We are having so much fun with guest posts for Smithsonian Hispanic Heritage Month we decided to continue with one more! We have another new to ALBTALBS author, and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s always fun to read new authors, and here is a chance to get to know debut author Danni Rose a little better!
Angel Food Cake to Tortillas
My mother is an excellent cook, me—not so much. My lack of skill was apparent the first time I made a cake. Using a box cake mix, I planned to make the perfect cake. I mixed the batter, put the cake in the oven, and waited anxiously for it to be done. Imagine my disappointment when, instead of a cake, I pulled out an angel food Frisbee.
Not willing to declare defeat, I tried again. This time an apple pie. I made the crust, sliced the apples, and added the spices. Then I waited for my masterpiece to bake. When the timer went off, I pulled an
uncooked apple pie from the oven. You guessed it, I forgot to turn the oven on.
The stories of my catastrophes spread throughout the family. I was becoming infamous. An aunt gave me a cookbook and told me not to give up. Inspired, I had to try one last time. I found a banana bread recipe even I couldn’t mess up. I double checked every ingredient, the oven temperature, and the cooking instructions. Victory! I made an eatable loaf of banana bread.
Fresh off my success, I wanted to master the secret family recipes. I asked my mother to teach me to make Mexican food. The problem with secret recipes is that they’re not written anywhere. They can only be passed on from one cook to another. Mom cooked the way her mother cooked—a pinch of this, a dash of that, and a smidgen of whatever.
My first lesson was to make flour tortillas. If ever there was a pinch-dash recipe this was it. The art of making good tortillas is being able to roll them out into a circular shape using only the rolling pin. My attempts looked like flat footballs. After I’d burnt my fingers on the griddle for the umpteenth time, I conceded the battle to the tortillas.
Have you heard The Pot Roast Story? A woman cuts the ends off her roast. Her mother always did it, so she did as well. When she asked her mother why they cut the ends, she said it was how her mother taught her to make a roast. Still not satisfied, the woman talked to her grandmother. “I make my roast the same way you taught mom to make hers. But why did you cut off the ends? Does it make the roast taste better?” Her grandmother chuckled. “When your mother was a young girl, I only had one small pan. To make the roast fit, I’d cut off the ends.”
Passing recipes from one generation to another is one way we keep our heritage alive. It’s a way to remember where we came from and the foundation of who we are. I am proud to be part of our family’s Mexican heritage—even if I’ll never master making tortillas.
Bio: At the age of ten, Danni was given access to the Young Adult room of the library. That’s when she fell in love with Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and—when no one was looking—Rosemary Rogers. The result was a love affair with books, especially romance novels.
Danni splits her time between writing, reading, and creating beaded bags. She has won awards for her writing and currently is writing two series. The first is a contemporary series set in northern Minnesota entitled Serenity Bay. The other series is a historical series set in 18th Century Georgian England and is entitled The Gentlemen’s Club.
She is a member of the national organization, Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapter, Saguaro Romance Writers, where she is serving on the board of directors. She has served as the chair of the romance committee for the Tucson Festival of Books where she met authors such as Iris and Roy Johansen, Catherine Coulter, Brenda Novak, and other amazing writers.
We thank Danni, for joining us for SHHM! Please congratulate her on her debut novel, Kiss Yesterday Goodbye! You can reach Danni on her website, and you can purchase her novel here.
At ALBTALBS we LOVE to eat, so please share your favorite family recipes below!