Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!


Mi mama Sofia in the late 1940's

Mi mama Sofia in the late 1940’s

Growing up in a home with a Mexican mom and a military dad, my life was full of family, culture, and tolerance. At that time in the 70’s, our meals were limited to what my mom could find at the local commissary, which wasn’t much for the Hispanic population. So I was raised on rice, beans, corn tortillas, and sopas (homemade soups). The only American dinners I had were on Sundays at my paternal grandma’s house and she was only able to do that until I was about 10 years old. Truth be known, I had never had spaghetti (unless it came out of a can) or meatloaf until I was in college. And of course, my mom’s favorite TV show was I Love Lucy since it was the closest thing to Galavision that we had!

Fast forward to the present. Join me in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month! Whether you are a second or third generation Hispanic or you enjoy the culture, be sure to check out the section on NHHM at the Edsitement website. Although my mother passed away 17 years ago, the memory of her faith, heritage, and determination lives on through photos, stories, food, and music. So in honor of my mom’s 85th birthday today, I would like to share some of my favorite tastes and sounds of Mexico through the links below. Viva Mexico!

  • Pico de gallo is a salsa and so easy to make. I love the fresh flavors and it’s perfect to eat on tortilla chips or in a taco. Muy delicioso!
  • One of my favorite dips that I could live off of is Guacamole. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!
  • I’ve made these from scratch and there’s a reason why Tamales are served on special occasions. The time and work involved in putting them together is worth the effort though.
  • The secret to a great Mexican Rice side dish is to toast the rice before adding the liquid.
  • And last but not least is the dessert, Flan. Easier to make than you think!

My taste in music is quite eclectic. I love to listen to mariachi, cumbia, and more.

  • “La Bamba” just makes me happy, both the original song by Ritchie Valens and the version by Los Lobos.
  • “Cielito Lindo” is a traditional Mexican song that I can still hear my mom humming.
  • Although the Gipsy Kings are Spanish, their flamenco style is so upbeat and festive. My husband and I discovered this band when we lived overseas.
  • If you took Spanish in school then you may remember this traditional song, “De Colores”.
  • I love the sound and energy of Lila Downs. Listen to her sing about preparing Mole in “La Cumbia del Mole”.
  • Gloria Estefan’s album Mi Tierra is another favorite. I love the tropical sound of her Cuban style.

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