Señora Ortega’s Frijoles, a story of family sayings and kitchen wisdom

A bowl of frijoles negros courtesy of Badagnani under CC BY 3.0 license.

In the tradition of Señora Ortega’s own madre, la cocina was a place of teaching — about food, about life, about being a woman, about being human.



Her fate was set when she fell under the spell of his kind eyes and bigger than life personality. For his part, he loved her gentle ways, the fluid dance of her hands at work, the sensual swing of her hips as she walked to the market with basket in hand.

And so it happened that in 1948, with her father’s permission and her mother’s tears, they were wed in the old adobe iglesia where uncounted generations of her family had been married before her. Not many months after the wedding, she kissed her parents and siblings goodbye, took a long loving look at her village, and followed her new husband north to los Estados Unidos de América. She was already pregnant with Clarita. 

The complete story is HERE. Enjoy!


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent and Upcoming in Digital Publications: Five by Jamie Dedes on The World Literature Blog,  Jamie Dedes, Versifier of Truth, Womawords Literary Press, November 19, How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

3 thoughts on “Señora Ortega’s Frijoles, a story of family sayings and kitchen wisdom

  1. As a young girl, there were numerous times that I sat in my abuelas cocina, snacking on frijoles and round corn cakes. Beans and cornbread were everyday foods in her kitchen, and although my beans and cornbread are good, they just don’t taste the same. My padre would often sit with me and we would take our time, talking and eating. Such treasured memories. I loved this story. So sweet. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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