|Although Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to both Spanish
and other Hispanic cuisines, it is a unique blend of influences. – Photo Credit
Have I told you how much I love to cook? Wonder how it all began?
I thought about writing this post for a while now. Trying to piece together the parts of my life that pin point all the reasons wh I love to cook.
When I was a teenager, I enjoyed watching cooking shows by Julia Child, Jacques Pépin and Martin Yan on PBS. I used to look forward to Julia’s grace, Jacques finesse and Martin’s pizazz in the kitchen. I learned so much. I learned little things like the difference between julienne and mince cutting or what it meant to carve and slice with knuckles in. How to temper eggs or chocolate. I also learned how to sear, saute, and even tie a pot roast just by watching.
Then Daisy Martinez came along and it gave me a whole new perspective. Because I saw a Latina, like myself, cooking my (cultural) food and sharing her recipes and stories of her mom and grandmother, gave me a new inspiration for cooking. Daisy did it all, while looking fabulous at the same time. Every time she would begin a segment, she would tell you where she got her inspiration from or who used to make the dish with her, etc. It reminded me of all the places I received mine.
It all started when I was young, gathering around the table, squeezing one more setting, so that everyone could sit, eat, and talk… (OK, it sounded more like yelling across the table) but it was all the while telling jokes, stories, and a little gossip here and there.
As a little girl, going to my abuelos’ (grandfather’s) house was always special. My grandfather is the chef in our family. He is talented in the kitchen. Since he has a home both in the states and on the island of Puerto Rico, everyone knows where to go to find some good eats.
My abuelo’s house always had something cooking, it never failed. Walking up the three story brownstone in Park Slope always lead to my abuelo’s apartment, warm, bursting with delicious aromas. From pasteles to arroz con dulce, his home and his table were always open.
Maybe its all his experience but I think its all the love he cooks with too.
I cook the same way ;-). Love is an ingredient I use in every dish.
What dish are you inspired to cook this holiday?