Hey, guess what. Ming and I were at the Mexican grocery store, and we were looking for a specific thing. But I was attracted to the nopales. A bag of fresh cactus, prepped–spines were removed, and it was diced.
I wanted to buy it to make some, but I felt a tug of guilt. It’s a sacred food. What if it sat in the fridge, uneaten? I would feel really bad for wasting it.
Then I decided I can’t let my life be ruled by fear.
Next morning I rinsed half of it in a colander. A lot of goo rinsed off! Then I fried it up in olive oil with fresh garlic. Wow–delicious. Yes, please.
What if they missed a spine? I touched the nopales as I rinsed it in the colander, thinking it would be better to hurt my hand than my mouth. But it was perfect.
It has a tang of acidity. Ming thinks they might soak it in lemon juice in the bag.
“The bag says it’s just nopales,” I said.
“Yeah, but do you trust they’re telling the truth?” he asked.
“Well! Maybe! Foods can have a tang. It’s possible!” I said.
Then two days later, we ate the rest with scrambled eggs. And more garlic–yes. Three cloves. Thank you, sweetheart Ming.
Nopales is such a great plant! There’s a reason it’s my new last name. Also, my good friend visited the other day and gave me this present. She bought it in California.
“What is this for?” I asked, wondering about a holiday. Solstice present? Bonus present for my birthday?
“Just because I love you!” she said.
“Oh! Ok!” I said, smiling, happy to be loved. “It’s so pretty! Like a milagro, but painted.” Not really–this is thinner and bigger. But metal also.
“It was this cool Mexican store. I thought of you,” she said. “I wanted to buy the whole wall of these.” She told me she got herself a grim reaper.
Thank you to all who nurture me with your love. Good friend, plant medicine, Mother Earth, Ming. Your love is true, and I feel grateful for you.