This piece is part of a franchise called 'SZN It,' where we highlight the importance of food in the Latinx community. We chatted with three abuelas about their signature recipes and how it continues to be a staple in their culture.
My family always joked that my abuelita would outlive us all. Charmingly stubborn, whip smart and impressively loud, Mimi had much fire packed in her pint-sized body. She survived the loss of her soulmate, vision and mobility over decades, yet carried on with vigor and an almost impossible-to-grasp level of faith. So, when she passed in 2019 at 101 years old, I found it a tough reality to reckon with.
On the one hand, I was eventually grateful that she went without suffering and wouldn’t be subject to the chaos and fear that came with the pandemic just months later. On the other, I was somehow in disbelief that the day had come—a new chapter of my life without fuzzy rumba blasting on her older-than-me radio, forced rosary circles and passive-aggressive-yet-precious voicemails, lightly scolding me for not calling enough.