Small Blender Attachment

Mini-Blend Container
Mini-Blend Container

This blender attachment represents the importance of food in my family, and how this significance has endured over generations. It belonged to my great-grandmother, Ana Maria Escudero Noa. She used it to make sofrito, which is the crucial base for all delectable Puerto Rican meals.  My mom fondly remembers that this mini-blend container always smelled like garlic as her grandmother pulverized it into the rich origin of every nourishing dish. Ana migrated from Puerto Rico to the United States, more specifically New York City, in 1941 with her husband and four young children.

When Ana was a child in Old San Juan, it was just her and her mom. One day when she was about twelve years old, she was playing outside with friends when someone came running down the street telling her that her mother had suddenly died. She was taken in by a woman of the neighborhood named Providencia, or Doña Provi. Doña Provi helped to continue raising her, however she also put her to work as her maid. This period of Ana’s life is when she learned how to cook. This skill shaped her entire life and those of her descendants, including myself.

One of my favorite parts about my Puerto Rican heritage is the Christmas Eve dinners, with pernil (roast pork), arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and pasteles (traditional masa dish). All of these recipes and so many more were passed down from my great-grandmother. This object represents my great-grandmother’s story: the love that she put into everything she cooked spans almost a century and many miles. It has impacted so many of us.      

Place(s): Puerto Rico, New York, United States
Year: 1941

– Madeline Hilf

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