First time on my own…

Belen Yager
2 min readSep 26, 2020


Not that I will kid myself and act as if I have any sort of following or real readership quite yet. But if you have read any of my posts before this you may have noticed that I enjoy writing about food and my particular relationship with it.

Well this is no different.

If you know me at all beyond this blog, you also know that my abuela is one of the most important people in the world to me. She has taught me a lot about what I know of life, not that I pretend that is much. But of course, the biggest thing that I associate with my abuela is the way she always managed to get me to eat and how she brought us together with food. Especially when we did not want to be together.

The ultimate bring people together dish in our world is a rice dish called Arroz con Pollo.

It has onions, diced chicken breast (marinated for at least 2 hours beforehand), oil, garlic and a small amount of tomato paste brought to a high heat. Once the chicken starts to turn white, add already boiling water and rice. The secret is a small amount of SalSaffron, a spice that abuela has sent to her from Spain by her relatives. It turns everything yellow and gives it a distinct flavor that abuela would describe as ‘welcoming for the soul’.

This simplified ‘recipe’ is about six times more detailed than anything abuela would ever give if asked how it was made, no matter who asked.

This year, now that I am living in a real apartment with a real kitchen, I wanted to make dinner for a group of my friends. I thought that I would make Arroz con Pollo for everyone that came over. Clearly it is a straightforward dish that I could make enough of for 8 people, 4 of whom are male collegiate athletes.

Piece. Of. Cake.

Turns out that it is not quite so easy as Abuela made it look all these years and wow there are more steps than the 3 that abuela gave.

Honestly it turned out really great and everyone had more than enough to eat. However, it will continually astound me as to how abuela does this is in 30 minutes or less when it took me over an hour.

A hot kitchen, a late dinner, a caffeinated cook… the only recipe I had was for a disaster…

But as always abuela was right. It brought us together, we sat around a table and laughed and a ate a really great meal (if I do say so myself).



Belen Yager

Just chillin, per usual