THE STORYTELLER


I Am A Child

“I Am a Child of the Sun and Wind” original watercolor painting by kayti rasmussen

CANTALOUP AND KOOL-AID
by kayti rasmussen

Where is the door to the story?
Can we all walk through it?

A story lives on the lips of
Diego from Hollywood days.
Far from this dusty village
where nothing happens.

Cantaloup and Kool-Aid
and a bedroll on the floor,
in this stone village
where he tells his stories.

Even the tree outside our windows
seemed to listen with ruffled
leaves tipping and cooling
in the evening chill.

The pleasant knicker of an Indian pony
through the open window over
heads drowsy with sleep,
announced the coming of the dawn.

We sat around the fire pitching our
own stories into the lap of the storyteller.
We dropped troubles and pain.
Are they now someone else’s stories?

A WOMAN I NEVER MET


“Believe in laughter”, she always said. Another of her favorite sayings was ” Life is too short”. Hers wasn’t, she passed on at age 94.

Like a lot of people, I read the obituary column, if only to make sure my name is not on it. Occasionally, more now than before, I read the name of a dear friend or acquaintance, and wish I had been a better friend. They sound like such interesting people, and did so much I never knew about.

Natalie Schreiber Marino sounds like someone I would have loved to know. Daughter of two cultures, her beauty was astonishing. A pioneer from before birth, she was conceived in the Peruvian Andes, the home of her father, the son of a three-time prime minister, yet born in Alameda, which was the home of her mother. Wanting to give birth in the U.S., her mother rode down the Andes on horseback while pregnant, which Natalie said contributed to her own quirky personality.

Her many smiles and laughs were as numerous as the pins she wore uniquely, on the back of her right shoulder. “You meet the nicest people that way!” What a clever way to strike up a conversation! I used to write funny or inspirational words on autumn leaves and toss them along the creek path where we walked daily. My son in law thought that was a crazy idea, but I always felt someone would get a lift by picking up a pretty leaf on the road and having it say something. I gave that up when we stopped walking on the creek trail. Now I pick up feathers.

Getting back to Natalie, She got jobs at the Peruvian consulate (I always wanted to do that), and later the pavilion at the 1939 world’s fair in San Francisco. That would have been fun too, except I was too young and living in Connecticut at the time. Dr. Advice and his sister rode the train across the bay numerous times to visit the fair. I even found a photo of him with a young girl friend and another teenage couple taken at the fair. I was happy to make a copy of it to give to one of the girls a few years ago.

Anyway, Natalie got engaged, and went back to Peru where she spied a very handsome man in the box seats who, as it turned out, was also engaged. Undaunted, she and Guillermo Marino started dating and and, despite a scandal on two continents, began their 60 year marriage. So much for people who say “It will never last”. They said that about ours too, and we celebrated our 68th anniversary last week.

Peruvian wives do not work, but Natalie presented herself at the U.S. Embassy as a translator, and began spying on the correspondence of Peruvians of German and Japanese ancestry. Not being able to translate anything except Latin to English, I would not have been good at that job either.

Natalie and Guillermo came back to California and went to Hollywood to coordinate war bond broadcasts to Latin America. Natalie began frequenting the Warner Bros. lot and was spotted by studio executives who thought she’d make a great Latin leading lady. Given a screen test alongside Sidney Greenstreet and Eve Arden, she was unable to “laugh with her eyes”, and didn’t get the job. Later Guillermo won the Mexican lottery and they built their dream home in Piedmont.

In still-scarred post-war Japan, Natalie once drove a coal-fueled jalopy through Tokyo to pick Guillermo up at the airport. They traveled abroad throughout their lives, once sharing a floor with the Aga Khan in Pakistan, even being set adrift for three days in the Caribbean after their cruise ship caught afire on its maiden voyage. They won the on board version of “The Newlywed Game” by answering the question “What did you wear on your wedding night?” Natalie answered “A smile”! Now I ask you—doesn’t she sound like someone you might like to have known?

HOW OLD IS OLD?


Navajo Grandmother “NAVAJO GRANDMOTHER” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

I was raised to believe that asking another person’s age was as bad as asking how much money they had in the bank. Kids did it. Polite grownups did not. It was one’s personal business, not to be shared. I don’t know what they believed anyone was going to do with this information if we somehow let it slip.

