So last month a milestone in my family was celebrated. My first grandmother turned 90. I say “first” because, at almost age 35, I still have with me 3 out of my 4 grandparents. Isn’t that a huge blessing??!! And not only are they still with me but they are with my kids and my kids are creating awesome memories with them. And they are active… boy are they active! My grandfather is the Mayor of Mainstreet USA in Walt Disney World’s the Magic Kingdom. (Yes, you read that correctly!). One of my grandmothers lives in South Carolina and comes to visit us often bringing the kids little treats every time she comes. And finally, there is my just turned 90-year-old grandmother who sits down for no one, dances when she feels like it and makes the best white rice this side of Miami (among other things). In honor of the big milestone, I’d like to dedicate this post to her and give you the top 5 reasons why she is the coolest Cuban grandmother around. (I say coolest “Cuban” because my other set of grandparents are American, born and bred and if I favor one set over the other I may get a shoe thrown at me!)
1. She makes awesome meals. My grandmother learned how to cook in her 40s. Why? Because in Cuba, she was very well off and had people to do such things for her. Only when the Communist revolution struck and she, my grandfather, father, and uncles fled to the United States did they find themselves living in almost poverty. The family could have easily declared defeat but instead learned how to keep a home and that included learning how to cook decent Cuban food with what they could afford. And let me tell you… she rocked it. She makes some pretty amazing dishes from frijoles colorados, my favorite dinner, picadillo, to one of the best desserts, chantilli. But her white rice it what is amazing. So simple and yet no one can recreate it… and believe me we have tried!!! When my kids go to visit, which is a few times a week, they always ask for her white rice and eat it by the plate load.
2. She shot pistols from a horse. How many people can say they did that or say they know someone who did? She was an accomplished horse rider in her day, having been born and raised on a farm. She was so skilled that she used to mount her horse, wearing her 6 shot revolver on her hip and go for a ride on all the acreage. She would hunt guinea fowl, doves, and other small game and take them back to the workers to cook on an open flame. It’s rare to hear stories like that today imagine in the 1930s! Every time I hear those stories I get very impressed all over again!
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