El Amor

Every Year For Nochebuena My Twin Brother Gets To Go Golfing While I’m Forced To Play Cinderella And Help Make The Lechon, Here’s Why

There’s a moment in almost every woman’s life when she realizes that the cards are systematically stacked against her because of sexism. The realization hits us at different moments, but it hits hard. For some, it’s the first time we see the unfairness of being scolded for climbing trees or getting in trouble for strict dress codes. For others, its when they get their first paycheck or have a male-coworker call them something like “sweetie” or “hun.”

I clued into this reality back when I was a kid watching TV on the couch with my twin brother (aka my same aged brother who had no reason for being treated any differently than me). My mother had been in the kitchen when she called me over to clean up. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked for my help with cleaning, but it was the first time I realized I was the only one asked, and that it was total caca that my twin hadn’t been asked as well.

Of course, I knew better than to make a fuss about being asked to clean.

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Mama didn’t raise no dummy who talks back. However, I did open my mouth to say something like “But what about my bother?” which was quickly met with “Boys don’t clean the kitchen.”

And thus began my understanding of the subtle yet very obvious ways he and I were treated differently growing up.

While I hightailed my ass home to make sure I met my 10 o’clock curfew…

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(A very annoying thing to have to do when you’re trying to actually have a social life in your teen years)

My twin brother was strolling into the house hours later at midnight.

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Looking and smelling suspicious as hell.

Nearly every one of my outfits went under daily scrutinization…

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Shirts, skirts, shorts, even pantyhose were up to inspection and criticism.

But my twin bro got away with any size shorts, no problem.

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The teeniest tiniest shorts were never a big deal.

My parents wouldn’t let me have a boyfriend.

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“No novio para ti mija”

Or, drive in cars with my friends.

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“Why do you need to drive with your friends when I can drive you”

Meanwhile…

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There goes my twin doing all of the most.

And despite all of my very ~mature~ and completely logical protests, it continues to this day.

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And we’re both adults!

Even now, when we visit home for Thanksgiving or Nochebuena, while I’m playing Cinderella in the kitchen with my sister and mother…

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My brother’s out hitting balls on the golf green with my dad.

And AFTER dinner? When I’m stuck Jenga-style organizing the fridge with leftovers of lechón and frijoles…

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Ay yay yay.

The prince gets to lay back and rest his precious tummy.

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Because, you know, he put it in a whole lot of work eating at the dinner table.

Ok, sometimes he has to take care of the trash.

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LBR, that’s the bare minimum.

When I do put up a fight about cooking and cleaning…

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My mom starts sweating me about whether I’ll ever convince some guy to marry me.

Or, when I want to go out with my friends?

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It’s like facing a parole board.

My brother could go for a run and literally be gone for hours.

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Last year, I went running and after being gone 30 minutes my dad rounded up neighborhood watch.

Being a twin, I know that I’ve got quite a leg up over the singletons of the world. And all the perks he gets aside, my wombmate is actually pretty much the best.

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I was born with a lifelong buddy and have always had someone to help me tackle life’s hurdles. It also means I’m one step closer to being an Olsen twin than anyone who doesn’t have a twin. (Which means I’m basically an Olsen twin?)

That is to say, I’m lucky and I know it.

But when it’s all said and done, as a woman, I know there’s a whole lot of BS I’m expected to put up with, and benevolent sexism in my household is absolutely one of them.

So, ICYMI he absolutely should be the one to clean the dishes this year for Thanksgiving, Mom and Dad.


What kind of caca sexism do you experience in your house? Tell us in the comments below, and recommend this post to your friends!

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20 Better Ways to Celebrate The Holidays Than Eating Too Much Salty Ham

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20 Better Ways to Celebrate The Holidays Than Eating Too Much Salty Ham

Not everyone loves salty ham for Christmas, even if it is from that one store with all the commercials that we won’t name. Latin American food is filled with rich dishes perfect for special occasions, soups, stews, empanadas, soul-warming drinks, and the dish that the rest of America loves to make, tamales. So forget salty ham or dry turkey and try making one of these dishes. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, there are plenty of ideas here for you too.

1.  Pernil

Made of pork shoulder, this Puerto Rican dish is cooked with the meat on the bone until the skin on the outside is crispy and the skin on the inside is falling off the bone. Get yourself an orange and some Sazon Goya and get cooking.

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2. Turkey Pozole

Let say you like turkey, but you don’t want to cook a whole one.  Try this recipe. Unlike some pozole recipes that you’ll find online, this recipe calls for using dried pasilla chiles, so it will taste like the pozole that you’ve had before only with turkey. The recipe does call for tomato paste which you won’t need if you just add a couple of more chiles.

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3. Birria de Chivo

Often served at weddings (watch that white dress!) and baptisms, this dish is great for serving during the holidays too. It’s deep red sauce, made of ancho and guajillo chiles looks festive garnished with onions and cilantro.

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4. Red Pork Pozole

If you’d rather have pozole during the winter holiday season, why not just make this one. Pork pozole has the best flavor out all the pozoles because of the fat in the pork. This well-written recipe comes with step-by-step photo instructions as well as the standard ingredients list.

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5. Pork Tamales

Mely Martinez, of México in My Kitchen, food blog, offers traditional Mexican recipes in both English and Spanish. Her pork tamales recipe is beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photos, and a list of ingredients at the end of the recipe. She even tells you what of cut of meat is best for these tamales.

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6. Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup

Let’s say no quiere meat at all. This Vegan Mexican meatball soup, or albondigas, is made with 1 package of Gardein ground beef crumbles. It also contains everything else you’d expect in albondigas, carrots, potatoes, and long-grain rice.

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7. Vegetarian Green Chile and Cheese Tamales

Everybody loves the cheese tamales. Mamás all over the Americas spends hours stewing meat for pork tamales only to have everyone eat the cheese ones first. This recipe includes ingredients and directions for making both the masa and the filling, and Isabel at Isabel Eats food blog, tells you how to make masa both vegetarian and with lard. If you don’t have time to make the masa, and you’re not vegetarian, go to your local Latin American food market where they have plenty of it on hand, especially during the holiday season.

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8. Tamales de Pavo or Turkey Tamales

The New York Times recipes can sometimes be very fussy and call for expensive ingredients, but this recipe is unfussy and straightforward. Poultry tamales are hard to make without getting the meat too dry but aren’t likely to have that problem if you follow the cooking times in this recipe carefully.

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9. Mole-Roasted Turkey with Masa Stuffing and Chile Gravy

So you didn’t get to eat turkey for Thanksgiving and you want one for Christmas but with a Latin-twist? Try this recipe. If you’re a meat-eating goth, this turkey will look great on your table because the mole rub makes the skin a dark, black red color. The recipe includes the directions for the masa stuffing and chili gravy which is something we would eat every day.

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10. Turkey Birria

If you still have the left-over turkey carcass with some meat left on it in the freezer, pull it out and make this turkey birria. Ruby from GUBlife, Growing Up Blaxican, blog offers fully-illustrated instructions and an ingredients list. The GUBlife website has other recipes, DIY craft ideas, and culture and parenting info.

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11. Turkey in Mole Sauce

This is not a Rick Bayless recipe *wink*.  Good mole is always time-consuming pero se vale la pena. This recipe from Epicurious, with its long ingredients list, will take at least three days to make, but your casita will smell so yummy. The recipe does call for nuts, so don’t serve it to your gente with nut allergies.

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12. Orange Chipotle Ham

Okay, maybe you really do want ham, try this recipe by Laylita de Ecuador. Included in the ingredients are chipotle chile, lime, achiote, cinnamon, and some tequila! The chipotle, honey, tequila sauce poured over the ham for cooking will create a beautiful red glaze.

Orange chipotle ham

13. Mushroom Empanadas

Empanadas are a great side dish and a super satisfying blend of carbs and protein. These empanadas de hongo y queso make great horderves during the holidays, especially with the festive green aji criollo sauce. There is a link to the salsa recipe on the mushroom empanada page. This recipe is one of Laylita’s many empanada recipes.

Mushroom cheese empanadas


14. Chicken Sausage Gumbo

It’s not a Latin American dish, but chicken sausage gumbo is spiced similarly, and equally satisfying as many Latin American dishes. When we get tired of pozole at my house, we make gumbo. You will want to follow this Emeril Lagasse (one of the few celebrity chefs who hasn’t been accused of sexual misconduct) gumbo recipes carefully, especially when it tells you to stir the roux. If you burn it, start all over. Trust us!

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15. Seafood Gumbo

Okay, so you’d rather have seafood gumbo. Try Emeril’s Classic Seafood Gumbo recipe. A bit more time-consuming than the chicken sausage gumbo, this recipe will make the seafood lovers in your life mighty happy.

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16. Persimmon Mojito

Now that you have the casita all warmed up by all the cooking in the kitchen, it’s time to fix yourself a drink. This persimmon mojito recipe is perfect for the season as persimmon’s are abundant this time of year. While the recipe calls for rum, you could leave that out for a virgin version if you’re Latino and straight-edge.

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17. Mexican Ponche

If your Christmas won’t be complete without ponche and no one passed the recipe down to you, here’s one from Lesley Téllez at The Mija Chronicles. This recipe will get your apartamento smelling just like Christmas en México. If you have to have one those cute terra cotta cups to drink it from, many Latin American markets sell those too.

How to make ponche, the traditional Mexican Christmas punch

18. Mexican Bread Pudding or Capirotada

Made with Oaxacan queso and nuts, this bread pudding recipe is beautifully-illustrated and easy to follow. It calls for a lot of butter which guarantees great taste, no? This particular recipe also has an easy-to-find print button for those who don’t like reading recipes on a screen.

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19. Pastel de Tres Leches

Sabes qué? You can make tres leches cake at home. Here’s a recipe by award-winning food blogger, Vianney from Tejas. Vianney is the author of two cookbooks The Tex Mex Slow Cooker and Latin Twist. She also hosts the Sweet Life blog.

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20. Vegan Mexican Chocolate Pie

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Follow this dairy-free recipe, and add some cayenne pepper to your chocolate and you’ve got vegan chocolate pie. Unlike many vegan dessert recipes, this recipe can be made without nuts. This particular chocolate pie has a graham cracker crust,  nom, nom.


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Latinas On Twitter Are Taking Part In The Microwave Turkey Challenge While Simultaneously Embarrassing Their Moms

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Latinas On Twitter Are Taking Part In The Microwave Turkey Challenge While Simultaneously Embarrassing Their Moms

Despite the stereotypes, not all Latinas know how to cook. Despite being raised in a culture of machismo, where so many of us are expected by family members, friends, even our boyfriends to know how to cook, with so much work to be done, not all of us have had the time or interest in learning how to. This is, despite the disappointment our lack of knowledge on how to cook even the smallest of meals it might cause our mothers and abuelas with their memorized memories and cooking methods to feel.

Twitter’s most recent social media challenge is putting the spotlight on our lack of cooking skills.

With just days to go before Thanksgiving, many of us are probably struggling to figure out how to cook that turkey. The Internet’s latest challenge has Latinx’s and non-Latinxs alike texting their moms to ask: How long do I microwave a turkey? Moms across the country are freaking out and cracking up as their kids seemingly ask a clueless question about cooking.

Responses to the texts have been filled with both astonishment and, fortunately, lessons.

If you have one of those sarcastic mamis, then god bless you. Twitter user Jaycee Rodriguez got a really good dose of humor from her mom, who advised her to microwave her turkey for a whopping 73 hours. If you’ve ever thought about it, then yeah, a 25-pound turkey probably really WOULD take about that length of time in the microwave. So maybe her mom was actually being serious?

Some moms are taking a more direct approach.

Any Latina knows that mami calling you an idiot is probably not that unusual. They only say it because they love us so much, amirite? But if you are planning to ask your mom a stupid question, don’t be surprised if she calls you out on it. That’s what happened with Twitter user Patricia, whose mami was quick to call her and tell her that she’s an idiot for wanting to microwave a turkey. Sorry, girl, you simply can’t cook a 25-pound turkey in the microwave. Just. not. possible.

Some learned quickly never to ask their mami this question again.

Another Twitter user, Haley Garza, went so far as to post the text messages that she exchanged with her family about how to cook a turkey in the microwave. As you can imagine, the messages were hysterical and enlightening.

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Her mami, of course, warned her about getting sick. Doesn’t everyone’s mom always worry about them getting sick? That’s certainly the case here, though mom admits that she has no idea how to cook a turkey in the microwave and instead tells her daughter to ask someone else.

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Sadly, Libby wasn’t much help in telling Haley that the turkey had to be defrosted first. Wait, you kids don’t even know that you can’t start cooking a turkey while it’s still frozen? Uh oh, we’re in trouble. Thankfully, Haley has one more person to turn to: Dad.

Papi offered a bit more helpful advice but telling his daughter that it will take six hours to cook a turkey in the microwave maybe wasn’t the best idea. We’ll just have to pray and hope she doesn’t attempt it.

Some good Latino parents tried to help, of course.

When Twitter user Ale Salazar texted his family about microwaving a turkey, they really tried to help! Mami started out by asking if the turkey “esta congelado?”

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Then dad chimed in with instructions direct from Google.

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Thankfully, by that point, the joke was up and Ale came clean…

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Thankfully, the adorable mami in this situation laughed it off and reminded him that at least his family supports him.

Sure, mom, thanks for the reminder.

Of course, not every mami is going to get in on the joke fully…. but they probably all will warn you about getting sick.

In the end, the challenge is all in good fun and mamis are hopefully enjoying the hilarity, too. You know, after they get over the initial shock and horror of not only their kid asking how to microwave a turkey but also the fact that they’re actually joking. Just maybe don’t be surprised if you’ve done this challenge and then mom doesn’t want to give you seconds at the Thanksgiving table.

Just kidding. Whose mami would actually NOT feed them more and then insist you take home all of the leftovers? Nobody’s, that’s who.


Read: Millennials Are Freaking Out Their Mamis With The “Microwave Turkey Challenge” Before Thanksgiving

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