When Life Gives You Oranges
I spent many hours as a child playing near the drying linens hanging from a single rope on the rooftop patio that sat above my home in Mexico. I remember the smell of the peeling brick-red paint that covered the concrete. In a corner of the patio, sat a very large pot with a very small orange tree. This tree, while it could barely cast a shade, bloomed with gorgeous white flowers that eventually turned into oranges. Freshly squeezed orange juice was always available at the breakfast table. It was a small act of love that my mama always made for us growing up.
My mother taught me patience, love, and dedication by making us orange juice every morning. Mama would get up from bed before anyone else, so she could go to the rooftop to collect the oranges, bring them down to our kitchen and one by one hand squeeze them into a glass. It is memories like these that kept me motivated throughout May while Mamacita was undergoing proofing and being finalized.
I remember when I first dreamed of creating this cookbook. The first recipe I wrote down, the workshops I attended, and the countless hours of recipe testing. But, I never imagined what the editing, design and proofing process would be like once the bones of the book were all together. Much like making orange juice every morning, finalizing this book undertook hours of patience, determination, and love. It was difficult to undergo so many days and weeks of reviews and edits both physically and mentally. Every day in May, my days were split between full-time work, nutrition school, and finalizing this book. All while being a partner, friend, sister, and daughter. And although some days were very difficult, I don't regret a single minute that went towards making Mamacita the best possible book it could be.
But, I can't take all the credit. I am lucky to have an incredible team who also sacrificed many hours and the entire month of May towards making Mamacita what it is today, what will soon be in your hands. A special thanks goes to my Editor Erin Motley and Designer Matt Ogle for being my left and right hands as we undertook this challenge.
When I hear the saying "it takes a village," I am reminded of my community, of my friends, family, and of you. It is all thanks to you that Mamacita went from a hanging orange to a tall glass of fresh orange juice.
I truly appreciate your patience this last month while we squeezed the last drops of love into this book. I know that in a time when we can select 2-day shipping, waiting over a month to receive the cookbook is not ideal. But, sometimes, it is the best things that are worth the wait.