Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Monday, September 04, 2006


When my Bisabuelita Lolita would make frijoles de la olla first thing in the morning the smell would fill her home. It was best under the thick wool blankets to wait until the sweet smell of tortillas de harina melded in. Just stepping into the kitchen she would por avena into a thick ceramic mug before handing it to you, my favorite was always painted colbolt blue and brown.

At the table she would pour the frijolitos into a bowl or plate and make you a scrambled egg. Gracefully and effortlessly she greeted you and prepared the chile for the day, kept the comal hot, careful not to burn the tortilla she had just hand rolled. In her kitchen there were rituals like these for every meal of the day.

Today I wanted to make frijoles de la olla. Although I have attempted them before never have they been precisely as my Bisabuela, Abuelita, or Mami make. I called home and spoke to my Papi, he said the ratio was not 2 x 1 as I thought, "No Barbie, it is 6 x 1 mija," are you sure I asked. "Yes, the beans expand and absorb the water, add a garlic clove, onion, and don't forget the salt."

Bueno, que tan dificil puede ser, I thought. Cleaned the beans, measured the was smelling good, I was feeling good, thinking dios mio I might be ready to move onto the tortilla making soon- I already have a comal. This weekend I was able to make the avena so I thought add the frijoles and I just have to learn to make the tortillas!

Before I knew it I was working on my ad hoc reviewer application for a professional journal and hungry. I went to the kitchen and my dear frijolitos were without their essential broth. The water had completely evaporated, and that frijole mush pictured above is what I ended up with.

It seems emulating my families traditions is almost more difficult than this scholarly stuff. As to what I did with my bowl of love? Turned the comal on put a pre made flour tortilla on it, got out the best foods and put a spoonfull of it on the tortilla, added my frijole mush, and queso fresco- yummm.


Blogger Zerina said...

I remember her well too, she was a beautifull and inspirational spirit...

2:45 PM  

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