Cooking. It’s an activity that we either love or hate to do. Some people may even view it as a chore. But I don’t. I love cooking. I started to notice this around my senior year of high school when I started to bake more. A few times a month, I would bake cookies, brownies and cakes after dinner.
For me, cooking is fun and relaxing, so I am alway trying to venture outside of my comfort zone, just baking and learning new recipes, especially the traditional Mexican recipes from both of my grandmas. But I didn’t really have much appreciation for my culture and its food until I moved away for college.
When freshman year came around, I was on my own. Not only was I in charge of cooking for myself, I finally got to choose what I would like to have for dinner.
Suddenly, I was craving Mexican foods all the time, and I wanted to learn how to make them. I tried to make a couple of these traditional meals, attempting to make them taste like how my grandma made them. So far, I have only made a few things, such as fajitas and taquitos, and I have failed miserably.
This is pretty sad, considering these are two of the simplest dishes you can make. Taquitos call for chicken or beef, corn tortillas, some seasoning and oil. Simple, right? Yet, flavor packets and salt have been my saving grace for all of my attempts.
So far, the only thing I have managed to make correctly is my mom’s guacamole, which in all honestly, isn’t very challenging. After the first try with the other dishes, I now know where I went wrong with the recipes, and I’m hoping that I can try these again soon to get them right.
However, that won’t stop me from trying. Eventually, I would really love to perfectly replicate my grandma’s menudo soup and mole`. These dishes are usually saved for special occasions or holidays, which is probably why I crave them the most.
Cooking some of these dishes also helps with my homesickness. Every bite I take of a traditional dish takes me back home to my family, and I suddenly don’t feel so alone anymore. It’s comforting and just makes everything right.
I would love to one day perfect these recipes so that I can serve them to my kids and pass on the tradition. So even though I am not able to be home, cooking takes me home every time.