Buenas tardes chismosos! I just returned a la casa from el trabajo, and I’ve already had a poop explosion to deal with – Mireya (NOT ME LOL) was too busy playing afuera and didn’t tell me!! ahhhh), chilli cooking on the stove (washed my hands don’t worry) yyyyy I can’t wait to get to the mailbox to check for my package that is supposed to arrive today – I’ll be sharing it on my IG stories, so make sure to check that out too! Since I’m cocinando, I figured I should share what goes on in mi cocina! So no esnacks porque I’m being good jajaja and waiting for this chilli to be ready. This will be a short, pero meaningful post porque we have to run to Javi’s teeball game jaja #MomLife.
Bienvenidos to Cocinando con Julie!! Jajaja Just kidding, that’s just something I say to mi mama every time I Facetime her to help me with cocinando, which used to be almost todos los dias, pero now I’m pretty much a pro. Jejeje. Bromas. Hoy, I’m cocinando chilli, ayer we BBQ’d bisteks con arroz and veggies, y el dia before we had Wendy’s – no lie. Jajaja. Everyday is something different, whether homemade or bought – and from all of our meshed culturas.
I first learned to cocinar when I was 17 years old, porque I moved out. Si, si, ya se – mi mama told me so. You know the saying “un dia me vas a extranar” – every Latina mama ever. Pues, I did. Y tambien, I wish I had spent more time watching her cocinar so I would have learned in real time rather than Facetime. Asi pasa. My skills then were nowhere near what I can do now, gracias a mi mama – mi familia can have good, tasty, varied meals.
Cada vez that I would enter mi cocina to cocinar, I Facetimed my mom for the whole hour or dos that it would take me to make whatever dish it was. She would tell me “un poquito de esto, y un poquitititito del otro” no real measurements were ever used or real names for things, “de esa cosa, de la bolsita esa” jajaja So forget having recipes, they wouldn’t make sense de todos modos. This added to the experience, porque ahora I can hear mi mama’s voice with every ingredient that I add. Hasta cuando I make a mistake “uyy, ya – ya te pasaste!” jajaja.
As for the dishes I learned to cocinar, it was una mezcla of our own culturas in my household growing up. Como mi mama is Mexican and my dad is Canadian (pero with a bunch of backgrounds), our comidas were always just as mixed. Mi mama was fortunate enough to learn dishes from my grandmother (on my dad’s side) and from my great-aunts, which she could make igualito que ellas. Asi que, we could have Mexican food one night, Canadian dishes another night, y aveces even Ukrainian dishes. Y todo, homemade. Siempre.
I have an amazing resource to cocinar amazing meals. Mi mama has taught me almost everything that I love to eat and want to be able to share with mis chamacos y mi esposo. My other resource has been mi suegra (mother in law), who is Filipina. I’ve had the opportunity to watch her cocinar and ask her how to make certain dishes that we love eating at her casa. Pero en verdad, mine always seem to taste un poquito different. How mi mama always says “sabe mejor cuando alguien mas lo cocina” – “tastes better when someone else cooks it.” Y es la verdad.
Lo bueno is that my version is unique to me, y eso will be the sabores (tastes) that mis chamacos crave and long for. En mi casa, we eat Mexican food, Canadian food, Italian food y Filipino food. Pues, la verdad we eat any kind of food, pero digo I cook those common ones on a regular basis. Ademas, Mexican and Filipino dishes are very similar and use common ingredients. This is so efficient for us as a familia in regards to meal planning. A few groceries can be used in various dishes and meals.
Lo unico that I never learned to cocinar, and really really want to – are Tamales. Mi mama never learned from mi abuela porque she passed away when mi mama was only 19 years old *en paz descanza mi abuela* y entonces, I never learned either. Mi tia, en Mexico, makes the BEST tamales. Pero, I met and befriended a Mexican Familia here in Markham (GTA, Toronto) who make unos tamales deliciosos!! Espero I will learn sometimes this summer while I’m off from el trabajo.
Mi mama still thinks I cheat jajaja. Dice that I’m spoiled porque here in Toronto I have access to Tortillerias and other Latino products to help make my dishes a lot easier and faster. Ay, gracias a Dios – porque I can’t imagine coming a la casa after el trabajo having to make mis tortillas from maseca like mi mama did when I was growing up. Pero, our journeys are different (she was a stay at home mama). Asi que, I’ll take the huevona comments jajaja.
Otra cosa that I don’t cocino is seafood & fish. I never learned porque no me gusta jaja. Ya se!! I know what you’re thinking, how can you be Mexican and not like seafood & fish?! *ugh* Just like how not all Mexicans like spicy (not true, we all like spicy jajaja just kidding, some don’t) – pues, I don’t like seafood & fish. No es mi culpa! Growing up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada – we’re in the middle of the provincia and nowhere near el oceano. De donde quieres that we find seafood?! jajaja, it’s so expensive to buy! Cuando we would go to Mexico (every year to be exact) we would eat it all there, pero aqui it doesn’t taste the same! It’s not fresco, and I have to drown it in limon y chile. I don’t like fishiness. As for fresh water fish, I grew up eating Pickerel fried fish – yummmmmm. Asi que, I’m selective: Pickerel fried fish, or camarones (shrimp) con limon y chile. That’s it. My poor esposo LOVES this stuff, pero I can’t do it. He settles for only getting it when we eat out or with his familia. Y mis chamacos have it then too.
Quiero que mis chamacos try all kinds of comida. Even the stuff I don’t like or don’t cocino. Whenever we’re out, or eating with familia they are always encouraged to at least try something before deciding whether or not les gusta. Sometimes this can be difficult, as los chamacos look at their parents as role models and they copy everything we do. I try my best to not make comments or facial expressions jaja porque I don’t want them to feel discouraged from trying it for themselves. Lo malo is when they ask mami to try it too… ay Dios no porfavor!! jajaja, I bring out all the excusas.
Comida is a big part of a familia. It’s something we do todos los dias, 3 veces at least al dia, and it creates a distinct taste of “casa” for your familia y chamacos to love and identify with. Ademas, para mi familia, it’s a guaranteed time and place for all of us to come together. We have instilled the importance of eating all together en la mesa for our comidas when we are en casa. During the week, it’s usually only dinner porque en la manana you know it’s a rush out the door: morning routines, quick breakfast, pack the bags up, preschool drop offs, Lola drop offs and get to work in time. Y sabes that there’s always extras to deal with too: crying/whining/fighting/lost mitts/can’t find a shoe/don’t want that jacket/forgot the keys/have to poop/dog got out jajaja That’s real!
Dinner time is a commitment for us. No matter what extra curricular we have to get to, or getting home late from el trabajo, we have our comida together. This let’s us enjoy our meal and catch up from the day, talk about upcoming events or activities, and give each other that undivided familia attention. During the weekends, we have all 3 comidas together – for now. Digo for now, porque every familia’s routines change depending what’s going on. Lo importante is that you’re flexible and make it work for TU familia.
Ahora, vamos a comer! All this talk about cocinar y comidas – I’m thinking about all kinds of dishes and sabores jajaja – going to get that chilli served up and enjoy la comida con mi familia. Provecho!
*Pic from @reynacreates & @mitu on IG. Not entirely sure who is the actual artist behind it, so please msg me if you know! Credit where due. Muchas gracias!*