You Are What You Eat

Make new friends, but keep the old.

One is silver and the other is gold.

These are the words that my guardian angel had taught me.

After I got food poisoning from a blighted potato he enjoys.


I never liked potatoes, but I love them warm and crispy.

Goes to show that even recipes that take minuscule effort like chips and fries requires passion.

I cannot possibly give the potato another chance, now knowing that the man is a liar.

It took me a long time to realize that only I can decide the food groups that are right for me.


We humans are a complicated lot to read and decipher.

So don’t you dare compare kinships to silver and gold

Because even platonic love is the furthest thing from flawless.

And so are the guardian angel’s mischievous, yet spoiled acquaintances.


Friendships are like food from a college dining hall.

What’s on the menu is only delicious if we follow the recipes and turn up the heat.

But we must get to the cafeteria on time and grab them while they’re hot

Because they don’t taste the same if we’re served whatever’s getting cold.


Why should I believe my guardian angel’s wisdom nowadays since he has become aloof himself?

Old eating habits apparently die hard, but the same diet he practices for years is still going strong.

I used to believe that he was stuck in the middle because his acquaintances are often at war.

Now I am grateful that some of the pressure has been taken off knowing that I can’t please everyone.


I’d be a hypocrite if I said I am immune to this gluttonous misfortune myself,

But it is important to remember that life-changing desserts don’t take one day to bake.

Real gold and glistening silver always takes time and effort for Mother Nature to perfect.

When the sweets come out fresh from the oven, I also shouldn’t bite off more than I can chew.

My Grandmother´s Delicious Cooking

Before I start I need to state that I’m a person who really enjoys the cuisine, so you can have a sense of what I’m talking about in this prose. My grandmother, started cooking since she was 17 years all. By that time, she lived in the state of Puebla and cooked all kinds of regional dishes taught by her mother (my great grandmother). From  age 17 to 23, besides cooking, she was involved in many different activities like dancing and working for a living. At the age of 22 she meets my grandfather, another exceptional cooker from Monterrey, in a “charriada” that took place in downtown Puebla. By the age of 23 they got married and my grandpa brought her to Monterrey, were they settle as a family. She gathered many experience in cooking, all experience she learned from my grandfather, my grandpa’s parents and all places they used to travel together. All this time behind the kitchen drive her to establish a kitchen’s company from 0, after she finished raising her son and daughters. Today, after 40 years, is one of the most successful kitchen company's in Monterrey, and she is 76 years old. 18 years ago from now, she hired a made for the house which only knew how to clean, yet working at the side of this two persons most time of the day for 6 straight days during the week thought her all she needs to know to make people fall in love with the taste of her food. Now they do not cook as much than before, my grandmother spends most of her time in the office and my grandfather stays in the ranch. Sarita, the made, is the one in charge of the cooking now. How do I fit in this story? I hardly spend time with them, but my dad told me I should make some presence in their lives because I could regret it later if something bad happens to them. The first visit, great hospitaly and cooking, sometimes Sarita´s, sometimes my grandma´s, convince me to go every week. Now I go every Wednesday to spend time with them and have a delicious lunch. Food reunite our family.

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Daily creations

Just by entering her home you can smell that delicious scent of a freshly made apple pie. Every day when I walk from the entrance to the kitchen, is knowing that you will enjoy the meal. If someone do not notice that she spends a quarter of the day inside the kitchen, then you don’t know anything about her. The day I asked her what was her passion and better possession, she replied without hesitation, "my kitchen". She taught us how to bake some cakes, but if someone asks me for a recipe today, I would not even remember the first two steps. But when she teaches you how to cook, step by step, with a proper tranquility that even you do it with so much pleasure. And when you're done, she is the happiest. It is said that every day you learn something new, I think she learns something new about cooking every day. It comes to my mind that rich scent when I enter her home every Christmas. And now I understand why my grandfather cares her so much, just by seeing her cooking, you stay amazed.  Whenever she´s baking a cake I just sit there over the table and watch her doing every movement she does with such admiration.  The lovely smell of that apple pie, the movement of her hands molding the shape, cutting delicately every slice and putting that piece of art into the oven, after that, the magic of watching her disappears until she takes that pie to the table and call us to try what she makes with love to us in her favorite space of the house. What is surprising of this woman is that she do not only attends her family, that colorful birds that sing all the day in their cages, are part of her daily creations.  Every morning, when the sun starts to put up in the sky, she opens the door in the cage and put a piece of her freshly cut fruit. That day in April is always in my head, me entering that room where she combines flavors, grandma was singing -with not much tune- while she was creating a new daily saucer. Grandma Blanca is such a skilled woman, that kitchen is and will always be her passion and, with that happiness and peace that characterizes, she is always focused in that daily creation. 

