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Behind the Grindstone: Migas

By Bill Bunting

June 7, 2024

I’ve written quite a lot about Pablo
An old vaquero from back in the day
Livin’ alone he was always happy
When I drop by his way

To share some conversation
As well as a good bait of food
It was all quite stimulating
Along with the coffee he’d brewed

I’m not sure which drew me to him
His stories or getting’ my belly full
But to be honest about it
They both have a mighty strong pull

He had invited me over for breakfast
“Around here we eat early” he said
“Why waste your time in the morning
Just laid up there in your bed”

So I showed up about daylight
When there’s a glow in the eastern skies
That time between dark and full daylight
Before the sun is starting to rise

And sure enough there was old Pablo
Leaned back in his old wooden chair
As the aroma of fresh coffee and wood smoke
Wafted cross the morning air

As well as the smell of sausage
And maybe onion as well
With a hint of jalapeno
But I wasn’t sure I could tell

So I pulled myself up a chair
And sat down by his side
It was a cool summer morning
So Pablo was cooking outside

He ladled me a plate full of breakfast
And it came as no surprise
Not only a feast for the belly
But also a feast for the eyes

We talked about the weather and horses
He talked some of the past
How tomorrow turned into yesterday
And how it had happened so fast

As we ate breakfast from a tin plate
And drank coffee from the same kinda cup
Settin’ there eatin’ and visitin’
And watchin’ the sun come up

I asked him what we were eating
He said migas was it’s name
“It’s easy and quick to cook
I’m sure you could do the same”

“You dice up one jalapeno or chili
Or whatever kind of pepper you’ve got
You can use an habanero
If you like it real spicy and hot”

“Along with one quarter of an onion
One Roma tomato as well
Now set them off to the side
And let them rest for a spell”

“While you beat four eggs in a bowl
Until they are mixed right well
If you don’t have your own chickens
You can use the ones the grocery stores sell”

“Then add some salt and black pepper
A dilemma we have always faced
How much to add is the question
Well, it’s according to your taste”

“Now you just cook some sausage in the skillet
Or ham or bacon will do
I like to use chorizo
But that will be up to you”

“Take the meat out of the skillet
We’ll use it before we are through
Now you can use corn chips bought in a bag
Or this is what you can do”

“You can cut up six corn tortillas
In sizes that are easy to eat
And fry them until they are crispy
In the grease that is left from the meat”

“Now take them out of the skillet
And set them off to the side
Add your pepper and your onion
Until they become softly fried”

“Then add the diced tomato
And cook for a minute or two
Adding back the tortillas and sausage
Is the next thing that you are to do”

“Then add the eggs to the skillet
Mix with the ingredients already there
Cook until they are fluffy
And their aroma fills the air”

“Serve them up right quickly
While they are still nice and hot
Served up with some fresh pico
It’s sure to hit the right spot”

Well, I’m thankful for knowin’ old Pablo
And for the stories and wisdom he’d share
I reckon I rather spend mornings with Pablo
Than just about anywhere

At least, that’s the view here from behind the grindstone.

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