Some of you may remember growing up in the 70s, when the gas crisis was in full swing and the US was in the middle of a recession. As one of three kids being raised by a single mom, we were not in the practice of going out to dinner a lot. We would beg to go to McDonald's or Burger King, but mom would say "Good news! We ARE having hamburgers. I made them." They, of course, were never the same. Who wants a nice, fresh, juicy, thick burger when we could've had the thin, formerly frozen fried patty slathered with freeze-dried onions that all our friends were eating?! The worst was when the store was out of hamburger rolls (or maybe my mom just didn't buy them). A burger between two slices of bread. Mmmm, mmmm.
I digress. I had this little flashback tonight while trying to recreate taco seasoning. Matt's away, and I was trying to decide what to make for dinner for me and the kids. I had leftover chicken in the fridge, and avacados were a)available and b)ripe. I decided to make tacos. Amazingly, the El Paso taco kit can be found in a small nearby little market that specializes in overpriced exported foodstuffs. Course, the El Paso kit costs 15 YTL (about $11), and probably expired in 2005.
So I figure, How hard can taco seasoning be? It's got to be chili powder, onion, cumin, paprika, etc. So I google "homemade taco seasoning" and on thriftymom.com or some similar web site, find a recipe. I doctor it up, substituting here and there as you do. Mix with some water, the leftover chicken, substitute lavas (a tortilla-like flatbread) for taco shells, cube the faux cheddar cheese slices, cut up the other required condiments and serve with a smile.
One of the benefits of living overseas, despite the encroachment of western franchises such as McDonald's and KFC, is that some of this "American" food is still new to the kids. Having never been exposed to Taco Bell or even the El Paso of my childhood, Mom's Homemade Turkish Tacos were a huge success.
And, mom, I do prefer the homemade burger these days. Just make sure you have the seeded buns.