I came home from my LDS mission 3.5 years ago.
I didn't serve in some far off land (unlike some of my friends who ended up in places like Russia and Guatemala), unless you count Los Angeles as a foreign country. Some people would. I was lucky enough to serve Spanish speaking and was introduced to some of the most amazing food ever created.
Gifts from heaven.
My mother, genius cook that she is, learned how to recreate most of these delights pretty soon after I got home. She loves me, what can I say? As wonderful as it was to eat flautas without any roaches crawling across my plate (you think I'm kidding, don't you?) there's just something about eating authentic Latino food made by someone who genuinely doesn't speak any English that makes it more...special.
Friday night I went downtown with Platt (Oh! I haven't told you about Platt yet? Here's a quick run down: Mallory Platt and I are the same person. No, really. People in our ward even call us The Mallory(ie)s. I call her Platt because, let's be honest, it's really odd to call someone by your first name) and we went to an art thing that one of her designs from school was nominated to be part of. (She's an architect.) Afterward we went wandering about. She was aghast to discover that I'd never in all my born days eaten at The Red Iguana. Apparently this is some sort of sin. Off we went. Can I please just tell you all that I nearly cried when we walked into the restaurant? I was immediately homesick for my mission. It smelled like every single dinner appointment that I walked into for nearly 18 months. I actually did cry when they gave us our salsa, and not just because it was hot (apparently my tongue forgot that I used to eat very large jalapeno peppers whole on a regular basis). Platt laughed at me when they gave me my food because I was more than slightly verklempt.