Our Grandmas

Grandma Cali

“Extrovert, Empathic, Good Person.”

I grew up in Murcia, which is best known as the “Huerto de Europa”. When I was little, I was always in the kitchen. I would watch my grandmother and mother prepare all types of meals for the family.

I think the best part about watching my grandmother and my mother cook was that they taught me traditional dishes of the region, such as Olla Gitana, which translates to “Gypsy Pot” and is a cooked vegetable medley that can be topped with pears, and Escalivada Murciana, a roasted vegetable salad. Some of my other favorites are Migas Ruleras, a crumb dish similar to stuffing, and Judias verdes con ajicomino, a green bean dish with an olive oil, garlic, and cumin sauce. I am thankful to have learned the family recipes as I am now able to continue the tradition by teaching my children and grandchildren.

I married a Valencian, so I quickly learned how to make paellas and several other rice dishes. My daughters always ask me to cook them a paella- they say it is very good! My granddaughters favorites are garbanzos beans with chorizo, rice with bacon and raisins, torrijas, and of course my specialty cake. Every week when I pick them up from school, I bring a few pieces of cake with me.

I love to cook. It is always fun to come home and improvise with what I can find in the fridge. In this way, I consider cooking an art. It is special to be able to make something unique and different each time you are in the kitchen and with whatever ingredients are available. No two dishes are alike. When I make paella one day, it is not the same as the one I made the day before or the one I may make tomorrow.

Now that I am retired, I have more time to resume personal activities and try out new experiences. I am excited for all of the new opportunities that are coming my way. Be the next to try something new!

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