Some years ago I began practicing Tai Chi each morning at the crack of dawn in the park. My face was the only non-Asian, and was clearly the oldest face in the group, although there were plenty with more wrinkles.

From day one, as each came to meet me, their opening question was “How old are you”? At first I felt this to be an invasion of privacy, or at the very least, an indication of the category in which they placed me.

A young friend has been teaching English in Beijing for several years. During his first year he was taken aback as people stepped into his “privacy zone” and looked him up and then down. Another cultural difference. So this is the box where the asking of one’s age is placed.

These days I’m different. You can find out a lot about someone by knowing his age and where he grew up.

You can find out what kind of music he grew up with, what presidents shaped his political opinions, even what kind of clothes were in fashion. Did she wear poodle skirts or hot pants? Did he wear knickers or polyester leisure suits? A well known haberdasher and dear friend used to sport pale blue leisure suits open at the neck with a gold chain. You may say “How gauche”, but it actually WAS the fashion.

Where were you when certain life-changing events took place? I’ll bet you remember where you were when JFK was assassinated, don’t you? Or when John Glenn landed on the moon? I know where I watched all the newscasts. Glued to to TV set and as it happened, I was painting a watercolor each time.

Now that I am the one asking how old you are, it places you in a certain place in your life, and that’s what I really want to know. I want to know you, and I know that’s what you want to know too when you ask the question.

Whereas in most of my early life I was the youngest person in the group, now I reside in the other realm—to my great-grandchildren, I am probably the oldest person they have known. I hope I pass muster.

A DANISH ORIGINAL


HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

His earliest writings were based on stories he heard as a child, but he soon began constructing new and original stories, some of which reflected his humble background and ungainly looks. “The Ugly Duckling”, while universal in theme, is believed by some scholars to be an expression of his struggle with his homosexuality in an era in which same sex relations were illegal.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) was a Danish author who left us an incredible legacy in the form of stories that transcend age and nationality such as “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Princess and the Pea”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “Thumbelina”, and “The Little Match Girl”.

In it’s proverbial form, “The Ugly Duckling” is an account of an unprepossessing, unsatisfactory member of one species evolving into a beautiful, admired member of another and encourages us to expect for ourselves an eventual transformation of situation and self for the better, whatever the restrictions of our early circumstances and the current low opinion of others.

Obviously this story is of irresistible appeal to insufficiently appreciated children, but also to those whose familial praise and appreciation seems in direct opposition to those of his peers. As an only child, I had been led to believe that I somehow possessed superior qualities in whatever field I entered. It was a pity that no one else shared their opinion!

Many children imagine themselves in the role of Prince or Princess, having somehow been switched at birth into a royal or more privileged family. I expressed a common desire to be found better than I was, and occasionally embarrassed my self by jumping into the fray only to be discovered lacking in whatever talent to which I had laid claim.

On one such occasion in a fourth grade talent show, I confidently sat at the piano and pounded out a “Russian” piece which I made up as I went along. The scalding looks and silence which greeted me fortunately kept me away from any further public piano recitals.

“The Ugly Ducking” assures us of the hope of acceptance during our unhappy times, while confounding all those authority figures who have given up on us or who have failed to see the possibility of excellence.

ugly duckling

The inclination to bully those different from ourselves is universal, beginning in childhood. It involves the first taste of class consciousness, as well as the ability to exercise power over another. As a child, I attended a different school each year, in a different state. I was therefore somewhat different, and fair game for those inclined to bully. Bullying can take the form of rejection, sarcasm, a promise of some future aggressive action, or casual derogatory remarks, any of which can leave lifelong scars on a sensitive child.

The object of hostility, or at least aversion, can be either one who is richer, poorer, beautiful or homely, smart or dumb, fat or skinny. In other words, someone different from one’s self.

The current rash of NFL abuse cases springs from people trained to hit first and then ask questions. The difference in size and strength, the exorbitant amount of money paid these people, plus the weekend adulation given them, somehow makes them immune to ordinary behavior. We can only hope that public opinion and a steady reduction in their paychecks will eventually make them rejoin the human race.

It is interesting that “The Ugly Duckling” was Andersen’s most constant favorite and one for which he exclaimed to a friend in 1843 “It’s selling like hotcakes”! The similarities between Andersen’s life and the ugly duckling are irresistible. Andersen was gangly, poor, and uneducated–yet he became a literary star despite the under-appreciation he suffered. In a similar fashion, the hatchling is mistaken for a common duck and mistreated before discovering that he is a beautiful swan. He often remarked that “The Ugly Duckling” was the hardest story to compose, as it was the most autobiographical.

This classic example of an animal tale also spawned one of Andersen’s most famous quotes: ‘Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg’. In Andersen’s day, the definition of artistic genius was shifting and was less bound to class than it had been before. He was part of this exciting new breed, and the tale’s inspiring and hopeful message continues to make it one of Andersen’s most beloved stories to this day.

All of us know moments of oppressive solitude of the soul. What we want most at such times is the assurance that we are not unique in our emotions, that others have the same yearnings, have suffered similarly. “The Ugly Duckling is an instrument of profound comfort.

INDIFFERENT COMPARISONS


1340
“The Old Arrow Maker” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

The stories of our state’s Native Americans and those of New Mexico have intriguing similarities. I have been writing about the Indians of the Southwest for some time without comparing the histories of the local people.

Santa Fe became a capital city 200 years before Washington, D.C. was founded. The Spanish stared colonizing New Mexico 100 years before California. Native Americans still make up almost 10 percent of the population of New Mexico, while in California less than 2 percent are listed as Native Americans.

Although the two states became part of the United States at the same time, it took New Mexico 62 years longer to achieve statehood.

The arrival of Europeans was disastrous to both states’ Native Americans. The white man’s diseases—measles, smallpox, and diphtheria—killed thousands.

California Indians were gatherers and hunters. When they had exhausted the resources of a place, they burned their rough wooden structures and moved on. The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico were farmers who grew corn, squash and beans. They built permanent houses of adobe in villages that had been in the same place for 1,000 years.

The mission system in New Mexico was very different, but still cruel in its attempt to eradicate the ancient culture by destroying sacred artifacts and forcing a foreign religion on a deeply spiritual people. One priest boasted he had burned many sacred Indian masks.

The Pueblo Indians knew how to grow things. The Spanish conquerors demanded a tithe and confiscated many of their crops.

When the Spanish missionaries arrived in California, there were 300,000 Indians. By the time the United States took over in 1848, 150,000 were left. The great influx of people with the Gold Rush sounded a death knell for those remaining. By 1900, thee were 15,000.

There are 19 self-governing Pueblo nations in New Mexico, where Native Americans keep their culture, traditions and language. Most villages speak a variety of the root languages Tiwa or Tewa.

How did they manage to preserve their heritage? Perhaps it was because of charismatic leader Po’Pay, who brought together the different factions of his people to revolt against the tyrannical rule of the Franciscan priests and Spanish rulers. The Pueblo Indians—armed with bows and arrows—drove out their Spanish conquerors—whose soldiers had guns and metal armor—in 1680.

Drought and the Apaches hit the pueblos in the 1670’s and Po’Pay took up residence in Taos and plotted the rebellion among the 46 Pueblo towns in the Rio Grande valley. In the Acoma Massacre the Spanish killed and enslaved hundreds. Twenty-four men had a foot amputated when trying to escape from the “mile-high” city atop the mesa.

To spread the word among the villages he gave a knotted cord to runners sent to all Pueblos. Each day a knot was untied until the final knot which would signal the people to rise up against the Spanish. After the revolt survivors fled to Santa Fe and Isleta which was 10 miles south, and which did not participate in the rebellion. All the Spanish fled to El Paso.

For 12 years, the Pueblos were independent. In 1692, the Spanish regained control of the Pueblos, but this time they were more accommodating, allowing the Pueblos to keep their own spiritual practices as long as they also followed Catholicism.

As an interesting aside, in one or two villages the Franciscans paved a small area in front of the entrance to the churches, ostensibly to “make a better place for the Indians to perform ceremonial dances”. This however, removed the direct connection of their feet to Mother Earth, so they did not use the architectural improvement.

WAS HUMPTY DUMPTY AN EGG?


Humpty Dumpty_crop

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses,
And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Humpty Dumpty has become so popular a nursery figure and is pictured so frequently that few people today think of the verse as containing a riddle. The reason the king’s men couldn’t put him together again is known to everyone.

It’s more than probable that Humpty was a parody of someone in public office who fell out of favor, and thus was beyond redemption. We have all seen a few of that sort. But how did he become an egg?

We have John Tenneil to blame for our perception of Humpty. He was an artist and political cartoonist in the latter part of the 19th century, who contributed to Punch magazine for over 50 years. He was also famous for illustrating Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through The Looking Glass”, both of which are so famous I think it’s safe to say that Tenneil’s vision of an egg sitting on a wall tickled our sense of the ridiculous.

‘It’s very provoking to be called an egg–very’ as Humpty admits in “Through The Looking Glass”, but such common knowledge cannot be gainsaid.

What is not so certain is for how long the riddle has been known. It does not appear in early riddle books, but this may be because it was already so well-known. Students of linguistics believe that it is one of those pieces the antiquity of which is to be measured in thousands of years, or rather that it is so great that it cannot be measured at all.

The Humpty Dumpty of England is known as Boule-Boule in France, Thille Lille in Sweden, Lille-Trille in Denmark, and so on throughout the different parts of Europe. All double-rhyming words, easy and fun for children to sing. The word Humpty Dumpty is given in the Oxford English Dictionary for a boiled ale-and-brandy drink from the end of the seventeenth century.

The earliest reference to Humpty Dumpty as a squat, comical little person appears in the caption to an engraving with the title ‘A Lilliputian Prize Fighting’ published sometime between 1754 and 1764. Part of the caption reads:

Sir Humpty Dumpty fierce as a Turk,
At Captain Doodle runs his fork.

There is an old girl’s game called ‘Humpty Dumpty’ described by some American writers in 1848. The players sit down holding their skirts tight around their ankles. At an agreed signal they all fall backwards and try to recover their balance without letting go of their skirts.

Robert L. Ripley ‘Believe It Or Not’, stated that the original Humpty was Richard 111, while Professor David Daube, in one of a series of spoof nursery-rhyme histories for The Oxford Magazine” 1956, put forward the ingenious idea that Humpty Dumpty was a siege machine in the Civil War!

History aside, the beloved egg-shaped Humpty Dumpty sits precariously forever on the wall, waiting to be be pushed off in historical probability.

THE GLASS PIRATE


chihuly3 We had lunch with Dale Chihuly several years ago in a small crowded Seattle restaurant while on a visit to see his show at the Seattle Museum. Of course he was hunched over his plate at an adjoining table and paid little or no attention to us, but nevertheless, we had lunch with him. He may look like a pirate with his patch over his eye and wild shock of hair, but he has been tapped with the wand of genius when it comes to making glass.

Beginning with the Egyptians and the Greeks who discovered that sand and quartz could be melted into glass it took the Romans to improve upon it by adding a fertilizer called natron as a flux so they could melt the stuff at a much lower temperature. They could make a lot of it in bulk and then ship it all over the Roman Empire to local craftsmen who turned it into cheap functional items.

glass vase

The Roman love of glass led to the invention of transparent glass windows. Before the Romans, windows were open to the wind, and anything else which might fly in. The windows were small and fused together with lead, because they didn’t have the technology to make large panes of glass, but they started our obsession with architectural uses for glass.

Until the development of transparent glass, mirrors were simply metal surfaces polished to a high shine. The Romans realized that the addition of a layer of transparent glass would protect this metal from scratches and corrosion, and allow them to reduce the thickness of the metal.

Scroll ahead a couple millennia, and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly comes along to enchant us with his brilliant and mysterious glass sculptures and installations. He is unique to the field and seems to be able to breathe life into blown glass.

I became aware of Chihuly while living in Seattle when he formed his Pilchuck Glass School. The 1970’s were a particularly vibrant time in the art world, both in Seattle, Portland and the Bay Area. It was exciting to be a miniscule part of it, if only on the fringe. Our friend Marvin Oliver, son of good friends, got his masters in Fine Arts at the University of Washington, and subsequently became a professor of Art there. Marvin was my conduit to what was “happening” in Seattle at that time, and he knew that Dale Chihuly was doing some extraordinary work in a boathouse on Lake Union.

chihuly 4

The glass bug had bitten numerous people, and small glass blowing studios popped up in various places all over town. One such was in the basement of an old building in Pioneer Square just outside the restrooms. It always took awhile to get back upstairs when they were working, it was so fascinating to see the large blobs of molten glass slide up the blow pipe and turn into something wonderful. You always wanted to stay and finish the process. Now there is a large glass museum in Tacoma, featuring glass from artists all over the world. A very large studio is open and invites the public to simply sit and enjoy the magic.

chihuly

The sheer scale of Chihuly pieces can leave you breathless in amazement, and the color may well remain reflected in your retina for days, but the memory of a visit to a Chihuly show will remain with you forever. The mass of color above is from his “Persian Series” and was installed in the ceiling of a doorway at the Seattle Museum. Throwing all manner of indiscretion aside, I lay on the floor beneath this legerdemain and became a devoted admirer of Dale Chihuly.

