One of the many things my Dad and I have in common and enjoy sharing is our love for tradition. My Dad is originally from Cuba and he brought with him a lot of Cuban traditions that he has instilled in my life. Though he did not teach my siblings and I Spanish, he encouraged us to learn the language, as well as to indulge in our heritage. The Day of Epiphany (January 6th) is a day celebrated by most Cubans and is often referred to (at least in my family) as Cuban Christmas. What started as a traditional, religious, holiday is now one of my favorite family traditions. This year, for the first time, I was unable to go home for the unique holiday, so I brought the holiday to Charlotte. Following my Abuelita’s recipes I cooked my favorite, most beloved, Cuban food for my boyfriend and all of his roommates. For the first time in a long time, I felt at home. We sat around the small table in the dining room with all of its miss-matching chairs like an odd little family on a holiday most of them knew nothing about. It was a favorite moment for me and I am grateful that I have this group of friends in my life that encourage me and indulge in family traditions with me (even though they had no idea what holiday it was or what empanadas are). The food turned out great and while it wasn’t as good as Abuelita’s, I think she would have been proud. To say the least, my first time cooking Cuban food by myself, was a success.
My inspiration, my Abuelita.