cooking with lard, 101

my sister-in-law savanna forewarned me, but not until this weekend when my search for crisco ended in complete and utter failure did i actually think i'd have to get acquainted with pig fat as a cooking ingredient. is it me, or is there just something completely unholy about using the words "lard" and "chocolate chip cookies" in the same sentence? i know, i know... shortening and lard are essentially the same thing, but shortening just feels better... it's not so abrasive as to the reminder that what i'm putting into my body is completely unhealthy, once belonged to the filthy haunch of a cloven-hoofed animal, and will stick to my arteries and eventually kill me.

i wanted to make taco soup for dinner last week. it's quick, it's easy, it's delish, and matt and i had it in hong kong all the time because it was the one thing i could make in our hk "kitchen." recipe: 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of corn, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 packet of taco seasoning and an onion (and ground turkey, if we're feeling fancy -- much thanks again, lacy, for the recipe). i mean, i know the dish is some american concoction based very loosely on a mexican dish, but look at the ingredients... no sweat, right? well, there are entire rows, rows, of legumes at the grocery stores here, but i have yet to lay eyes on a single can or bag of kidneys. and you can forget about finding the cute little packets of mccormick's taco seasoning in this country. and after i thought about it for a minute, i really should have known better than to have even looked for them. i'm sure they are a complete insult to mexican cuisine. i don't even have the gumption to ask the grocers here if they carry the stuff for fear i'll be laughed out of town.

so mom, please add to your list of things to send:

brown sugar
taco seasoning
kraft macaroni and cheese
kidney beans
and an industrial-sized bottle of pepto


Marleepatts said...

I keep going to your blog from other peoples so I am going to put a link to your blog from mine if you don't care.

Sherwoods said...

Hey, welcome to mexico my friend! Cross Kraft mac and cheese off you list, you can get that here. But, have her send everything else. Other things you can't get here...

pomade for your hair
non-water proof mascara

And I am sure I will think of more, but I will call you!

Good luck with the lard and chocolate chip cookies!

Lori said...

Erin! Get this, I just found out that you can use a can of white beans for shortening in baking...yup yup. Just throw it in the food processor and mix it right in. I made some chocolate chip cookies the other day and they tasted awesome.

just a thought... since Mexico seems to have so many beans. :)

hilary said...

oh dear, i'm sorry. that grosses me out. but i would definitely try lori's advice! that made me happy for you when i read that. bless her little heart for sharing that with you. white beans? who would have thought?

Mardi and Jeremey said...

Getting used to the food was the hardest part for me when we were in Mexico City. I have to say that I do love the fact that they have the markets with EVERYTHING fresh. Good luck...maybe try substituting black beans or pinto beans for the kidney beans. ???? I know they have lots of those!

M said...

The main ingredient in taco seasoning is chili powder or chili en polvo

Ashlee said...

Love the picture you put with this blog entry. Good luck on the Lard subsitute

Jen York said...

Thanks for the recipe! Sounds delish. I'm so happy for you that you're getting a bit more comfortable there. Nathan served his mission in Sonora (we're told it's the armpit of Mexico - haha) so I'm sure you're getting a bit more culture where you're at. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you're a fantastic lady and a great example to all of us that have it so easy!

old me.