Tortillas and Tomatillo Sauce

Stephen Podowitz

By: Stephen & Adam Podowitz-Thomas

Stephen and I fell in love over freshly-made tortillas and tomatillo sauce.  Our first official date was at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in downtown Palo Alto, CA, nearby where we were both in graduate school.  I had spent some time building a schoolhouse near Merida, Mexico when I was eighteen, and loved the food and culture I experienced while there.  Ever since, I have kept an eye out for authentic Mexican places, but had never heard of this tiny place that Stephen raved about.  Nervously venturing into the restaurant, I was excited by the aromas I smelled and the sight of Stephen standing up to greet me.  Needless to say, the food was stellar, but even more so the company.

We made many more visits to La Morenita, often sitting at the same table as that first date.  I was excited one visit to spot chilaquiles on the menu (a breakfast favorite from my time in Mexico), and Stephen was always happy to get another order of their chicken sopes (a dish hard to find in Manhattan, his collegiate stomping grounds).  It was also at the restaurant that we realized that we both wanted kids, after laughing at a child delightfully chowing down on his first tortilla chip.

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Stephen mulling over our options at a traditional tapas restaurant

Over the years, eating out and trying new foods have become a big part of our lives.  We look for restaurants serving cuisines we haven’t seen before and get to know the places we live and visit through the foods they share with us.  Developing memories of Hawaii while eating the best saimin (a noodle dish) on Kauai during our honeymoon and hiking a tall hill in San Francisco for Nepalese food has kept our relationship interesting and fun.  Further, this sense of exploration, instilling a deep sense of wonder and discovery in both of us, is something we hope to impart to our kids in the future, because it was such a key lesson of our own childhoods.

Sharing food and the love that it entails has fed into other aspects of our lives, from our own exploits in the kitchen that we discussed in our last post to planning our recent wedding.  One of the very first decisions we made in the planning process was that we wanted a family-style wedding dinner with our closest friends and family gathered around a communal table.  We purposely kept our guest list small and on a beautiful August day in California, were able to enjoy a meal where passing dishes was expected, while laughter and conversation filled the air.  The night reminded us of the many family dinners we had when we were kids, surrounded by our loved ones, and enjoying food prepared by our parents.  And we hope that it was simply the first of many dinner parties for us, parties that we hope to eventually share with kids of our own.

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Our family and friends sharing food and conversation at our wedding

Read more about Stephen & Adam and their adoption process on Facebook.

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