Lunch Envy

I’m in a little competition with the wives of my husband’s co-workers … except nobody knows it but me.

His co-workers from Mexico like to give my husband, the only Salvadoran among them, a hard time. The ribbing is out of affection, but sometimes my husband, (who they’ve nicknamed “Pupusa”), tells me the stories and I feel an instinctive need to help him look good the next day.

My husband says a lot of the silliness and teasing happens at lunch time. First they made fun of him because his banana is always smaller than their bananas, (and yes, while they are talking about fruit, they’re also implying what you think they are.) … I offered to send a plantain in my husband’s lunch box, but he declined.

Then his co-workers noted that he eats rice almost every day, so when my husband tried to grow a beard and mustache, they called him “Fu Manchu” because it made him look more Asian with his ojos chinos. (He later shaved, but he always ends up doing that.)

None of this bothers my husband, who comes from a family of people that like to “joke hard” as he says. The only thing he has mentioned that bothers me, is that the other guys bring such good food for lunch all the time. They bring seafood, beef, chicken, homemade salsa, tortillas, frijoles, caldos … always something different, always an entire meal worthy of la última cena.

I really can’t compete with the other wives. We can’t afford to buy the ingredients to make such varied banquets within the same week, (his co-workers’s families live together and share expenses as well as a dinner table.)

Nevertheless, each week I try to make something new and worthy of envy. Last night it was “Arroz a la Tumbada“, a regional dish from the co-workers home of Veracruz, Mexico. Take that, co-workers-wives-who-don’t- know-me-very-well-and-have-no-idea-a-random-gringa-is-jealous-of-you.


    • @ Alejandra – Well, my husband took it to work but the guys are from el campo, and maybe this is a city person’s dish, I don’t know, but they were slightly indifferent about it. LOL. They were just like, “Oh yeah, that’s rice with seafood. Nice.”

    • @ Melanie – You think I’m that cruel to post a photo of food without the recipe?! :) See where it says “Arroz a la Tumbada” in the post? That’s a link to the recipe!

      Oh, and are my tips on that recipe:

      Instead of all the seafood it calls for, you can make it more easily (and affordably!), by purchasing a frozen 1 lb. bag of “mixed mariscos/seafood”. It’s got almost everything in there, minus the crabs, but that’s what I used and it worked fine. Also, the recipe calls for “parsley” and doesn’t say fresh or dried. I used dried because that’s what I had, but next time I will use fresh because I think that will make it even better.

      Lastly, I think this would be good served with wedges of lemon to squeeze over top.


      • Hehehhehe. Duh. Thanks for pointing the recipe out. I am going to try the recipe this week and am looking forward to it! It’s already making my mouth water.

  1. My answer? BAKING.
    I used to bake all sorts of stuff and after meeting some of the guys my hubby works with, I come to find out they called me “The Lunch Lady.” That brought images of Chris Farley from SNL into my head and shortly after that, I stopped. LOL!
    Baking will make you the envy. Trust me!

  2. Ok, you guys HAVE to come to Mexico, I will take you to Guadalajara to eat some tortas ahogadas and then in Veracruz you will be able to have the best arroz a la tumbada ever!
    So, let´s start planning!
    By the way… some months have passed since you wrote this post, how are you doing on your secret competition? ;)

    • I gave up! LOL. Carlos’s co-workers don’t even care about or pay attention to his lunch. I can’t afford to keep competing!

      I would love to eat my way through Guadalajara though. Tortas ahogadas! Ay, qué hambre tengo!

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