Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.
Feel free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.
Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.
I’m from Puerto Rico and in our home the celebration will start on Thanksgiving. However, the big meal will be on Christmas Eve “La Nochebuena”. The preparation for the meals will start weeks before the 24th. She will bake and decorated for the big events.
She will make what we call pasteles (mashed green banana with pork, wrap in banana leaves). The process will take her at least two to three days.
On the 24th my mother will wake up early to start cooking. The house smells good with all the flavors combined.
The house will be sparkling and the table will be decorated for that night. I will stand in front of the dinner table to admire all the dishes.
She will cook rice with pigeon peas (arroz con gandules), baked pork cook outdoors in a stick (takes 6-8 hours to cook), pasteles (she would boil them outdoors), creamy rice with coconut and raisins, flan, and a variety of cookies. For everyone to drink, she will make tropical punch for the kids with chunks of fresh fruit, and for the adult’s coquito (type of eggnog made with coconut milk and Puerto Rican rum). My mom will work hard for all of us, however it will make her happy.
We all sit together at the table. We all be laughing, we will listen to the storytelling from my mother, and we will sing to the top of our lungs. The family gathering will end up everyone dancing and all the kids getting ready to go to bed. Those are my memories of my childhood celebration. I missed my mother’s cooking and every year I will follow her steps so my family can have the same joy and memories.