Cooking is a utilitarian activity for me. I don’t really enjoy it, somehow I’ve associated it as a task that is expected of me just because I am a woman, and that upsets me. I also don’t have a favorite dish. But when I sat down to think about food that brought me joy, the first thing that came to mind was something that I associate with my grandmother. It’s interesting because I’ve actually haven’t had it many times since my grandmother passed away when I was five years old. But memory has its funny ways and I do remember that I loved hojuelas. In looking up the recipe I discovered that it is actually a traditional holiday dish in Colombia, where I am from. I had only associated hojuelas with my grandmother and not with another motherly figure, my motherland. I also didn’t know that there were two names for it. I find this sort of poetic as I now hold two identities, Colombian and American. Engaging in this exercise led me to call my mother to obtain information about the dish and to go into a journey of early childhood memories and what I associate with love and joy It turned out to be a great activity that has allowed me to take a closer look at my relationship with food.
- ½ lb de harina de trigo / ½ lb of wheat flour
- 1 huevo / 1 egg
- 1 pizca de sal / 1 dash of salt
- 1 cucharadita de azúcar / 1 teaspoon of sugar
- ½ baso de aguapanela / ½ cup of aguapanela o jugo de naranja (means panela water, it’s made of hardened sugar) orange juice can be used instead
- 1 cucharada de mantequilla / 1 tablespoon of butter
- Aceite para freir / oil for frying
Add salt, sugar, flour, on a clean surface and make a small volcano. At the top of the volcano make space to add the egg. Mix in and add butter and aguapanela or orange juice. Begin to knead the dough until it is right. Form a large ball, put it in a container, and cover for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes have passed, sprinkle flour on a surface and begin to flatten the dough with a roller. Flatten it as much as possible. Cut into triangles with a knife or a pizza cutter (or cut into whatever shape you like) and then fry on both sides in hot oil until brown. Let stand on an absorbent paper to absorb excess oil and sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy.