I speak to my abuela basically every day. It’s important for me to stay close with her even though I’m so far away. While here, I’ve been re-exploring my relationship with my culture and have wanted to learn more about the food I grew up on. I kept wishing I was home with her so she could teach me how to cook. She is the best cook and an encyclopedia of cuisines. Then I realized, I talk to her so often, and I can ask her about all this stuff. Even though it’s not as fun as cooking together, we can definitely still bond over it.
So yesterday I asked her how to make arroz con leche, budin, and tallarines con carne. Also known as rice pudding, bread pudding and spaghetti with steak, respectively- some of my favorite recipes of hers. I can’t wait to try the desserts, but I’m trying to eat healthy, and I know if I make them once, I’ll eat it all in one sitting and make it too often. So I’m holding off on those, at least until I have someone to share them with. Maybe I’ll make one and bring it to a Moroccan lunch soon.
Today, I made the spaghetti with steak, and it was so bomb. It tasted almost exactly like hers. I didn’t have carrots which she puts in, but I was totally impressed and satisfied. It’s a tomato sauce with chunks of steak, and I had it with whole wheat spaghetti. It’s one of my favorite Peruvian dishes that she makes. I feel so grateful to have her in my life and to learn from her and her journey. Food is so powerful as a connector to other people, culture, humanness, the world around us.