Martha Stewart wrote a short article in her Martha Stewart Living Magazine this month.
It was moving. It was real. It was heartbreaking.
It reminded me of my brother Dave.
Martha’s sister had died unexpected at age 59 and Martha wasn’t prepared. She said she had much more to say to her sister. I recognized that feeling. There are so many days when I talk to my brother out the window, hoping he can hear me. I have had the benefit of years to heal from my loss so my conversations only happen now and then, when he enters my heart for one reason or another. Martha’s loss is so recent and raw that I imagine her conversations with her sister are daily. I feel for her.
There was a poem printed with her article called “Remember Me”. It was the poem Martha read at her sister’s memorial service. The poem puts into words exactly why I celebrate my brother’s December 27th birthday each year with his favorite enchiladas. I first wrote about Reme’s Enchiladas a year ago, on the third anniversary of Dave’s Enchilada Night so that all of our family and friend’s could continue the tradition to celebrate and remember Dave, even if we aren’t all together.
Remembering is important.
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated.
But to the happy, I am at peace.
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea — remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty — remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity — remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, your memories of the times we loved,
The times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.
Happy Birthday Dave!
David Alan Flick
Makes 20 enchiladas
20 fresh tomatillos
2-4 jalapeno chiles (depends on how spicy you want it)
1/4 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed
2 tsp salt
Take outer dry skin off tomatillos and put into a pan of water to cover. Add the whole jalapenos and bring to a boil. Boil about 3 minutes and drain. Take the tops of the jalapenos and put all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
3 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 T. chicken bouillion (caldo de pollo)
Put the chicken and boullon in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes. Take off heat and let rest, covered, for 30 minutes or more. Remove cover and leave in liquid to cool. When cool enough to handle with your fingers, drain chicken and hand-shred into very small pieces. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Assemble other ingredients for preparation:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cut into thin slices (shredded)
6 fresh radishes, sliced very thin
16 oz. Mexican Crema Acida (high fat sour cream)
8 oz Queso Cotija, (dry, hard, Mexican cheese) grated to very fine crumbles
30 fresh corn tortillas
2 T. vegetable oil
Heat oil on medium heat in large flat pan. Pour salsa into the pan until about 1/2” deep. Fry for 30 seconds then stir until incorporated. Turn heat to low. Using tongs, lay a tortilla into the pan covering it in sauce. After about 15 seconds, flip it over, leave for another 15 seconds, then lift over the pan to drain. Lay at one end of a serving dish, fill with shredded chicken and roll up. Repeat, stacking rolls up against each other until you reach the other end of the serving dish. Spread crema generously over the top of the tortilla rolls. Cover rolls liberally with shredded lettuce, spoon queso cotija down the center, and sprinkle with radishes. Serve immediately with remaining green salsa in a jar to spoon on top. For a spicier topping, re-blend a portion of the salsa with extra chopped chilis.
Note: While best if they are served immediately, these are also quite delicious when heated up the next day. If you know you will have a lot leftover, it is best to leave off the lettuce, cheese and radishes and add after reheating.