Saturday wrap-up, starring Imalay!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

By Imalay Guzman

Imalay, right, and her mom and children

Growing up in a big family and being the only girl was difficult. I am the fourth child out of six – and the only girl! Considering that my mother was accustomed to all her boys, raising a girl was confusing. I have always been emotional and awkward. When it came to talking to my mom I always wrote her letters of explanations of how I felt and slid them under her bedroom door!

My mother and I have a unique relationship. It hasn’t always been that way, but over the course of time it gradually changed. Hard to accept that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! I’m glad that our relationship has matured to the point of having open conversations: we have our disagreements but respect our differences. Although my life choices haven’t always been the best, my mother always supported me and advised me of the consequences.

One thing that my mother and I always connected over was cooking. My best memories are in the kitchen with her and my brothers. It’s a tradition! All my brothers and I can cook a good-tasting meal. All in the grace of my momma and the talks that we had when we sat down to eat dinner. All I remember is the laughter and different stories of how everyone’s day had gone. On occasion we have potlucks challenging my mother’s original recipes, which is fun, but no one can do it like my Momma!

Imalay, her mom and daughter

Now that I have children of my own, I can totally understand why she was the way she was during my childhood. I admire and respect her so much. So I do as much as I can to help. I am simply grateful for her. I know it wasn’t easy to raise six children on her own. It takes hard work to be a mother of that many children! She is prepared for anything, one of the many great qualities I inherited from her — besides the cooking skills.

Here’s a recipe for you:

A traditional dessert after a home cooked Puerto Rican meal is “flan.’’ It is a sweetened egg custard with a caramel topping, an open, tart-like pastry, which my mother makes.

She also makes it calibrated – mixing it with cake and calling it “Flancocho.” A recipe I will gladly share with you:


To make a small sized flancocho, gather:

Eggs (6)

Evaporated milk (1)

Condensed milk (1)

Vanilla cake (½ box)

Vanilla (3 tsp.)

Sugar (1 cup)

First step is preparing the cake mix. (Use only half a box.) For a larger Flancocho, double the ingredients listed.

Next, you’re going to mix the eggs with the evaporated and condensed milk and 3 tsp. of vanilla flavoring.

The next step is a little more complicated because we’re going to melt sugar to preciseness: heat and stir 1 cup of sugar on a stove top until it turns to what looks like dark, liquified caramel.

Using a baking pan of your choosing, you are going to put the ingredients into this exact layered order:

The caramel goes first, then the flan mix and lastly the cake mix.

Then, you’re going to put the baking pan inside of a bigger and deeper baking pan full of water while trying not to mix the three mixtures of layers – which are very sensitive.

The baking pan full of water allows the mixture to bake without sticking.

Lastly, bake at 350 for an hour.

This is an amazing dish! And it’s even more special when it’s passed down from generation to generation – for example, my mom to me. Sharing similar interests in cooking made it possible for our relationship to grow and progress, making it easy to keep an open line of communication.

This recipe can be used for any occasion. You can make it for yourself or for your family. …

Imalay’s family = love!

Either way I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. This recipe can be difficult to perfect, but if you manage to successfully prepare it, be ready to add it to your favorites! Always remember that food is love – especially when you share it!


Clark University to host award-winning author for lecture on tyranny, Sept. 25

Leading American historian and author Timothy Snyder will give a lecture on the topic of his latest book, “On Tyranny: Lessons from the Twentieth Century” at 5 p.m. Monday, September 25, in Room 320 of Jefferson Academic Center at Clark University, 950 Main St.

This lecture is part of the Harrington Public Affairs Lecture Series.

It is free and open to the public.

Snyder is an expert on tyranny and has written at length about fascism, communism, and the Holocaust. His six award-winning books include “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” and “Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning.” The Guardian states that his latest book is “The perfect clear-eyed antidote to Trump’s deliberate philistinism” and that it provides “a brief primer in every important thing we might have learned from the history of the last century, and all that we appear to have forgotten.”

Snyder is the Housum Professor of History at Yale University and holds a permanent fellowship at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.


Rose immersing herself in the boss…She forgot how great he is!

pic: R.T.