My sister and I had a conversation about Norma’s tacos this past Christmas. It revolved around the question, where did they come from? She certainly used to make them regularly in our household. Growing up we always knew that mom’s speciality was tacos and dad’s speciality was spaghetti (which was a very distinct spaghetti with a meat sauce that used a spaghetti spice packet). But, my sister and I realized that we have never really had mom’s tacos anywhere else, like with my grandma or with my tias.
Our questions are, did this recipe come from a family recipe and my mother changed it up? Is this just something she concocted, we liked, so she continued? As I ask these questions about the things that Norma might have created in her life, I want to share some photo finds. People have recently been sharing high school graduation pics, in solidarity with those graduating seniors who will not have a typical graduation ceremony. Here are Norma’s graduation pics, the first has “La Norma” written on the back. ❤️
Thinking of other ceremonies that people may be missing, first communion can be a big deal or not for children who were raised Catholic. One of my good friends aptly noticed a picture of my sister’s first communion amidst other Norma photos in an earlier post. I’m not sure who the one having her first communion is in the first photo, but what a look! In the second, I don’t think this is Norma, but rather looks like Tia G (second oldest) and a younger sister Tia C??? I will ask for help identifying. Then there is a pic that does have names written on the back, so I know that Norma is the eldest one here, holding her cousin, with sisters next to her. In the last photo, we get to see some of the Norma playfulness, as she covers the eyes of the little girl in front of her. Would also love help identifying who the rest of who these people are. I will go ahead and write on the back of photos if I do find out new info.
Before going back to tacos, I have two more photos to share. The first looks like prom. Norma as a seemingly carefree teenager, who isn’t in a nun’s habit, with a group of friends, somehow makes me happy. The way they are posing. That second couple, absolutely serious, the third, the most unaware of the photo. So many ruffles!!!
I’ll end with a mystery photo for me, accompanied by a picture of Norma’s tacos that I made today. The first photo is black and white, but the clothes, the hairstyle, it just doesn’t make sense. And because it somehow exists out of time, or a time I can easily identify, it also captures a pure Norma essence.
- The filling is made with pinto beans, ground beef, and boiled potatoes. The main spice, besides salt and pepper, is oregano.
- The corn tortillas are dipped in hot oil and put on paper towels to soak up extra oil.
- On a cast iron skillet, the insides are put in the corn tortilla with some cheese. They are flipped to get a semi crispy outside.
- Norma tacos are served with sour cream, diced tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, and guacamole if you are feeling fancy.