La Odisea de Mamy

I thought about Mamy those cold rainy nights in the rice paddies of Vietnam, those nights when the rain would beat on my helmet and the cold invaded my bones. As a trained Marine, that was a mild test of my physical ability to withstand the elements. Mentally, I wasn’t prepared. Maria Erlinda or Mamy [...]

Christmas Dinner (2007)

“Sonia, ven!” my mother yells from the kitchen. It’s Noche Buena and I’m in the living room reading while my younger siblings watch the Disney channel. I go to the kitchen and she asks me to blend the mole for the chicken. I do as she says. I empty the Doña Maria mole into our [...]

Language Barrier

Some parents spell out questionable words when in the presence of children. Others, including mine, just switch languages. As soon as my parents would speak Spanish, we knew it was a subject not meant for children’s sensitive ears. Language was the barrier between ours and the adults’ world. It was a firm exclusion, shielding us [...]

John Glen and the China Cabinet

The following was the norm upon entering my grandmother Andrea’s house during the holidays: run through the flower shop, push the door in a flash, bounce off her pleather couch, fiddle with the giant village display, and head over to the china cabinet to check out her John Glen postcard. Growing up, other than Christmas [...]

Get Out

He came unexpectedly, unannounced, and late in the day. My tio Pablo, one of the prodigal sons, welcomed home always with fanfare and celebration, his years living out of state rendering him special and exotic compared to the likes of Tia Margarita who we visited every week. We were living with Grandpa then, me and [...]

When City Mice Visit

Mama used to read Country Mouse, City Mouse to me and my brother when we were kids. That’s the fable about the country mouse who visits the city mouse and becomes so scared by the threats in the city that the country mouse returns home, never to explore anything outside of its house again. While [...]

Silence Between Sisters

A trip to visit my nephew during Family Weekend in Rhode Island kept us crammed in my sister’s car for hours. After a long workweek, Joann and I loaded up the car with duffel bags and our children. Meant to be a short road trip, to support AJ’s dream to play college basketball, another journey [...]

The Beauty of a Mixed Family and Mixed Food

One of the best aspects of Hispanic culture is the mixing. At a time when activist-types are complaining about cultural appropriation, it’s nice to take a step back and appreciate the fact that Latino culture is one big mix of appropriation and that’s what makes it so beautiful. As the holidays approach, readers have asked [...]

Review: Organic Sofrito or Other Recipes for Disaster

Organic Sofrito or Other Recipes for Disaster Written & performed by Venessa M. Diaz Directed by Melissa Crespo United Solo Theatre Festival @ Theatre Row Review By Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD Santita Soto has a successful web cooking show where she teaches her viewers to make holistic, natural, and healthier versions of traditional Latin dishes. [...]

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