Soup Makes the Holiday
Many of my family traditions are centered around the holiday season. The holiday season, particularly Christmas and New Year’s Day are holidays that prompt my family to engage in activities that connect us back to the culture and traditions of our ancestors. I come from a very multicultural family, but I was raised by my mother who is Colombian-American. It is the Colombian culture that shines the most during the holiday season. For us, the holiday season is centered around food. In the Hispanic culture, as in many cultures, food acts as a way of bringing family together and connecting with our culture. Although, we live in America and by birth are part of the American culture, keeping the Colombian culture alive by cooking Colombian food is a fundamental part of any holiday season for my family. Every New Year’s Eve, my mother makes a delicious soup called ajiaco, a thick chicken a potato soup mixed in with heavy cream and capers and seasoned with a special herb we call guascas. Guascasis an incredible herb that is essential to Andean cooking and is the highlight of the ajiacosoup which is commonly made by many Bogotános, those who hail from the capital city. It is very special for our family because we only eat it once a year. It is a time for us to sit down and enjoy each other’s company and eat until we cannot eat anymore. The topic of conversation around the dinner table usually is about family tradition and who passed what on to the next generation. My grandmother usually talks about the way her mother made the soup and how it was slightly different than how she made the soup. Then my mother, comments on how she makes the soup a bit different than her mother. My mother is the designated soup maker during the holiday season, but the role is slowly switching to my older sister who loves making the soup with her own unique contemporary twist. The beauty of this soup is that it is what connects us all to the home of our ancestors but showcases the change throughout the generations and cultures. We are able to add individuality to it without losing its origins, which I think the perfect metaphor for immigrant families passing down the traditions of their original culture to those offspring that have now assimilated into the new culture.