I had an identity crisis at the age of twelve. I had recently transferred to a predominantly Latin school and stuck out like a sore thumb. Although I was a quarter Mexican and raised mostly by my Latin grandmother, I looked like any other Caucasian girl with light skin and light eyes. The move came about after my mother broke up with her well established boyfriend of four years. We went from living a few blocks from the beach to a small apartment with barely enough food to eat. This wasn't the first time I had to adjust to one of my mothers breakup's, but it surely was harder given the fact that I was now a pre-teen at a new school with zero friends. We started shopping at the 99 cent store for food. I was always a picky eater and felt just fine eating cheese quesadillas and top ramen soup. I also started wearing thick black eyeliner and drawing my lips bigger to look like the older girls at school. I had crushes on bald headed boys who wore Ben Davis and Nike Cortez. They saw right through me and considered me the "white girl" at school. I suddenly found myself in an awkward situation. I didn't fit in with the "white" kids at school, yet I didn't fit in with the Latin kids either. I remember looking in the mirror and wishing I was someone else. Maybe with darker skin and curlier hair to attract the boys. One day after school I ran into my grandmother's bedroom and threw myself into her arms. I sobbed as I told her how I wished I could be someone different. Then in her comforting voice she said, "God makes no mistakes". I didn't understand what she meant then but now looking back, there was wisdom in those words.
Cheese quesadillas were one of few items on my very short list of things I would eat as a kid. I loved watching as my grandmother spread butter over the top of the tortilla and then placed it on the stove. She'd sprinkle cheese on top and close the tortilla at just the right moment making sure to not burn the sides. I'd gaze in amazement and anticipation of my favorite snack. Today I make them just the way my grandmother did except I have an open bottle of wine with a glass of California Chardonnay on the counter nearby. After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine I immediately notice the butter flavor in both items is heightened. The creaminess of the cheese mirrors the creaminess of the wine. As with all perfect pairings, I love that the food and wine work to make each other better instead of one out shining the other. I also prefer a California Chardonnay with a decent amount of acidity to wash the cheese and butter off the palate for this perfect late afternoon snack. Feel free to add chicken to your quesadillas. The wine will still work beautifully. Other wines to try with cheese quesadillas are Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling wine, Cava, dry Rose and Merlot (esp. Washington State).