L4LL Día Blog Hop 2014: Children’s Author Kathleen Contreras
It is with great pleasure that I open up today’s blog for the 2nd annual Latinas for Latino Lit Día Blog Hop. The drive behind the blog hop is to showcase Latino authors/illustrators to honor Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros which is greatly celebrated on the 30th of April. The blog hop is nearing its end and this year 24 top Latina Bloggers from all over the nation have featured Latino authors/illustrators that opened up the world of Latino Lit and today, Family is Familia is participating.
Please welcome Kathleen Contreras.
Sweet Memories ~ Dulce Recuerdos
Have you ever noticed how a certain taste or smell brings back a special memory? For me, freshly cooked pinto beans–los frijoles bring back my childhood and my mother Lupe’s kitchen.
“Mom, remember when you’d make tiny tortillas for me when I was a little girl? They were just my size! I loved playing kitchen with them, and feeding both my dolls and myself!”
Even today, everyone loves my mother’s kitchen, her Mexican food, and especially her beans. She cooks them in a magical pot, because the beans disappear so quickly!
An earthy bowl of beans, ancient food of the Americas, feeds both my hunger and my soul. With each spoonful or scoopful of tortilla, beans nourish our collective hunger for traditions, cultural practices, and shared history. Yes, a simple bowl of frijoles, homemade tortillas, and spicy salsa, stir up family stories of rich aromas and spicy flavors.
These special memories inspire the fictional stories in my two children’s books–Braids/ Trencitas and my soon to-be released book, Sweet Memories/Dulce Recuerdos, both published by Lectorum.
Here are two excerpts…
Isabela loved when Abuela came to visit. Each day, they worked in the kitchen rolling dough for tortillas, crushing chiles for salsa, and sometimes singing songs. Your great- grandmother, tu bisabuela, made tortillas according to the size of the person! For my father she made great big round tortillas, but for my little sister, she made tiny little circles…
I love paletas de cajeta! They are one of your Abuela’s favorites. Your Mamá loved paletas de chocolate or arroz con leche. Paletas taste like home. El sabor de mi hogar. Ah…such sweet memories!
Dulce Recuerdos/Sweet Memories
My books of everyday family life mirror the daily lives of young Latino children. These important life experiences need to be reflected in children’s literature, both for Latino children and to enrich the lives of all children growing up in a diverse multicultural world.
By the way, my mother’s food may disappear quickly, but her kitchen memories–full of stories, familia, and delicious food, last a lifetime.
¡Que viva mi mamá, Lupe! ¡Y que vivan los frijoles y tortillas!
Liz is a Mexican-American blogger living in Southern California. Married 19 years, and a mami to 3 kids, her content is inspired from living in and raising a multicultural familia. Liz has been blogging for more than 7 years, establishing herself as a nationally recognized Latina blogger. She often blogs in Spanglish and may throw in some Tagalog when talking about her hubby. You can also find her chit chatting away at @Liz_Cerezo on Twitter!