The Journey Begins
Hola, my name is Erica, and I am a twenty-something Angelina who is passionate about two things: her Mexican Culture and the FOOD that comes along with it. Like most Latina's I spent my early years in the kitchen with mi Abuela hanging on to her skirt tail watching her dance around the Cocina like a magical food fairy. Barely tall enough to look over the kitchen counters, the various aromas and spices that filled the air on any given day was infections... Cilantro, roasted tomatoes, chili's, oregano, onion's, etc, etc, I could go on for days! Sitting on the counter watching my grandma's hands gracefully and rhythmically chop on her ancient cutting board did something to me. I was mesmerized how poetic it all seemed and more importantly, how much cooking for others, brought such joy to her. The smile on her face as she served others, only to eat last just so she could watch the happiness her food gave to others was like heaven . I wanted a piece of that heaven; so as soon as I was tall enough to reach, the teaching began. Like Merlin with her little apprentice, she taught me the ins and outs of the kitchen and HER style. I learned how to properly clean and cut chicken, beef, and pork. She also taught me, which type of meats, poultry, seafood, herbs and spices were used and for what dishes. I properly learned how to use a knife to create culinary music out of chopped tomatoes, onions, chilies, and herbs. Gosh, I remember walking through her garden, little toes touching the cold dirt as she explained just how and when to cut the oregano, cilantro and other homegrown things…. Oh, how I LOVE the smell of freshly picked herbs.
Now all grown up, my television stays on the Food Network and after time I started to realize that there were few authentic Hispanic geared cooking shows. So, I thought why not do something about it ;O) After careful thought, I decided to grab my grandmother and sister and just document how a true Mexican family does things around the kitchen. I never actually saw my grandmother measure anything; lord knows I don’t as well. Cooking from our perspective is mostly done by touching, smelling, passion and above all tasting, all of which I plan on incorporating. But, in order to properly spread these little magical dishes I thought it best to make them as user friendly as possible. Don’t worry, you will not have to visit Mexico to find your ingredients. I will be measuring, taking pictures as I go, and making the ingredients easy to find in your local grocery store or “Farmers Market.” So, that is my plan, welcome to Erica’s Cocina and thank you for stopping by.