When In Rome or Burlington, Iowa by Estela Caballero

Skate board boys with observer by Estela Caballero
Skate board boys with observer by Estela Caballero

I recently spent some time in Burlington, Iowa.  It’s a lovely place with even lovelier people.  I’m not a good photographer but I take pictures and edit them so the final result is something that I am happy with.  I know I probably break all the basic rules but I’m ok with that :)

Burlington, Iowa
Burlington, Iowa

I was there for 7 days for work and had to add this shameless selfie titled “When in Rome” for a dear friend.  Too much time on your hands tends to produce lots of unnecessary selfies!

Thanks to Karen and team for the local gear.  Go Gators!
Thanks to Karen and team for the local gear. Go Gators!

Buildings with history.

The Evil Eye by Estela Caballero

Originally posted on 4utu:

“Teach me to cook,” I pleaded. “You love him don’t you?” “Yes, I do.” “Then you know how to cook.” Obviously she didn’t remember hot dog and egg experiment.  Maybe she had fed it to the cat under the table. She was kind and would have eaten failed experiments every day.  Her beautiful face could convince the worst cook in the world she was a culinary genius.  The flavors secondary.  To be a good cook you must always do it with love in your heart.  The flavors would catch up to the expression she believed cooking for a loved one was.  A meal was a message.  It needn’t be expensive or complicated.  In fact, simple food let the main ingredient shine.  Whenever she emerged into the room to announce the food was ready, her children saw her as nothing short of a magical being that could make a small feast…

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Mexican Food: Nopales are cactus you can eat

Originally posted on 4utu:


Nopales– you may have seen them boiled and sliced in jars in the store aisle or diced with scrambled eggs.  You may have never seen them at all.  If that’s the case, trying them would be worthy of a maybe list.

You can buy them at some stores just like this.  I took this picture in the produce aisle in the store up the street.  At this stage, you still have to give them a good scraping, wash and boil.  They release a sticky substance when you cut them, even after cooked.  It’s ok and all part of the experience of eating nopalitos.


Besides the pads, you can also eat the cactus fruit– some people make juice out of the cactus fruit, just like the one Fred Flinstone drank..The fruit is pictured below.  It turns a beautiful violet color.  Be careful if you decide to try it, it will stain…

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Labor of Love: Handmade Goodness

Originally posted on 4utu:

On and on

A few weeks ago I posted a few squares of this beautiful mantel (tablecloth) my mother in law made for me.

I wanted to share a few more squares. It’s huge! I don’t think I could ever make something like this. She embroidered each square and crocheted the connecting pieces.

Many years ago my sister in law had one that my mother in law had made for her.  I hadn’t yet met my mother in law in person.  I had heard she was a wonderful cook, mother and artist with thread.  When she heard I had admired the one my sister in law had, she set to making me my own.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.  I think it always will be.

Created by my beautiful suegra (mother in law).  It's part of a piece of artwork in the form of a tablecloth she made for me.

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A vague account of how to make bean tacos

Originally posted on 4utu:


I used to do this with lard.  I know— but it’s the truth.  Lard was one of the staples in my family kitchen as far back as I can remember.  Most of the times it was the lard you buy in a bucket but sometimes it was lard harvested from a pig my dad would butcher.  We used almost everything.

The golden liquid in the pan is olive oil. You can make refried beans without any oil.  You just use the bean juice.  They taste great and I’m sure much healthier.  I heat up the olive oil and then throw in some onion and a few red dry chiles de arbol.  Caution, the chiles de arbol are hot and if you choose to use them, the resulting vapor can sting.  Interestingly, it doesn’t make the beans taste spicy hot.  It’s weird.  I like using onion and garlic.  It makes it…

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The Naming of El Pajaro by Estela Caballero


There were a few things ever present..the man who would become known as El Pajaro or The Bird, was one of them.

Originally posted on 4utu:

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The hair brush was my enemy. It would come out early morning and my mother would warn me it was getting late as the time looking for the brush went on.  I couldn’t be late for school.  I loved everything about the elementary school me, my sister and eventually some of my brothers would attend.  There was a beautiful mountain view. From the hills tucked under the sharp mountain top you could see thick puffs of white steam from the plant my mom worked.  Then the small town gave way to fields. Straight rows of apple trees, peaches, alfalfa, wheat and more apples.  I usually hid the brush in hopes of being able to wear my hair down like so many of the other girls.  I had long brown hair and the only acceptable arrangements were one big braid, two small side braids or one ponytail.  The place where my hair…

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Sorry I Ate All Your Fries–The Story Behind The Poem

A little rhyme inspired by Gustavo Caballero, Autism Tales art work.
We believe this art was created by Gustavo Caballero but he denies eating the fries….

Oh, just forget it
You know I cannot
Oh, you’ll regret it
I bet not
Oh, when did it happen
I remember not
Oh, just forget it
It happens a lot

We found this apology taped to an empty carton of fries– it was written on the back of the picture of the elephant.

There it remains on the back, now hanging in a frame on a wall in my room.

Other non French fry eating art by Gustavo.
Other non French fry eating art by Gustavo.
Read more about Gustavo and our experience with autism in Autism Tales and other stories on 4utu.wordpress.com
Read more about Gustavo and our experience with autism in Autism Tales and other stories on 4utu.wordpress.com

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