Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food and Prayer

My dinner was a flop tonight. It wasn't intentional...it just happened. I made the minute rice as usual and when dinner was ready I took it off the stove and removed the lid. When I took a test bite I realized that I had accidentally used the regular rice and not the cheater rice I'm accustomed to. I quickly resorted to microwaving (to me microwaves are for reheating, not cooking) the instant rice. I pulled it out of the microwave and it wasn't done. I was incredibly frustrated! I set it aside and decided to deal with it later.

When I started cleaning up (an hour later) I saw that somehow the steam that was trapped in the bowl for that hour had cooked my rice. Now what? I couldn't be so wasteful as to throw it out now. I made Will a plate for lunch and decided on making atole de arroz.
The Finished Atole de Arroz w/ cinnamon sticks

Atole de arroz is basically like a rice pudding. Growing up, my maternal grandmother, Ama, knew how much I loved it. She took care of me often until we moved 2 hours from her when I was eight years old. Even then, we would visit almost every weekend to help my mom cope with her, very difficult, home-sickness. Ama would have it waiting for me when we arrived at 9 or 10pm.
My mom, Ama, me and my sister (1999)

How I treasure those precious memories. She would wake up at dawn to prepare for my grandfather's day (and hers) and then here we came, our family of six. She would ALWAYS have something for us to snack on when we arrived. Sometimes it was a full dinner, even if it was 10 o'clock at night.

Since Ama has passed on my mom has made it for me and my Tias have been readily available with their version. One of my Tias even made it for me while she was visiting for the day.

It wasn't  until I started making it for the first time did I realize what a labor of love all these women put into making this wonderful snack for me. It was an emotional moment for me. I just thought about all of them and the prayers followed. I am beyond blessed with amazing women in my family and am grateful for all of them. The ones I see often and those I should do better about seeing more often!

I'm grateful for women who put those they love at the heart of what they do and why they do it! 

Some of my cousins and my maternal Tias

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