New York City, NY — by Diana C. Sánchez González
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
I’m in my childhood bedroom, waking up from an after-school nap. The only thing that breaks me out of my groggy state is my grumbling stomach longing for food. In the kitchen, my mother lays out all of the ingredients for the meal she’s about to prepare: arroz (rice) with chuletas (pork chops) and amarillos (plantains). It’s my favorite Puerto Rican dish and one of the things I miss most about home.
My mother shuffles back and forth as she gets everything ready, with the latest Karol G song blasting from our Amazon Alexa. It’s mesmerizing seeing her do everything all at once, including talking on the phone with a friend as they update each other on the latest gossip.
I’ve daydreamed about my mom’s food ever since I moved to New York City — it’s the only distraction that helps me stomach NYU’s unseasoned dining hall food. I would give anything to sit across from my mother in our kitchen, just watching as she prepares dinner for me and my brother on a random weeknight.
I’ve always found it funny that my mother uses measuring cups when she cooks, because most Puerto Ricans always do everything a ojo, or by eye, just like my grandma. Cooking is like a second instinct for her. She never measures anything, and instead simply pours the amount that “looks good” for each ingredient. She knows what she’s doing — her food always ends up being lick-your-fingers good.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.