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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Diary Entries

Sept. 23, 10:45 pm

I’m sitting here at the airport next to a floor plug making sure all my gadgets are fully loaded for my midnight flight. I have 30 minutes before I have to board for my trip to Mexico, Guadalajara to be exact. I”ll be staying with some friends in Guadalajara and from there I will be taking a drive to Purepero, Michoacan.  I’m headed on this trip for a few reasons. Initially, I only had 2 reasons to go to Michoacan, but as I have been thinking about this trip and the way things have unraveled, this trip has turned out to be much much more.IMG_4572

Reason number one: I want to go document the house Abuela grew up in and the town. I’ve been going to that town since I was a baby and have so many amazing memories and want to share them with everyone even if it’s through video vlogging. I want to capture the beauty of the town. It has so much to offer and the way things are in Mexico (I’m sure you have all heard the rumors), who knows when any one of us will ever have the chance to go back. This might be the last time I get to go and I want my kids to experience it. I know Abuela doesn’t want to go back, and so this is my way to bring her home land to her, by capturing what I can first hand and taking it back to her.

Reason number 2: At the beginning of 2015 I decided to finally put my dream into action, to write a book. The way life’s circumstance and God have been leading me, the book I am currently working on is a cook book/story book. Recently, (more like in the past months) I’ve been having writers block and I felt I needed to go to this nostalgic, utopian place and be inspired by it’s natural beauty. I just want to sit in the big patio, under “the tree”, reminiscing of all the family that has ever stood under it. Some would sit and eat there, some would cross stitch and others would just sit and talk. I want to do the same somehow and have all those memories come back and even close my eyes and visualize my Great-Great Uncles and Aunts, my Great Grand Parents and everyone in between.  How or why I have been able to have met so many ancestors is beyond me. But in this trip I intend to find out… or at least relive some memories. (Rereading 10/29—reason—continue the history? Keep the family alive?)

I am nervous. I don’t know why. I already have this sense of wanting to shed tears and I don’t even know why. I have been there so many times. But this time it’s different. Why? Because the relationship between my Abuela and I have grown so much that anything I can do to be more connected and relatable to her has become somewhat my mission.  But I ask myself, “Why have I always had such a huge interest in my ancestry? ”  I can give you some random answer but honestly, I’m not sure why.

 

SEPT 24, 2015

Guadalajara

We got to Guadalajara at the break of dawn got picked up and went straight to sleep for a few hours.  We stayed today with our friends in beautiful Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara to regroup and visit before driving inland. It is such a completely different experience staying in the city. They have a nice little flat/condo in a private gated community with a lush park. It even has grass! It’s pretty rare to have yards with grass in Mexico. It was such a difference even from where I live in California.   It was such a nice change from California since we are in a drought and in most places the grass is pretty brown or non existent. But the city is definitely different than the rural cities in Mexico. I arrived at the break of dawn so I haven’t really gotten to see the city yet. I have been to Guadalajara before but I’m anxious to see if there are any changes or what the feel is like. One thing for sure, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some good food. Is that really all we think about when traveling to Mexico? The food?! YES! YUM!  So we showered, got ready and headed to have lunch.  We had lunch at a nice, indoor torta restaurant.  It wasn’t just any regular torta restaurant.  They had specialty tortas, tortas ahogadas.

(Rest written at home)

That night our friends took us out to eat in the downtown area.  It was pumping!  Music was high energy all around with nightclubs in full swing on a Thursday night.  They took us to one of the best taco joints in the area.  It was a sit down restaurant in the open air and had a waiting list to sit.  They had the largest al pastor display I had ever seen in my life!  The waiting felt like forever even though it wasn’t because the meat display was staring at you no matter where you looked or turned, kind of like the Mona Lisa painting.  The smell was so amazing that there was no escaping it.  It was secretly calling your name no matter how much I tried to concentrate on the conversation I was having with our friends.  We finally got to sit.  I sat exactly where la carne al pastor was piercing my being.  There was several of us, so we decided to order a bunch of dishes that we could all share, buffet table style.  Once we got our food, I didn’t know where to start, but being the cheese lover that I am, I aimed for el queso fundido con chorizo plate.  My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.  They brought freshly made tortillas and all I could do was dig in like a cave woman.  My teeth sank right through my first bite as the cheese melted to perfection.  What a mix… it was truly a party in my mouth.  Next, I went for the carne asada, mushrooms and cheese.  I don’t know what kind of cheese it was and I should have asked, but MY-OH-MY, definitely something my taste buds won’t forget anytime soon.  There were so many different plates of carne asada or meats mixed with so many different ingredients.  When babies or puppies are full and you lift their hands or paws, it’s like they have transferred to another dimension of sleep, that is where I was after I was done eating.  I needed to be carried back to the car.  Clearly I had died and come back to earth once I needed to use the restroom.  But it was worth it. 🙂
Video to go along with blog:

