– A Guest Post by Karl (Karl is a jokester for those of you who don’t know him)
Ladies and ladies of Jo’s Country Junction, I have a proposition to make for you: How would you like to make everything in your life better?
That thing you love is now yours. The quilts you’ve been putting off? You now have time for all of them. The Saxon Invasion of the early Holy Roman Empire? Consider this your fine, well crafted French crossbow. For this…
This is Tajín. (Sorry people of the south, some of us Midwesterners are behind the times)
(We have trouble finding it in our area. Here’s an Amazon link.)
As a student teacher ‘abroad’ in Texas, I watched and tasted in wonder the myriad works and the unholy matrimony between chiles, lime, and salt. Many a-time, I basked in the twilight afterglow of a forgettable meal made legendary by its simple addition. Tajín is a staple of Tex-Mex home cooking, a common spicer-upper workhorse of any Hispanic kitchen. I saw a meme the other day that listed seasoned salt, garlic salt, and black pepper the ‘primary colors’ of the seasoning rainbow.
If that is so, then Tajín is that golden color of turn-of-the-century lighting reflecting off a varnished counter top. It’s that warm feeling you get seeing your friends, your family, and Chadwick Boseman at rapt attention in the middle of a standing ovation as you walk in. You don’t know how you got here or where it is, but there’s a feeling that you’re home.
I had a reason for writing, but I got lost in all of the-
So I’m like some kind of mutated combination of Slumdog Millionaire and Jo Kramer when it comes to cooking things: I measure the important things, but usually just kinda go with the flow and add whatever, and I usually have some kind of a reason, or a ‘way back when’ kind of reason for doing things. Below, a simple ingredient list:
Chopped apples in a Pyrex, a whole lemon, an orange if you’re feeling weird, and Tajín. Chop up about two apples and put them in a Pyrex. Then, add the juice of a whole lemon, and an orange if you’re feelin’ it (AND ONLY THEN). Finally, top with a generous helping of that chile-lime hug you’ve been waiting for.
When I was in Texas, one of the teachers on my team always put Tajín on her cantaloupe and other fruits she ate, and just about everything else, really. So there’s that. But I’ve run into a problem as the cold winds of winter were not as graceful to my old bones, and for whatever reason now, it really hurts my teeth to just bite into an apple like I always used to. Something about turning 25, I guess.
Here’s where the Slumdog Millionaire comes in: my older sister Kayla always chops up apples for Spencer and her to eat, and she keeps them for days by adding the lemon juice! I’ve had a batch of Tajín apples (that somehow weren’t consumed in a fury) in the refrigerator for four days before and no brown! That, and it makes them super delicious, all on their own. Then, I added the Tajín on top as a throwback to my days in Houston. I usually combine all things, shake well, and marinate in the refrigerator before consumption.
Super simple! Then, just pop out and eat.
It may not actually repel the Saxon Invasion, but it will make you feel like you can.
(a note from Jo: I LOVE these and am so happy that Karl keeps them in the refrigerator all the time. I snitch them as often as I can.)