Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Lopez Family Holy Grail

Throughout the past year, I have slowly been sharing my food finds and recipes with the world. One of the frequently asked questions is "How do you come up with your recipes and meal ideas?"

The simple answer to this question is Family!

The long answer is that my family history is rich with an amazing culture filled with food, fun and tradition. My mom's father's side comes from Andalusia, Spain. This is the southern most autonomous community in Spain with cultural and historic influences from the Moors, the Greek and Roman Empires, a Sephardic Jewish presence, and Castilian nationality, just to name a few. These influences give the region a very unique and strong cultural identity which is centered greatly around food and festivity. This deep rooted Andalusian patriotism has not only lasted several generations but has survived over several thousand miles.

In early 1900's my great great grandfather, Juan Ferris Lopez, set sail from Gibraltar to New York City. In 1909, he settled in California and soon after started his family with my great, great grandmother Encarnation. From that day forward my family has honored and upheld the the culture and traditions of Andalusia. One of our most favorite traditions was getting together at Abuelo's old ranch for Easter. Now that the ranch is no longer there and the family has multiplied (Abuelo currently has 9 grand children, more than 15 great grandchildren and even more great great grandkids), the meetings are getting fewer and farer between.

In efforts to preserve our family history and traditions and to be able to pass them to the whole family, one of my Titas (aunts) travelled to our homeland and put together book of our family history and over 50 of our families unique recipes.

By this point, I am sure you are all wondering where I am going with all this family history. This past week I went to California to visit family and was blessed by being given a copy of our family's book of traditions and recipes. Most of you don't know, but this gift means the absolute world to me.

Out of this comes another goal for me. I am now on a mission to prepare my family's recipes on my own. There have only been one or two that I have completely mastered, but everything else has either scared me away, been a failure, or a I never had the complete recipe for. I have no excuses now. Unfortunately, I can't share all these recipes with all of you. But I will be blogging about the experience and my journey through preparations.

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