Crema Cacique Salvadorena
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
- Boil spaghetti following the instructions on the box and drain the pasta
- Add half the bottle of Crema Cacique
- Add 1 tablespoon of paste, add more as needed
- Option to add broth if the sauce is too thick or Knorr chicken seasoning for more flavor
*Best accompanied by a Pilsner Beer
The humidity of the simmering pasta filled the kitchen air with a starchy comforting smell. “Make sure not to add too much tomato paste” Jackie’s mom warned over the phone, excited to have Jackie cook this meal for us. It is one of Jackie’s favorites. Marilyn had attempted to make it for Jackie’s birthday last year, solidifying the sentimental value of the recipe. This recipe has been passed down from Jackie’s grandmother to her mother and now to her. It reminded Jackie of coming home from school and finding a hot meal on the stove. “It was what I would eat right before I started homework… my mom didn’t have a lot of dishes but this was one that was special. It was fun.”
As Jackie prepared the meal for us, the conversation flowed into childhood and growing up. Jackie talked about how when she was a little girl she would accompany her mom to work and family functions. She was her mother’s little companion. She told us a funny story about visiting a family friend and how her little sister and another little girl were jumping on the bed. Jackie in her innate sagacity told her sister to “STOP!” because she was going to fall. The little girl looked at Jackie annoyed and told her to “Relax. CHILL.” Stunned, Jackie didn’t know what to say. She was always around adults… “who jumps on the bed? That’s dangerous!” It was perhaps the first time she became self aware. If you know Jackie, it’s very telling of her personality. She is the better adult. Composed. Level headed. The adult we all hope to be.
The Macarones were done. Marilyn and Jackie plopped the creamy pink spaghetti onto a plate and placed it on the table. Salivating, we looked to each other for permission. We already knew how it would taste as our own mother’s had made some variation for us as kids.
As we brought the forks to our mouths, we braced ourselves for the burst of remembrance. Jackie dived in first, and with a smile on her face announced “Mmm, that takes me back.” Success.
Written by Joanna and Photos by Marilyn