Beth Siegalkoff

Today is a holiday with a crunch. One might even suggest that it is a corny holiday. Well, that’s OK because today is National Tortilla Chip Day. Rebecca Webb Carranza first popularized tortilla chips as a way to reuse misshapen tortillas. Her family owned the Los Angeles based El Zarape Tortilla Factory in the 1940s.

Just a few decades ago, Americans seldom ate tortilla chips and salsa, but its popularity has grown immensely. Today is a tribute to the rising popularity of what has now become one of America’s favorite munchies.

Usually made of fried yellow corn tortillas, however, flour tortillas are just as yummy; tortilla chips can be served with dips like salsa, guacamole, bean dip, hot cheese dip, etc.

Tortilla chips are the base for a more elaborate dish called nachos with spicy cheese, sour cream and jalapeños, green onions, diced tomatoes, guacamole, spicy shredded meat, and beans. Or, for a sweet snack, fried flour tortillas sprinkled with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Pretty tasty – it makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Did you know Texas businessman Elmer Doolin brought the corn tortilla chip recipe to the United States from Mexico in the early 1930s? He was the founder of the Frito Company. Hmmmm … I think I will go make some nachos for a snack.

Don’t you just love this weather? Last weekend I sat outside and soaked up the sunshine. The ever-returning Cyclamen and Camellias are blooming, and their scents combined to greet whomever walks up to the front door.

The 400+ tulips Don planted have started to bloom. By the way, the beauty of a tulip is not only on the outside, look on the inside. The colors are amazing.

Of course, looking around the yard and flower gardens, I got the itch to plant more flowers, sculpt more rock and succulent gardens, hang some lights around the backyard and patio, and maybe think about planting a garden. We already have some mighty fine artichoke plants growing and some asparagus popping up. But, alas, I do not think we are done with winter, and there still may be a couple of below-freezing nights coming our way. So, we will hold off for a month or two and maybe the itch will go away.

A shout-out and happy birthday to the patriarch of our family, Bud Jardine, who will be 95 years young on Monday, March 1. Oh, what memories he must have; and what a great way to start out the month of March, celebrating the birth of an amazing man with a big heart. We love you and we are blessed to have you in our family.

Recipe of the day: Salsa-to-go with tortilla chips; Flower of the Day: Cyclamen

Dates to remember:

March 14: Daylight Saving Time – turn your clock one hour ahead.

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

March 20: Spring begins

March 27: Passover

March 28: Palm Sunday

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.