"Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt."
|This is the last photo that I took of my Abuela about a month before she died when I was 19.|
My earliest memories are centered around my grandmother's kitchen. As a child I spent a lot of time at my grandma's and like any traditional abuela the kitchen was the center of her house. I used to love sitting with my grandmother in the mornings and drink my "coffee", which was really just a bunch of milk with maybe a couple of sips of coffee mixed in. My grandmother's cooking was LEGENDARY and there are so many tastes that I can only try to recreate, but get NO WHERE near. Abuela's cooking was like medicine for the soul there was nothing that she couldn't cook away. I hope that one day when I'm a grandmother my grandchildren will say the same about me, but I'll do it WITHOUT the Crisco.
My mother has never been much of a cook and she never truly enjoyed being in the kitchen, but my grandmother was completely different. My grandmother loved people by feeding them and it's a trait that I have definitely learned from her. I remember being about 6 years-old and being completely fascinated by how my grandmother moved in the kitchen with lightening speed. Abuela was 4'9 and maybe a 100 lbs, a mother to 11 and the gentlest woman that I have ever known. Learning to make tortillas is one of the skills that passed on to me and whenever I get elbow deep in dough I think of her. I can hear my grandmother clucking at me when I am flipping the tortillas over an open flame and I can feel her approval that I am doing so barehanded because all good Mexican women should, right Abuelita? ;)
My grandmother was so particular about how things should be done and I find myself even arranging the balls of dough the in same L-shaped formation on the counter that she did before rolling out each tortilla. Because of my grandmother's passion in the kitchen I have learned to see it as an opportunity to show how much I care about someone. To me food can be a vehicle for the love you have for someone and I believe there isn't anything that a great meal can't fix. When I was in my grandmother's kitchen I felt safe and loved in a way that I haven't felt since she died. Abuelita died when I was 19 and I miss her terribly.
I love you, abuela. Thanks for making sure that I have the old school skills to be a tortilla making machine!