After two weeks here in Nebraska, hanging out both at the hospital in Omaha and in my hometown of Grand Island, the time has come for me return to Mexico City. I think the Carmann family is feeling a lot better now that we’ve had some time to gather more information & Mom is well on the road to recovery from the surgical procedures. Additionally, we’ve been super appreciative of the support from all our family & friends in words, thoughts and deeds.
Which brings me to a question I was thinking about last nite… What is the standard procedure in Mexico when a friend or neighbor is sick, or has received generally crappy news?
I am very familiar with the cultural norm in the Midwest– casseroles, casseroles and more casseroles! And perhaps a pie! And sure enough, our friends in Grand Island have not let us down. In the 4 days we were home, we received one cherry pie, two freezable chicken/spaghetti-based casseroles (though I confess one did not make it to the freezer… too tasty to just wrap up and put away both of them!!), a bacon-wrapped chicken & dried beef casserole yesterday nite along with a potato casserole (and brownies!), and a promise for a macaroni-and-cheese casserole to arrive on Saturday. (As well as a dozen amazing cupcakes shipped in from friends in Texas.)
Casseroles are the Midwesterner’s way of saying, “I am thinking of you during this crappy time you are going through, and I know that you probably can’t be bothered to cook. So, I am bringing you this casserole that you can freeze, so that you’ll have it at the ready on whichever day your cooking motivation reaches an all-time low.” While they might not fall into the ‘health food’ category, they definitely fall into the “comfort, feel-better food” category.
You can peruse one of our family favorites, Swiss Cheese Green Bean Casserole, here.
Getting back to the question at hand, what is the similar cultural procedure in Mexico? Or even on the East Coast of the US?? (since we’re heading back to Washington DC soon-ish) Is there a standard food or type of food that is the default option when a nearby friend or family member is in need?? I was laughing to myself, thinking of someone in Boston showing up at a sick neighbor’s door with a big bucket of clams…. or perhaps someone in Mexico hiring a tacos al pastor vendor to make a visit to a hospital.
Any insights are welcomed to add to my cultural intelligence… because I’m just not sure how well our Midwestern casseroles would be received in Mexico City….