Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cultures collide

Red sauce and black beans are a huge part of my being. They are as important to my genetic make up as my X and Y chromosomes. Italian and Cuban. A tantalizing combo that makes me who I am. It gives me my louder than life persona, my amazing hair, the olive in my skin, and my hips! Oh, these hips!

Back to red sauce and black beans....

Last weekend, I decided to make a big batch of each. At the same time.

Hard work I tell ya.
Hours and hours of stirring, and boiling, reducing to a simmer, tasting, adding, dashing, and chopping onions and garlic to really make things amazing.

My house smelt... different. But so unbelievably deliciously wonderful.
Onion, garlic, basil, green pepper, Italian sausage, ground beef, tomato, beans...
I can’t explain the smell, but it was decadent.

My Italian grandmother passed 4 years before I was born. And my Cuban grandmother passed when I was just 3 years old. I would do anything to have the opportunity to cook right alongside them. Watching their techniques, learning their tricks, and taking in their personalities to see where I might have gotten some of my traits. I would ask them how they fell in love with my grandfathers. How they migrated to this city, that I call home. What’s their favourite colors? What’s their favourite songs?

And I would ask them the secret.
The secret to a marriage that followed their vows
And raising a family of 5 healthy children.

I would then thank them.
For my olive skin, my wonderful hair, and these hips... ohhhh these hips!
And for black beans and red sauce.
Because I love black beans and red sauce with every inch of my  heart.

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