Grandma's Spanish Red Rice

Grandma's infamous Spanish Red Rice
Grandma's infamous Spanish Red Rice

My Father's Mexican heritage is one of the many parts of himself that he didn’t quite understand. He didn’t know how to navigate the world as a young kid growing up in Los Angeles, California. How can I blame him, no one truly understands how to survive in their world as a young child. My father wants his kids to understand the hardships he went through but also the love that he felt in those tough times. Through my Grandma, he would explain, he learned to be kind and respectful. Through my Grandpa, he learned how to be strong and independent. Granted things weren’t always peaches and cream, but there was one thing that always brought the family together. A warm home-cooked meal, he says, is the way to every Mendez’s heart, and Grandma’s Spanish rice was the epitome of comfort food. The hot steam of the rice, the sweet smell of the tomatoes, and the sprinkle of salt on top are enough to make everyone plop down at the dinner table and hush up for a while. My Father explained how this dish brought his family together in the worst of times. He remembers listening to his mother tell stories of their immigration travels to America when all they could afford was rice and tomatoes. My father grew to understand and embrace his heritage through this amazing dish and the sense of community that it creates.

Place(s): Mexico, Los Angeles

– BM

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant