Red Jaguar Rises Again

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Chapter Ten

The next day, Cody and Becca are having breakfast on the patio of the old hacienda. The day is hot but they are shaded by several very old sycamore trees.

Cody says, “These huevos rancheros are delicious.”

“Yes, aren’t the corn tortillas crisp? The red sauce has just the right flavor over these warm beans and cheese. Are the eggs on top of yours done just the way you like?” asks Becca.

“Just right,” says Cody, who for some unknown reason feels especially happy today. He puts his hand in his pocket and takes out the race car. “It’s a strange thing,” he says, “but all I remember about yesterday is that I lost and then found this car.”

“It means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Becca said and patted his arm. “I’m glad. It’s a good way to keep his memory alive. As for me, I like to go out to the deck where he used to barbeque. I can talk with him just as if he’s still there.”

“What should we do on our last day here?” he asks Becca who is yawning. “I think I’d like to spend the day in the pool.”

“How’s that blister?”

“Somehow it doesn’t bother me at all today.”

“Yesterday seems like a dream.” Becca tucks her napkin back into the neck of her blouse. “These huevos can be messy,” she says touching her napkin and wiping up a spot of the red sauce.

Cody says, “Yesterday wasn’t as hot, was it? We did go inside the big pyramid. And then we walked a path that took us to a deep hole where people got thrown in.”

“What did you think of the Red Jaguar?”

“I’ll never forget him. Maybe I’ll write a report about Chichen Itza. It’ll have to be a fantasy story because no one would believe what happened.”

“Yes,” said Becca, who smiled at him with great love. “Some things just can’t be explained, can they?”

“Thanks, Mom, for bringing me here. It’s a place where I’ve really felt close to Dad.”

Tres Leches Cake (Milk Cake)

Why is this cake different? It’s just a butter cake flavored with vanilla. What makes it unusual is that it’s soaked in a mixture of three different milk products. The idea of soaking a cake in liquid is not new. Other countries beside Mexico do it, too.

It’s simple to make. When you take it from the refrigerator, after it’s been baked and soaked, you can top it with frosting or whipped cream and make it pretty on top with fruit or nuts.

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup white sugar

5 eggs

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup milk

½ of a 14-ounce can Sweetened condensed milk

½ of a 12-ounce can Evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and cup of sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool cake.

Pierce it in 8 to 10 places with a fork and let it cool some more. Combine the three kinds of milk and pour over the top. Put it in the refrigerator. When you take it out, frost it.

Versions: You can add chocolate syrup or fruit, nuts or other things to the batter.

Huevos Rancheros

Taco shells are cooked in hot oil to make them crisp. Then beans are warmed and placed on top. Then, some grated cheese. These are kept warm in the oven until topped with a fried egg.

Set out shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and salsa. Have a napkin handy. These could drip and be messy.

6 corn tortillas Fry tortillas until crisp in hot oil.

Drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

1 can refried beans Heat beans with two tablespoons of oil left over from frying the tortilla. Spread beans in a thin or thick layer on top of tortillas.

2 cups grated cheese Longhorn, Monterey Jack, Cheddar or Mozzarella

Cover tortilla shell with grated cheese and melt in a 300 degree oven.

6 eggs As cheese melts in warm oven, fry eggs to taste. Plop an egg on each tortilla and serve.

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