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During the time my Abuela lived in Tijuana,  the holidays were a for sure trip across La Frontera.  It was like an adventure for our little family of 5 when my dad would join us.  Most of the time it was just my mom, my sister, my brother and myself.  On many of those trips, my aunt Mela would join us.  We would wake up at the crack of dawn, pile up in the car and make our way down the 405 fwy.  We always made a stop in San Clemente at the rest area.  There were food trucks with all the junk food I was never allowed to eat.  My sister Eloisa (AKA Eli), loved the nachos they sold there.  The mornings were so cold and the hot, melted cheese would hit the spot.  My mom was and still is a health freak and to this day I wonder why on earth she would allow us to have nachos for breakfast.  But boy were they disgustingly good!

After the short pit stop, we were back on the road knowing we were half way to Tijuana.  Once I could see the huge Mexican Flag and the “MEXICO” sign from the distance, I would get so excited and anxious.  We would get the hand gesture to cross and my mom (usually the driver) would switch into a ferocious-agressive Tijuanera driver.  We held on to our chonis for dear life.  We managed to always get safely to our destination by the grace of God!

Most Thanksgivings, my mom would cook the turkey the night before and we would take it to Tijuana and take extra ingredients to make some side dishes.  As my aunt’s family grew, they would all make their way to Tijuana as well and each family would bring something to add to the feast.  They were great times.  My Abuelo was alive, my sister was alive, my uncle Jose was alive, my dad was still living at home and we all gathered to say a prayer of Thanksgiving and enjoy a delicious feast with an extensive variety of trimmings.  Even my Tio Jose and Abuelo would join in on the cooking.

This year not only will my Abuelo be missing but my sister and my Tio Jose will be added to that list.  We will always have those wonderful memories in our hearts and minds for years to come and will always be able to retell of our fun, adventurous and sometimes unbelievable stories because in the kitchen and on the dinner table we all made tons of personal memories.  May this Thanksgiving be filled with joy, laughter, blessings and family as you make your own memories.

 

Con mucho amor,
Silvia Salas-Sanchez

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Mi Familia
(My sister missing and a few cousins)

 

*** I’ve compiled a list below of all of our Thanksgiving recipes for you to consider as you plan your meal.  Enjoy!

Green Beans With Chorizo:  https://youtu.be/C1fbLVM_WFQ

Chorizo Stuffing:  https://youtu.be/C1fbLVM_WFQ

Candied Yamshttps://youtu.be/mmflJbA8z30

Pumpkin Empanadas: https://youtu.be/4tTocllSvKk

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole:  https://youtu.be/_xNHZa15oSc

Juicy Turkey:  https://youtu.be/_xNHZa15oSc

Pumpkin Bread Puddinghttps://youtu.be/4Z9thl1y2-g

Calabaza Enmielada:  https://youtu.be/RTnxseBMuR0

Pumpkin Tamales:  https://youtu.be/L5OJgWgTx5E

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:  https://youtu.be/1zC5VemXF3Y

Trukey Tamal:  https://youtu.be/ifZ2qALNrEM

Pork Leg in Adobo: https://youtu.be/5QtyErsHMiw

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole:  https://youtu.be/PSED223gKlQ

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding:  https://youtu.be/gBnmudEOfKI

Mashed Potatoes Con Longaniza Y Queso Oaxaca:  https://youtu.be/vXIiR-9ATFY

BBQ Meatballs:  https://youtu.be/GX316QK0MJY

Our Loteria Meet and Greet at Cafe Calacas was so much more than I expected.  Everything about the night was perfect.  The owners and workers at Calacas were beyond welcoming from their smiles, handshakes and delicious food and drinks.  My drink of the night was Habanero Lime Refresher.  I was running around the entire time so it truly hit the spot with it’s refreshing crispy lime taste and a special kick at the end of each sip–a not so heavy habanero touch–mmmmmmm is an understatement!   Cafe Calacas is definitely a place to check out when ever you are in the Santa Ana area.  View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet

Meeting our Social Media family was definitely a treat for both Abuela and I.  We enjoyed hearing all their touching stories.  It’s so encouraging to know how our videos have helped some through their toughest times.  It’s so humbling to know that we have grow in their hearts through their times of need.  Both Abuela and I will hold what they shared with us in our hearts and will continue to pray for them in the days to come.  Know that I do pray for this YouTube channel.  I pray that God would move across the screen and touch lives, heal lives and speak to the lives on the other side of the camera who may be fighting some sort of battle.  So when you share with me-us something that is personal, we take it to heart and take it to God.  I know that He hears and sees the tears, pains and joys of our Social Media family.  And even if you don’t feel it–He is working– I know personally.  In His perfect timing he has answered my prayers.  Maybe not in the way I expected, but He has seen me through much and continues to do so.View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet

The recent growth of our channel has really brought so many amazing things, including getting to know family that I didn’t even know existed.  We had a chance to reconnect recently over Social Media.  One day a gentleman with the “Contreras” last name reached out and said, “Como han estado.  Saludos a la familia.”.  Although I didn’t recognize the face, the last name, which is my Abuela’s last name caught my attention.  I thought to myself, “Could we be related?”.  Something within me felt that we were.  After a short conversation over Instagram, we threw out names that ended up connecting me to his family.  The meet and greet was where I got to meet them all and I’m so happy I did!  **Shout out to my new family Frank Contreras, Yolanda Contreras and Gloria Contreras among many more!IMG_5881

Having my aunts and all their children present also touched my heart.  If you attended or saw our Meet and Greet Video, you probably noticed a lot of people wearing the black “La Abuela” loteria shirt– well, they were all family.  It made the night more special than it already was.  There was another event going on in the area and finding parking was pretty stressful.  But they stuck it out and showed up!  I am extremely thankful for that.  La familia is important and we must stick together.  And to this day, I can say that we have been present for each others accomplishments!  Here is to many more FAMILIA!  Love you all!IMG_5836

Although all these factors and so much more that happened that night made the event special, I would have to say that my highlight was to see my Abuela’s eyes sparkle.Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.23.00 PM  I live for those moments- I long for those moments–when I get to see her face light up with joy–so much joy that for just a moment she can forget about her worries.  I love our drives home after our events.  Hearing her talk about her experience and the people she met and what she talked about is such a joy.  My heart becomes filled with gratitude for those moments.  She has gone through so much in her life and has done more for others than anyone I know and she deserves all the attention and spoiling she has gotten because of our videos.  My mom has made special appearances in the videos, cooking her own recipes and many of you also know her as well.  It’s an added bonus to see her get recognized too.  It’s just such a great feeling for me.

You all know that these videos started off as a way to document my Abuela, her cooking and ways for my kids and future generations.  But I must say that they have evolved into way more than that (not by luck, chance or coincidence).  It’s because we don’t show you something we are not.  What you see on video is really us.  I know everyone loves Abuela, and I’m just a facilitator in the videos but what we do share is our real relationship and the relationships we have with our entire family; and I believe you are a witness of it.  I know there are a few people who don’t like how I speak, how I act or even how I look but what’s the point of sharing with the world things that are unrealistic or unattainable.  My Abuela is a humble-hardworking woman, my mom is a God fearing woman who has worked hard to gain ground in the U.S. so that I could have a better life, and me…  Well, I do have a hard time saying who I am because of my own personal insecurities–  But I can say that because of what these women have done and accomplished in their lives, has paved the way for me to be the woman that God has created me to be.  I can enjoy what they worked hard for, and honor them for it through my life.  In addition, it is an opportunity to show the world that Mexicanos/Latinos(as) (that know the value of life and the meaning of hard work) can overcome all obstacles.  Those who understand and believe, realize that there is power in pushing each other to reach higher, without forgetting our rootsOur roots keep us grounded and our God becomes the rock in which we stand. 

View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet View More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreetView More: http://mayraarizaphotography.pass.us/akmeetgreet