Growing up in a small, rural, agricultural based town located east of San Diego and fifteen minutes from the U.S./Mexico border-was difficult for me. My environment was not a very stimulating place to live, having the highest unemployment rate in the whole state California. The majority of the people who lived in my town lacked the ambition and motivation to achieve anything above a high school diploma. Being is that type of atmosphere, made me very grateful for having my grandmother around during my childhood upbringing. She encouraged me to succeed and has been one of my main motivators in life. Whenever I think about my grandmother, my mind tends to flood with flashes of vivid memories of us baking pan dulce together.
I remember one particular day very distinctly. It was on a Sunday morning, I was twelve years old, and I was suddenly awakened from my deep sleep due to the loud noises I heard coming from my grandmother's kitchen.
I could hear the clank of my grandma's high heels as they hit the tile floor, the squeaking sound of the cupboard doors opening and closing, the clatter coming from her mixing bowls, and the ringing of pots and pans. I glanced at the clock, and it was 5'oclock in the morning. I made my way to the kitchen and asked her, "Why are you up so early today nana?" She looked at me and smiled; her eyes were radiating with happiness, and said, "We are going to bake your favorite dessert today, pan dulce."
As my grandmother explained how to make the pan dulce to me, we carefully measured out all of the ingredients. The pan dulce was made according to a very simple recipe that was handed down to her from her mother, who was from...