DH and I went on the ward campout this weekend. Have you ever gone camping with a lot of native mexican and salvadorean families? Me either. And I learned some very important things:
1) Don't worry about being hungry. There is always food. Even if they tell you initially you will be on your own for breakfast, don't listen. Everybody will bring so much food that you won't even notice you forgot the pumpkin loaves and hard boiled eggs (that were supposed to be your breakfast) on the counter at home.
2) As Sarahi told me, there are no light meals in a Mexican home. All meals are big. There are no "light" breakfasts in Mexico.
3) Salsa. (or Chimol, did they call it? I googled it and it is the name for Salvadorean Salsa.) Araceli did nothing but make salsa. Always chopping, adding to the bowl. And we ate it. Yum. She cut up tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, cilantro, and squirted lime juice into it.
Then there was the other salsa. Hermana (sister) Garcia had roasted jalapenos and tomatoes at home, and brought them to camp. She also brought a very coarse mortar and pestle (very heavy). She peeled the jalapenos and tomatoes, and crushed them together. It was hot! My mom would have died coughing. Hermano (brother) Garcia claims that the salsa tastes better when crushed in the mortar, when compared to mixing or chopping in another bowl.
4) How to cut vegetables REALLY tiny. Now I am going to be the master chopper woman, after watching the pros.
5) The art of grilling. They sure can fire up a grill! At Mexican groceries, you can buy meat from the butcher sliced very thinly. It's thin enough that you can tear it apart into strips with your hands. I learned how to clean a grill too--you scrub it with an onion! Maybe everybody else knew that except me.
6) Grilled scallions (green onions). They grill them and then just chomp away at the white parts. As I was told repeatedly, onions are good for the lungs. Apparently.
7) I asked one woman if she uses tomatoes with every meal. It was met with a resounding YES! And she also uses pinto beans and perhaps (corn) tortillas with every meal too. Then I asked her if she eats the same thing every night. She laughed (of course, since it was a joke) and said no. I have yet to discover her cooking variations however. Hermana Garcia's kitchen hopefully will not be shrouded in mystery for too long.
8) They sure know how to party! DH and I were tired and dirty by the time we were done with breakfast (more like brunch). Everybody else was like, "Aw, you are going home? We were going to go party at the beach." And they were 20 years older than us!