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  • As a kid, Richard Rodriguez often watched his Mom Elsie prepare a traditional roast pork with rice and beans for the family meal. He even tagged along when she went shopping for the ingredients at the supermarket.

    "In a Puerto Rican household, the women did all the cooking and provided for the men…Cooking was definitely an important part of the culture. Any family get together you always had food, and the place to be in these family gatherings was in the kitchen. That's where things were happening, and people were talking and cooking. You got to learn a lot about the family while the moms were doing the cooking."

    Richard didn't get to learn the family's roast pork recipe until after his Mom passed away. His aunt, Priscilla Mercado, took up the charge and showed him how to do it. Now, things are happening in Richard's kitchen, as he cooks the pork, or rice and beans, and other traditional meals for his family, including arroz con pollo, a dish he taught his son for a school assignment. They even made a video of the process. Richard's family enjoys his efforts, but he wishes they had a more adventurous palate.

    "I like things spicy. My family doesn't like things as spicy but sometimes I overdo it. I even admit it to myself that I went a bit overboard on the spices."

    Richard Rodriguez is a co-host of About Men Radio and works in the biomedical research field. This story was produced for "Coming to the Table" from Feet In Two Worlds.
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