turkey (because this was going to be a “healthy” salad) and mixed it with bag o’ salad, cheese, tortilla chips, and a good swirl of ranch dressing. Take bowl to coffee table, insert two spoons, and you have slumming it taco salad. You know what, it was DAMN good.

It reminds us of easier times, when we were both so utterly carefree. A balanced budget then meant we had enough money to feed ourselves and pay our bills with enough left over for two reckless nights out each weekend at whatever bar we went to before we ended up back at Docksides. During the week Steve would pick me up on his way home from work and we’d tie on our skates in a parking lot along the Charles River. We’d skate as far as we could, sometimes as far as the Hatch Shell, and then head over to Star Market to pick up dinner. Sometimes we grilled, sometimes we had slumming it taco salad, but we always had beer and the atmosphere was still so college over at Kelly Court that it makes me smile to remember.

I get recipes emailed to me daily, sometimes they are good, sometimes they are total misses. Today I opened one called “Three Step Taco Salad.” I smiled, I sent it to Steve. I think we are making it tonight.

Happy Cinco de Mayo


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