Wednesday, I bought a 32 oz. brick of Velveeta (smallest size available) to make The Homesick Texan's soft cheese tacos and confirmed that I don't like processed American cheese except on greasy cheeseburgers. American cheese is fundamentally lame and because my mother didn't buy it, I never acquired a taste for it the way I acquired a taste for Tang, equally lame, which she did buy. To make The Homesick Texan tacos, you roll tortillas around really tasty cheddar, lay them out in a pan, then smother in American cheese sauce, a high-low, bland-sharp combination of flavors that, as Lisa Fain puts it, gives the dish "complexity." Yes, it is complex. Still not my thing. Moderately popular with everyone else.
Her carne guisada, however, is great. You cook beef chuck with chiles and tomatoes for a very, very long time until it basically melts into spicy shreds. We've been working our way through the pot of this delicious stuff for the last 5 days.
Hard to see how I was ever going to get from there to Swept Away. I almost pulled it off, but not quite. Wish me better luck with the next self-imposed assignment.