So what did she get for her birthday? I offered my undying love and respect, she rolled her eyes, called me tacaño (cheapskate), and said, "Nah, I don't need anything, and besides, we'd have to pack it home."
However, one of our office staff, Elder Islas, is from Veracruz, Mexico, and happens to be somewhat of a chef. When Paula heard that he knew how to make mole poblano, she yelled, "I want summa that!"
So, Elder Islas and Elder Holmes spent a couple of hours in the crazy market and showed up with bags full of all sorts of stuff and got started.
I don't know how many of you have had the good fortune of eating real-live mole poblano. I was introduced to it 40+ years ago in California when I was a young missionary. Since then, I've occasionally purchased a jar of Doña María, but it just isn't the same.
I remember a Mexican mom in California commenting that mole is kind of like "walking around the kitchen and throwing in a little of everything you can find." If you think she was kidding, here are the ingredients for Elder Islas' version:
In case you're not up on your Spanish food names, there's everything from three types of chiles, chocolate, peanuts, raisins, bananas, almonds, prunes, pork butter, garlic, tomatoes, sesame seeds, cinnamon, onions, and a bunch of other goodies.
Pretty soon, the kitchen smelled exotically heavenly.
After several hours of effort, (the Elders sacrificed a lot of their Preparation Day for Paula), the concoction was ready.
I didn't get any pictures of everyone chowing down, as I was busy making sure I didn't get the short stick on the mole portions. It really was the best I'd ever had.
The Elders outdid themselves, buying a cake,
Paula got birthday wishes from kids and friends, from every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
We hope that your mole poblano turns out half as good as Elder Islas', and that you get to spend as many birthdays with someone half as good as Paula. You'd be lucky on both counts.
Dave & Paula