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Who says men don’t know how to cook?  Who says the kitchen is a woman’s place?

This is a myth I’d like to expunge, a fantasy I’d like to erase.


I’ve done my share of cooking over the years although Deborah has done the most

And I can hold my own in the kitchen if you’ll permit me this one little boast.


I may not be the best cook but there’s one thing for which I do strive

My goal beside a creating a good meal is simply to get out alive.


For cooking has its share of pitfalls, any good cook knows this is true.

With this in mind from my years of experience I offer some tips now to you.


When cooking in the kitchen there are two things you must learn

The first is make sure you turn on the oven...and the second is not to get burned.


Wait...before you ridicule or dismiss this little gem, before you belittle or scoff

I failed to mention if you turn on the oven...don’t forget to turn it back off. 


I learned early on it’s OK to make a mess on the counters the floor and the walls

But I also learned from experience that too much flour on the floor makes you fall.


Knives are sharp and if you’re not careful can cut you so in my kitchen I have found

It’s a good idea not to watch TV while you cut...and to keep a box of bandaids around.


Oh yea and no matter what you are cutting think safety first wether together or alone

And never give the smallest grandchild in the house the biggest knife that you own.


And no matter how creative a cook you might be, no matter how sly or how cunning

It’s not a good idea to put your hand inside while the darn disposal is still running.


If you put water on to boil then leave the kitchen and become preoccupied 

When you smell the burn and see the smoke...chances are your pan will be fried.


Did you know if you open the freezer, and this is a pain I’ve more than once felt

If you forget to close it and leave it open overnight everything inside it will melt?


Speaking of refrigerators here’s a great tip from me that you may now glean

Never cook with anything from the crisper if it’s moving or fuzzy or green.


And finally if you’re storing your bread in the oven perhaps then 911 you may require

Because if you preheat the oven without looking chances are good you’ll be starting a fire.


Yes if you follow these simple and easy steps I guarantee as a cook you will thrive

Your food may taste horrible but remember the key to cooking is to get out alive.

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Home Made Pasta

Deborah and I took a pasta class and our pasta turned out great

Consensus was it was the most delicious pasta that we ever ate.


Although in hindsight I must admit what made the pasta taste divine,

Was all the hard work that went into it, and of course there was the wine...


At any rate last night we decided to make pasta on our own

After all we had the recipe and the process we’ve been shown.


We followed that recipe to the letter right from the very start

But the dough we ended up with was too dry and fell apart.


We decided to add some water and the pasta came out fine

But It was at this juncture we realized we forgot to buy the wine!


Because no matter how many mistakes you make in cooking this I swear

After a couple glasses of your favorite wine you find that you don’t care!


In the pasta class the dough kneaded out effortlessly without a fret

At home it involved a little swearing and a quite lot of sweat.


The pasta machine in our class rolled it out without a mess

At home the identical machine was the cause of endless stress.


First the pasta wouldn’t roll out at all then it rolled out way to slow

And it didn’t help when two times I dropped the handle on my toe.


Eventually we fixed the problem but our raviolis were too thin

They were too weak to hold the ricotta filling we were putting in.


But the second batch was perfect...we got those ravioli’s loaded

And we were happy when in the boiling water only a few of them exploded.


In the end they were delicious dredged with olive oil and parmesan cheese.

We were proud of our accomplishment despite our casualties.


I must admit making home made pasta is an enjoyable way to dine

If you are going to make it then my best advice is...don’t forget the wine.





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Babies Breath

Nature / Folder 1

On a blistery hot day,

After the wash is done,

After the floors are scrubbed,

And the beds all have fresh, clean linen,

The plants are watered,

Dinner is on the stove,

The garage has been swept and hosed down,

And cats all have clean litter boxes,

Weeds are pulled,

And diaper pails emptied,

The car has been washed,

And all garden tools neatly arranged and in their place,

You shuffle down the steps,

And hold him close,

His face against yours,

After a his long nap,

And the sweetest thing,

You have ever felt in your life,

His tiny little hand,

“Pat-a-patting” your tired shoulder,

Same way yours has done him.

The sweetest thing,

Baby’s breath,

The sweetest thing.



© 2013

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This poem speaks of one of the many moments in the joy of motherhood.

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