The Heart Behind The Cuban Recipes We All Love
Just Like Mima's is the heartwarming story of Cruz María Herrera (Mima) - from hopeful memories of a difficult childhood in Cuba, to remarkable strength when faced with the unknown - and the beautiful connection she has with each of her descendants.
The oldest of 10 children, born in the rural province of Holguín, Cuba, Mima had big dreams of a better life for herself and her family. Despite the lack of stable education, healthcare, and nutrition in her community, her boldness and work ethic provided opportunities to experience a different lifestyle in the capital city of Havana, where she eventually met her husband.
A few years after the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, he was held as a political prisoner under Fidel Castro's regime, and they ultimately emigrated with their four children to the United States during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. 40 years later, Mima has a large, loving, close-knit family - including 10 adult grandkids and more than 10 great-grandkids - all of whom can see the impressions of her love, courage, faith, and wisdom on their hearts.
It is also a compilation of 50 authentic Cuban recipes from Mima's kitchen.
Join us as we celebrate all that we've learned from Mima and seek to carry on her legacy through our hearts, traditions and kitchens.
Marilyn Marrero is the author of Just Like Mima's, which recounts eight decades of her maternal grandmother's journey through life's joys and hardships, and also includes a collection of 50 authentic Cuban recipes. Marilyn was born in Miami, Florida, just one year after the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. Her life has been greatly influenced by her large, affectionate, good-food-loving "Familión." Marilyn graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jonathan. They currently live in Cary, North Carolina and are the proud parents of sororal twin girls.
Janelle Audrey Marrero is the oldest (by a minute!) daughter of Marilyn and Jonathan Marrero. She is interested in all types of creative art and especially likes to draw, color and paint. She loved working on the illustrations for Just Like Mima’s, and also enjoyed helping to cook and taste all the recipes. She likes practicing calligraphy and hand lettering, in addition to taking art and musical theater classes, and making pot holders with her twin sister Julianna.
Julianna Beatriz Marrero has loved taking pictures ever since she was very young. She received her first professional camera as a Christmas gift from her aunt, Karina Gudiel, when she was 10 years old. She enjoyed using it to take all the recipe photos for Just Like Mima’s. She also loved helping her mom test all the recipes and recommends that you try the croquetas! Julianna’s favorite subject in school is math, and she enjoys doing ballet in her free time. She has also found a new obsession with baking, along with her twin sister Janelle. You can order some of their treats here.
© 2021 Marilyn Marrero •
Photos courtesy of Karina Gudiel and Julianna Beatriz Marrero.