ADDICTED TO BOOKS


ty reading “Family History” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

I am addicted to books. I can’t seem to stay away from Half Price book store. I went with Sam today to look for a movie. “Elizabeth” I think, and ended up buying another four books. The stack of unread books increases daily. What is wrong with me? Is it because I was never given the right book to read as a child? I certainly read all the time, and enjoyed every minute of it. People who had not seen me for many years always remembered me as having had my nose pressed into a book all the time. Jan was much the same way, and I begin to wonder if it wasn’t a way to absent ourselves from where we were at the time.

I know that when I walked into Auntie’s house each time, I looked at and couldn’t stop thinking how wonderful it was that she had all those books. Mostly children’s books I think. Probably for their daughter Phyllis when she was a child. Auntie and Uncle Phil were readers too. Sitting side by side in their chairs in the living room each night with the lamp between them, reading until precisely 8 p.m. at which time they trundled off to bed not to be seen again until 6 a.m. sharp.

At grandma’s there were no books except the Bible and her Science and Health from being a devout Christian Scientist. Not much interesting for a child to read, except the cereal box, and there was nothing too exciting about that. When my Dad was at home, he always had a book, usually a mystery starring Boston Blackie or someone like that. I remember picking one up at an early age and seeing the word “damn”, I slapped it shut quickly, being pretty embarrassed and hoping no one had seen me.

Today’s foray into the book store brought gold. Sebald’s “Emigrants”, “Moby Dick” (only because I read yesterday that Starbuck’s got its name from “Moby Dick” and I want to find out where.) I also found “The Paris Wife” about Hemingway’s first wife, which I have read but lent it to someone years ago when it came out, and never got back. Bronia always says “if you lend a book, kiss it goodbye”. I guess she was right about that one, but then Pat whom I lent it to got sick and died, so you can excuse her for not returning it.

The 4th book was a quick grab going out the door. “My Dog Skip”. I had heard of it some time ago, and read the blurb on the back and being a dog lover, I was hooked. I think it’s a tear jerker, which is nice to read sometimes just to keep the water flowing over the eyeballs. If nothing else it is a good one to pick up and look through while waiting for Sam in the car which I certainly do pretty often. Today I waited while he went into the hardware store to buy a new garbage disposer. The old one was bought in 1989, and cost $89, so I guess we got our money’s worth out of it.

Someone asked me what I do now that I can’t do my artwork anymore, so I said I read and of course write. It was hard not to be able to do sculpture anymore after my shoulder gave out. Just to watch all my equipment roll out the door going to their new home was pretty traumatic. Of course, said Sam, you can always paint, and I know I can, but other than sporadic bouts of inspiration, I have done nothing in three years, so I figured I better get with it and find something else to do that might be at least a little creative.

Cheri said why didn’t I write a blog. I had never even read a blog and hated the word itself, but she sat me down and here I am, three years later. Of course as you get old or at least older, your world shrinks about half, so after you write about your kids, and your childhood, and a few other things which interest you but probably don’t interest anyone else, where else do you go?

Why don’t you write a book, says husband, kids and granddaughter (who really ought to write a book right now, since she is an inveterate traveler, and meets all kinds of interesting people, so it would be a worthwhile book to read). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, why don’t I write a book? Well maybe I have to get back out in the world and start meeting more people to write about.

A BALLET OF HANDS


ballet2 bilinguism at carlos cano seconary school
Bilinguism at Carlos Cano Secondary School

The happy chatter of families, an occasional shriek from a child, and over it all, the ballet of hands celebrating the occasion.

The California School For the Deaf high school class of 2014 graduated 42 happy young students ready to take on the world. As friends of the family of one young lady, we were privileged to attend the event, where many scholarships and honors were awarded.

