What inspired me to include cooking in the Spanish Camps, projects or workshops?
All begins with memories of my childhood. Watching my grandfather prepare for Christmas and New Year Celebrations. My paternal grandfather would prepare the masa for the tamales and the women in the family will prepare all ingredients needed for the tamales.
What did the preparation consisted of? Getting together and walk to the market to buy the special ingredients for the salsa, mole or any flavor they wanted to make.
It was a special process of community, laughs, and conversations. And not to forget the pulque. My grandpa loved to also prepare his favorite drink. Pulque – Rich pulp of the agave plant – Maguey.
The children most likely will stay at the house under the care of the older aunt and sibbling. And sometimes when the children got lucky they got the opportunity to go with the adults.
I remember country site, fresh air, and beautiful markets of fresh products.
Celebrations continued the tradition of making our special meals, pozole, mole, pipian, pancita, barbacoa, tinga, pavo etc.
By age 8 my mother expected from their older daughters to begin to cook. When I was 12 i was required to have rice made by the time she got back from work. After a long day of work mom only had time to prepare the main dish. Meat and salsa.
Going to the market everyday was a chore to complete. Either my sister or I will walk to the market and purchase from the list she will give us. To make correction. You must have a good memory. We did not accustom to write in a list. She would go over all that she needed. Specific type of cut for the meat, specific vegetables and condition, it was about making sure we got the correct condition of the food.
At the end many will consider this more of a chore than a lesson for life. I apreciate the many times I was send to the market, the many times I almost or burned the rice, and the times I watched my family prepare for the special day. A family celebration.
And yes, I love to come home and put on my apron. Because making a meal for my family is a celebration.
Maria L. Krawczyk