Tuesday, February 4, 2014

mi casa es su casa

Life seemed simpler in San Francisco; simpler, and yet harder, too. Every morning, my grandparents got up between 5 and 6am. We didn't sleep in much later, because of the roosters. My dad went out with my grandpa to milk the cows while my mom and I waited for my cousin. Then we walked. We strolled through the town, into the fields, and met more family for pajaretes--warm, frothy milk (straight from the cow) with powdered chocolate and a shot of alcohol. 'Twas a fun way to start the day in a good mood ;).
My grandma usually had almuerzo ready by the time we got home around 10, always spicy and savory: tortillas, beans, eggs and/or meat. It was all so, so satisfying with coffee and fresh orange juice. Then, we alternated visiting neighbors (family) with exploring.
While we were out, my grandma cleaned the houses and prepared the foods we'd bought at the market or from the butcher (my grandpa's cousin) for dinner that night. She had a young woman help her somewhat, but she insisted on being busy on her own.
Trust me, my mom and I really did try to help out when we got back. We ended up snacking on fruit and reading in the yard instead.
Soon enough, my dad and grandpa came home and it was time for dinner. At least one aunt and uncle would join us most nights, but on our last one, we hosted more than a dozen extended family members. There were frijoles, guacamole, tostadas, cabbage salad, salsa, tortillas, grilled steak, tequila, beer, and an endless amount of nostalgic stories for all. The scene was beyond heartwarming.
As it were, everyone worked their asses off during the day and relaxed with familiar faces in the evening. Food was hearty and homemade. I felt a magic in the connectedness of it all. I also, self-crtically, felt flojera. Though I've worked in New York and interned and TA-ed in Paris, I haven't had a job with long, physical hours... ever, really. I've only taken care of myself. And so, gosh, I couldn't have felt more privileged to be there; to be reminded how much community matters, no matter our ambition.


  1. Sounds like a great trip. I'm all about embracing the simpler life lately. (I recently wrote this post about it: http://www.melindadiorio.com/2014/02/the-case-for-simplification.html). Family and community is so important. So is good food! Your photo of your grandma's almuerzo is making me hungry!

    1. That it was! Loved your thoughts on the matter. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I'm drooling over your grandma's food!

    1. I wish I could've brought a life's supply back with me ;)


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