The school for deaf and blind was originally in Berkeley, located quite near the campus of the University and was moved to Fremont in 1979. Since then we have become accustomed to seeing blind and hearing-impaired people going about their business throughout town. The school provides home and education for children throughout Northern California from the ages of 3-22.
We talked with the mother of a 20 year old graduate yesterday who has lived at the school for 10 years.

I first became aware of the graceful beauty of sign language while following a car with several non-hearing people conversing, and realized it is like a ballet of hands. In my teaching life, I occasionally had a deaf person, with an interpreter handy to translate my garbled lesson. (grin) At a celebratory party after the graduation, several interpreters were present to help those of us who were limited by our “mono-lingual” condition.

ballet 1  Marc Petrocci   simpl;y sammy
Marc Petrocci “Simply Sammy”

During our meandering through the campus, we came upon a large bronze sculpture by Douglas Tilden, a scion of an early California family. Tilden became deaf at the age of four, and attended CSD in Berkeley where he taught at the school after graduation. He began doing sculpture while attending the school, and then went to France where he studied with another deaf sculptor. His monumental pieces can be seen all over the world.

bear hunt douglas tilden
“Bear Hunt” by Douglas Tilden

Sculpture seems to be an appropriate medium for a deaf person, since their words are expressed with their hands.

“If my hands could speak they would say something profound.”

LANGUAGE IS A WAY TO DESCRIBE THE WORLD


Fish Designs
“SOMETHING FISHY” original watercolor painting by kayti sweetland Rasmussen

It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

Sheila is tall. Neil is tired. In English we use the same word “is” to describe the two conditions even though one is a permanent attribute while the other is temporary.

Or consider the statement: Joan is quiet. What does that mean? Is she quiet by nature, an introvert, or is she being quiet today?

In Spanish, there are two verbs to describe the idea of being. Ser and estar both mean “to be” but with a big difference. Ser describes something that’s inherent while estar is temporary.

If you want to say someone is tall, you’d go with ser, but if you want to say someone is tired, estar is the one to use.

Each language is a different way of describing the world.

With Cinco de Mayo” arriving next week, those of us who thrill at the thought of tortillas, beans and rice and a few hot peppers thrown in, are already planning our menu. I have been thinking of fish tacos for one thing, so the other day we stopped by a taco truck here in town to buy what I discovered last summer to be the best fish tacos around.

Since we had last stopped there, a “gentrification” of sorts had taken place, with the truck turned into a new position, and a pebbled area to wait in. The taker of orders stood in a small window about 50 feet above my head. I could barely see her head. I asked for a fish taco, and she said “no”. I began a friendly conversation with her and discovered that she did not speak English so I asked for a “pescado taco”. Still no.

A very nice Mexican boy standing behind me chatted with her a bit, and assured me that they no longer made fish tacos. I settled for pork.

This year’s Cinco de Mayo will be a mixed occasion for our family. Our son-in-law who passed away last year on the 5th of May, was especially fond the celebration, so we will lift a glass of Modelo beer to his memory.

EGGPLANT ENCHILADAS

I fling tradition to the wind by using eggplant leftover from grilling for enchilada filling. These enchiladas play the old Red Enchilada song with a few new instruments.

Eggplant filling:
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ slices crosswise
Brush with a mixture of garlicky pesto, olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar
Grill or broil till tender, about 10 min per side. Cool.
2 onions, chopped and sautéed in olive oil.
Cut cooled eggplant into 1/2″ cubes and mix with onions.
Add 3 tsp. oregano. 1/2 tsp. salt
Cook for 3 minutes more

Soften your tortillas by frying in 1 Tbs. oil. Stack on paper towel before filling.

Warm a can of Red chile sauce preferably Los Palmas. (Or you can make your own, but I won’t bother you with the recipe because the canned isn’t awful.)

Dip the softened tortilla in warmed chile sauce, Place about 3 Tbs. eggplant filling, and 3 Tbs. grated cheddar cheese down middle. Fold over sides of tortilla and place seam side down in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Drizzle on more chile sauce and more grated cheese. Put in 350 oven 12 to 15 min.

(If you have left over filling it’s also good made into turnovers using some pie crust, I do this if I get tired of filling tortillas and want to hurry up and eat!)