By: Rose Jackson
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. My name is Rose Jackson and I am the Co-Chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. One of our initiatives is to foster awareness and appreciation of diversity therefore, I’d like to share something about me and my culture.
Because my last name is Jackson, many people don’t know that I am of Puerto Rican descent as my mother is born and raised there as well as both of my grandparents on my father’s side. I was very fortunate to grow up with a mom who is a great cook so, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite dishes growing up.
My all-time favorite as a kid was Piñon (some people call it Pastelon). This was a traditional Puerto Rican dish made up of sweet plantains and ground meat layered like you would a lasagna. This is definitely not diet food but it was delicious. My mom made it for me every birthday and on special occasions.
Another one, which is now one of my wife’s favorites is Ropa Vieja. This is a flank steak or chuck roast that is slow-cooked, shredded and seasoned in all the right ways. We ate it with rice and beans. Below is a slow cooker recipe I’ve used in the past. This is not the traditional way to make it but it’s the “I’m a mom with two little boys” way to make it.