WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by @acevedowrites
“In fact, when ‘Buela tasted it (whatever ‘it’ was) she says it was the best thing she’d ever eaten. How it made her whole day better, sweeter. Says a memory of Puerto Rico she hadn’t thought about in years reached out like an island hammock and cradled her close. When she tells the story, it’s always a different simile, but still sweet like that. All I know is she cried into her plate that night. And so at the age of four, I learned someone could cry from a happy memory.
Ever since then ‘Buela is convinced I have magical hands when it comes to cooking. And I don’t know if I really have something special, or if her telling me I got something something special has brainwashed me into believing it, but I do know I’m happier in the kitchen than anywhere else in the world. It’s the one place I let go and only need to focus on the basics: taste, smell, texture, fusion, beauty.”
17 year old Emoni Santiago, an AfroLatina teenager born and raised in Philly, had to grow up quickly – between raising her toddler Emma, balancing school and work to support them both and her abuela, and her impending graduation, she frequently has to make bigger decisions than your average teenager. Her only creative outlet is the one time she has complete freedom – when she cooks. Her cooking not only allows her to momentarily forget about her other responsibilities, but it also has the ability to bring back the most special of memories for those who eat it.
Finished my first September TBR book last night! The connection between food and family/culture has always been special to me, so of course a book about a young WoC who loves cooking was meant to find its way into my hands. I still have 3 more books left for this month (halfway through “Random Family” and started “Dominicana” last night), and I’m really looking forward to talking about them at the end of the month!