My mother likes to say we connect through food, which may be true. I have seen many foods cooked throughout my life. I have watched, I am being taught how to cook some of the meals. I have never remembered any of the recipes, except one that I remember vividly. Maybe it’s because it’s a tradition brought down from generations. That is how to make tortillas. It was a sunny afternoon at my grandmother’s house. The air conditioner was on, but the sun somehow made it inside through the light sheeted curtains. My grandmother and mother were talking in the kitchen. I was sitting on the cold tiled floor. I saw my mother grab a metal bowl that had the dough. The dough contained flour, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil, vegetable lard, and water. My grandmother and mother began to tear the dough into smaller pieces, each piece they would massage. My grandmother saw me looking because she pulled me to the table. She gave me a small piece of dough. After I was done, I’d’ watch my grandmother cook them on the comal.But I wasn’t the only one that learned. My grandmother told me that her mother had taught her how to make tortillas. My mother said her grandfather had taught her, then she learned more from her mom. It was a rite of passage for some people. My aunts and cousins from Mexico have joked that it’s the only way you’ll know if you’re ready for marriage. It’s a tradition from both sides of my family and I appreciate it because it makes me feel close to a community.

Place(s): Mexico

– Liliana Hernandez

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more