Monday, January 14, 2013

Telenovelas and a Recipe

I went on Girlfriends Book Club last night. She was talking about learning Spanish from telenovelas. Telenovelas, for those who don't know, are like Spanish soap operas. They differ in that they are usually based off books, there is an end - most run about 5-6 months though some may go longer, and they don't break off for part of the year. That is important for me because every year at some point I am going through withdrawal over Sons of Anarchy, Walking Dead and American Horror Story. The part about them being based off of books is handy too. I can always tell people I am comparing the show to the book. Back to the telenovela post. Wendy over at GBC was talking about her favorite novela, Por Ella Soy Eva, (For her, I'm Eva).  I had seen this advertised but never watched it. So I decided to check it out based on what she wrote. I have watched I don't know how many episodes but sleep is not coming any time soon. First off it has one of my favorite telenovela stars in it, Lucero, (who is also a fabulous singer - you can get to her website by clicking her name - it is in English as well as Spanish). Second it has a lot of comedic moments in it. I love telenovelas and missed them a lot since coming to Juneau. Then a friend of mine recommended Korean soaps on Hulu Plus. Yes I have watched some of the Korean shows. A really good one of those is Boys Before Flowers (there is a link you can click if you want to check it out). While on Hulu Plus I discovered they have telenovelas going! Whoo hoo! So currently I am watching Soy Tu Duena (also with Lucero and it has my all time favorite telenovela actress Gabriela Spanic - she has Twitter! links to her website and her Twitter are on), Corona De Lagrimas, Una Familia Con Suerte, Amores Verdaderos and now Por Ella Soy Eva. I have even got my friend, who is Samoan, watching them with me. I think we are okay though, I have a test that I run on us every so often. Just in case you watch these and would like to take the test here it is:

1. Do you wake up suddenly and wonder who your real parents are?
2. Do you look at everyone who has known your family since your birth and wonder if they are hiding your real parents identity? This, of course, would be so they could steal it from you. Malditos!
3. Are you positive that when you uncover who your real parents are you will receive a large inheritance because they were rich?
4.Do you find yourself looking for your, separated at birth and unknown of at the moment, twin whenever you go to the mall? If you are a twin, have you ever switched identities and is one of you evil?
5. Do you call your mother each day (or post in Facebook) to find out if anyone is in the hospital because of some freak accident?
6. Has anyone tried to kidnap you? 
7. Have you ever fainted only to wake up at the hospital, where all your family and friends have gathered, and been told you are pregnant? No puedo ser!
8. Have you ever faked being blind, pregnant or paralyzed?
9. Is your boyfriend/husband cheating on you with your best friend, cousin or other close relative, or an employee you trust? No me engañes!
10. Do you find yourself using the following words, (especially if no one in your home speaks Spanish): Malditos! Maldito sea! No me tocas! (I hear Gaby Spanic's voice in my head), ¡suéltame! ¡lárgate! ¡callate! ¡vete al diablo! Me las vas a pagar! Que haces aqui?No me engañes! No puedo ser! Que pena ! (this one must be said with a fake sympathetic face).

If you have no idea what I am talking about you are really missing out on some fun. You need some novela therapy. Find one that has subtitles if you don't speak Spanish. The Korean ones I watch have them but you better be a speed reader on them. 

I will give you a run down of Corona De Lagrimas. It opens with Refugio (played by Victoria Ruffo) being thrown out of her home with her 3 sons (the oldest around 6). Her husband moved in another woman (younger and prettier of course). At first Refugio was there as her servant but then I guess they tired of that and out she went. Now I know you are probably like me and saying "wth Refugio! kick her butt before you go! what the heck were you thinking staying there with her?" But then there would be short drama, (though satisfying and exciting), and no show. So Refugio leaves with very little money, one suitcase and her sons. She left weeping, no  she left crying so much I thought she was going to dehydrate. She finally gets to the city where she meets a woman who helps her and becomes her best friend, (Julieta played by the awesome Maribel Guardia). Fast forward some years and the boys are grown. She is working as an accountant where she is harassed sexually by her superior and is having trouble with her eyes. However she stays on not complaining so she can support her sons. The importance of this will become apparent in a moment. One of her sons Ignacio, (Nacho), is a mechanic. Her other two sons, Edmundo (Mundo), and Patricio, (Jerk, oh wait that is only what I call him), are both in school, one for medical and the other, (Jerk), for law. At this point Patricio is involved with Lucero, daughter of Julieta. Then he meets Olga and the jerk disorder kicks into high gear. Olga is the daughter of a well to do lawyer. He spoils her and offers Patricio a job in his firm. However we learn that his real job is just to keep Olga happy. Back to story. Patricio tells a lot of lies to anyone who will listen but most especially Olga and most involve him being poor at the moment because he is fighting for his inheritance that his Uncle stole from his father. He starts seeing both Lucero and Olga. Then on Lucero's birthday, Patricio went to Cancun with Olga and stood up Lucero. If this isn't bad enough, (and since this is a novela you know it isn't), Lucero learns her father was killed in an accident! Que lastima! And on her birthday! At her party!! Patricio does not return until after the burial. Then he breaks up with her! Speeding things up here. Olga finds out that Patricio is living in a poor neighborhood when she follows him. Olga meets his mother then runs home where she has a breakdown. She gets hospitalized and we learn she is mentally unhinged. There is always one who is mentally ill. Olga's father fires Patricio, taking everything from him. But don't worry. A few days later and Olga's father figures out how to use Patricio and schemes him back into Olga's arms. Job and belongings returned to him. He introduces Patricio to his girlfriend (yes Olga has a mother and yes they are unhappily married). He then informs Patricio that he will marry Olga and make her happy or else! Patricio leaves the house, moves into an apartment, (I guess), and dumps his mother and brothers. No big loss if you ask me. In case you are worried about Lucero both Mundo and Nacho tried to make her happy. Mundo won. Don'y worry about Nacho though. Chelito, who is the garage owners daughter, (he is a mechanic, remember?), is in love with him. He just needs to stop being stupid before he loses her. There is a guy at the gym who has some potential to make a triangle. Patricio and Olga's wedding plans were in the paper which everyone saw. Refugio goes to Patricio's apartment building and confronts him. He tells her that he has no mother and that he told Olga that Refugio is his nanny. WTH! Classy guy there. She leaves brokenhearted. The rest of the family and friends talk her into going to his wedding even though Patricio told her to stay away. When it ended Friday, Refugio walked up to Patricio to give her blessing on him. Olga's mother asked if she was Patricio's mother. Olga responded with no! of course not. She is his nanny, right? Then Olga's mother demanded to know who she is. All the while this was being said Patricio was telling his mother to get away from him. Sweet guy! There is much more going on and it is sure to be good tonight. Ay! Caliente!

Here is a recipe for a tostada that we make all the time.  Sometimes it is served alone and other occasions is served with other food like Mole or Birria. Soccer game? Baby shower? Just hanging out? Who is bringing the tostadas?

Tostadas de atun

2 cans of tuna
1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream (Honestly, I have no measurements for this as I usually eyeball how creamy I want the mixture. I am guessing on the amount so adjust to your taste )
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (seeded if you want it mild. again this is your taste. I usually use 3-4 jalapenos)
1/2 cup or so of mixed vegetables (if canned drain and rinse, if frozen thaw them)
Cilantro chopped - about a handful
salt to taste * can omit - sometimes I forget it

Mix all together and serve on tostadas. Fast, easy and yummy. If you made them mild and someone wants them spicy, Valentina hot sauce goes well. 

I'll catch up on the other novelas soon with some more recipes. Do you watch telenovelas? Which one is your favorite?  

As always your comments are most welcome

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