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Stephanie Adams-Santos: Sopa de Tortilla con Ajo (Porridge of Tortilla and Garlic) As a child who spent many summers in my grandmother’s home in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, I often sat with the elders in the little blackened room (to which in many ways the kitchen was the annex), where the wood stove glowed with the burning of fresh leña and the women boiled water for coffee and baths, clapped out their daily rounds of tortillas, gossiped, and kept warm. The other kitchen, which was mostly empty, had a fridge and an electric stove, and a dining table protected in a sheet of thick plastic. That was the formal kitchen, but this kitchen, the old kitchen that was here long before the new kitchen, was where the tortillas were made. Smoke had made the walls black, and save for the fire itself, there was no other source of light. This was the room where I received many of my grandmother’s stories. Where I learned that she received her first pair of shoes when she was sixteen, and how before that her feet were wide and flat from walking barefoot. Shoes pinch your feet like this, she had told me, and made the same motion of shaping that I had seen her do while making little loaves of sweet bread. She never had a father to speak of and lost her mother at an early age and was raised by an angry aunt (who met a tragic end—her skirt one day caught fire and she died weeks later of her insufferable burns). This aunt had very little to her name, and she was deaf, so my grandmother began to sell tortillas in the market when she was only eight years old. I have been working since I was this tall, my grandmother tells me. If I wanted to eat, I had to work. Often she and her aunt had nothing else to eat but a few tortillas with lime and salt or with chile. Or fried with garlic into a kind of porridge—which is the recipe I wish to share with you now. It is a “poor person’s dish”, as my grandmother says, and she would laugh if I ever told her it was worthy of a cookbook, but it is rich in its simplicity and deliciousness. Note: You must love garlic and tortillas to love this dish. And if you do, you will probably want it every day.

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Ingredients 1/2 cup Masa Harina 1/3 cup water (for tortillas) pinch of salt 4-5 cloves of garlic 2-3 tbsps of vegetable oil 1 cup water (for porridge)

New Economy Chapbook Cookbook Volume 1  

Inexpensive, Healthy, Hopeful Feasts for 2017. Inexpensive, Healthy, Hopeful Feasts for 2017. Designed in community, for community. Pleas...

New Economy Chapbook Cookbook Volume 1  

Inexpensive, Healthy, Hopeful Feasts for 2017. Inexpensive, Healthy, Hopeful Feasts for 2017. Designed in community, for community. Pleas...

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