The Bridge | El Puente

By Claire Krummenacher, Saga’20

My family and I had a tradition called “Downton Dinners,” where every Sunday my aunt and uncle would come over and we’d cook together and speculate what would happen on Downton Abbey that week. This went on for years, and even when the season ended, we would still get together for family dinners with the whole clan (all thirteen of us when possible!). We’d bake bread from scratch, play with my little cousins, and listen to my dad and uncle try to outdo each other with awful jokes, puns, and made up science – and it’s thinking about these moments that makes me miss them the most.

Spanish

Cuando pienso en mi familia
Sobre todo echo de menos las cenas que disfrutábamos juntos todos los domingos
Echo de menos la sabiduría de sus palabras que sazonaban la comida mientras cocinábamos juntos
Echo de menos el sabor de su risotada

Mi padre defendería su posición como el mejor chef de la familia en una batalla contra mi tío
Quien solo tiene una receta que siempre prepara
(Memoricé la receta de su plato después de un intento)

Siempre los dos peleaban sobre química y la ciencia de cocinar mientras trabajaban
Y preguntaba entre ellos cómo el otro sobrevivió la facultad de medicina
(Creo que somos la sola familia en el mundo quien discute las conexiones entre los principales termodinámicos de Newton y asar)

Pero aún sus egos nunca interferían con el horneado
Todas las discusiones cesaría cuando llegó el momento para revelar el pan
De repente la hogaza dorada aparecería del horno, y con ella, silencio completo
La preparación del pan era sagrada
(Espero que todavía permanece así)

A veces creo que haría cualquier cosa para regresar a esa cocina por un momento
Al olor de pollo frito y pasta mantecosa
Y de cola de tomate y patatas asadas
Al sonido de las voces que me mandoneaba

Pero todos los jueves
Mientras preparo hamburguesas en el Shiok Shack
Me siento la presencia de mi familia estadounidense desde el otro lado del océano

Las cocinas son los puentes entre continentes

English

When I think of my family
Above all I miss the dinners that we enjoyed together every Sunday
I miss the wisdom of their words that seasoned the food while we cooked together
I miss the flavor of their laughter

My dad would defend his position as the best chef in the family in a battle against my uncle
Who only has one recipe that he always prepares
(I memorized the recipe for his dish after one try)

The two always bickered over chemistry and the science of cooking while they worked
And asked how the other survived medical school
(I think we are the only family that discusses the connections between Newton’s principles of thermodynamics and grilling)

But even their egos never interfered with baking
All discussions would cease when the moment arrived to reveal the bread
The golden loaf would appear suddenly from the oven—and with it, complete silence
The preparation of the bread was sacred (I would like to believe it still is)

Sometimes I think I would do anything to return to that kitchen for just a moment To the smell of fried chicken and buttery noodles
Of tomato paste and roast potatoes
To the sound of the voices that bossed me around

But every Thursday
While making burgers at the Shiok Shack I feel the presence of my American family from the other side of the ocean
Kitchens are the bridges between continents

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