My grandmother was just a young girl who grew up in a small village in Spain when she met my grandfather when he was stationed in Madrid for the United States Air Force in the mid-1950s. They ended up marrying each other in 1958. In 1963, my grandmother, Presen Batta, made the decision to pick up everything and leave her entire family in Spain to move to the United States with my grandfather, Richard Batta and my two uncles who were kids at the time, Richie and Juan. They decided to move to the United States because my grandfather’s dad passed away, and his family needed someone to support them. My grandparents moved to Long Island, New York where they settled in the town of Hewlett. Accustoming to America was relatively easy for my grandmother, due to the fact that she learned English very quickly thanks to my grandfather. She fell in love with American sports, especially hockey. My grandmother would end up having 3 more kids, my uncles Anthony and Mike, and my mother, Bernadette. The object I chose for my story is a recipe for a dish my grandmother cooks that was told to her by her mother, called paella. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish consisting of rice, chicken stock, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and shrimp. My grandmother’s recipe adds chicken, mussels,and a secret spice that no one knows about! My grandmother’s migration story is one of bravery, courage, and ultimate sacrifice.
– Richard Rinaldi