Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Incorporating Spanish into Everyday Life

Recently, I have become active on Instagram.  While it began as a place for me to record snippets of family life and teaching ideas, I have quickly begun to chat with others (whom I have never met in real life!) that share the passion for teaching their children and students to be bilingual.

Early this week, I was asked to share how I incorporate my mother language into everyday life. (#IMLD) While my mother language is, indeed, English, I chose to share how we incorporate Spanish (the minority language) into our life:  with food!

You may laugh, but my family is OBSESSED with food.  When my kids were toddlers, they preferred The Food Network to Sesame Street (and now their favorite show is Master Chef, Jr).  Playdates centered around making or consuming food.  Heck, (and I'm not kidding here!) one of the reasons we chose their elementary school was due to the immense garden (where the kids are able to plant and harvest the food), cooking lessons incorporated into the curriculum beginning in kindergarten, and a special "Wellness Chef" that visits the cafeteria to introduce kids to new foods.

our school's Wellness Chef, sitting in the garden at school

Looking back, it shouldn't surprise me, as the Spanish seem to be obsessed with food as well.  When I was living there, the second question people would ask me (after asking if I liked Spain) was, "and you like the food, right?"

"Si!!  Me encanta!!" said enthusiastically was the only acceptable answer.

Someone can call you "the milk" as a compliment....or an insult.  There are even enormous celebrations where people throw tomatoes at each other.  And these celebrations begin by climbing up a greased pole to grab a ham!

But I digress.  What Spanish food do we have in our home?

I always ask visitors to bring our favorite infusiones and drinks that I can't find here:

Here are some of the foods that we brought back from Spain (yes, I always bring back olives!  For some reason, even the inexpensive ones there are sooooooo much better than the fancy ones I find here):

But where are the lentils??  Why, we made the last of them a couple of evenings ago:

While I look forward to sharing with you other ways that we incorporate Spanish into our daily lives, enjoying it's food seems to be one of the best ways for my family!  What does your family do?

Oh!  and join me (@sra_casado) on Instagram if you'd like to see even more photos of Spanish food, or even check out the #IMLD project.

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