Yesterday I received an offer from a magazine for a short story I wrote over the summer. The story comes out in February, and I get paid in March. I plan to use the money to bulk-buy some grocery items that are not available from stores close to me.
This is my first sale, and I am very pleased.
It’s funny how Mexican-American H-E-B customers will come right up to me in the store and offer unsolicited, though welcome, cooking advice. A man saw me looking over packages of chorizo and told me what brand was best and what was the proper sausage-to-egg ratio (two to three). Not long after meeting the chorizo man, I came across a display of a kind of cheese labeled “queso fresco” and stood there wondering what that was. A lady appeared at my side, said, “This is good cheese,” and went on to tell me that it was mild and crumbly, like feta, and good in quesadillas. Then she vanished without buying any herself. (I bought a package, as part of a “combo loco” special that included a package of tortillas. The lady was right. The cheese is delicious.)
It happened again yesterday. I picked up two packages of corn shucks in the produce section and was immediately approached by a lady who asked, “Who makes tamales? You?” I admitted that it was so. I made my foray into tamale-making last year with help from an excellent website. The lady smiled, then confided that she liked to make her own tamales right after Thanksgiving. Further, she advised me that the best way to make pork tamales, the real way, was with a hog’s head, an item I had actually seen for sale at the Luling H-E-B. Greg has seen them too and says they are quite ugly. Well, maybe next year. For now, I think I will stick with pork butt roast, sale purchased at a dollar a pound.