I thank my Grandma Fausta for these passions. Growing up in Mexico City, my afternoons were always magical and interesting. Some of my earliest memories are of preparing food with my Grandma. When my Grandpa picked me up from school, my first question was always, “what’s for lunch?!” As soon as we’d arrive home, I’d throw down my books and run to the kitchen, where one of the maids would be waiting with a chair by the sink so I could wash my hands. Grandma would be there with all of the ingredients, pots ready, so we could prepare everything in the big comal, while the other maid was making fresh flour and corn tortillas.
I looked forward to the weekends, but not for play or rest like a normal kid. My happiness came from knowing that every Saturday we would cook an amazing feast for family and friends. My grandparents and I would wake up while it was still dark to drive to the Mercado, where my Grandpa would order meat from the butcher, and I’d help select all the fresh vegetables for the meal. We’d eat from the vendors at the market, traditional Mexican dishes like pozole, quesadillas with mushrooms and epazote, menudo or barbacoa. Returning home with all of the ingredients, we’d spend the rest of the day preparing food for 50 to 70 people. The banquet would be served in “barros,” like a buffet, with my grandma and the maid throwing the tortillas like Frisbees, and I would stand on my chair so I could reach the stove, helping to prepare more food.