Comal (griddle)

Relationship: Im/migrant

This smooth griddle connects my family to memory and food. I grew up eating warm tortillas that came straight from the comal. I experienced one of my first a “grown up,” moments when my mom allowed me to flip the tortillas on my own for the first time. This comal prepares many dishes, including midnight snacks, during late family gatherings in the kitchen, like toasted bolillos (bread) with cajeta (Dulce de Leche). When I first arrived in the US, items like this comal, brought me a sense of home. The comal was mailed to my mother in 1989, just a few months after her arrival to the United States. My mother speaks of my grandmother going to various mercados (markets) in Toluca, Mexico, looking for the right one. “The one that would last our family many meals.” Living as an undocumented immigrant creates many barriers, including the inability to go back to your home country in times of family crisis --including loss of family. My mom describes this comal as a connection with her mother, and memories from Mexico, like the time when she felt like a grown as she made tortillas with her mother. This year, after many delicious meals, we decided to retire the comal, but not without it warming up it’s last set of tortillas at our family's Fourth of July carne asada (BBQ).

Year: 1989

– Cora

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant