Behind our yummy recipes, reviews and photos are creative cooks, crafters, photographers and food lovers. This month we’re spending time with ChamoritaMomma!
Raised on the Mariana Islands and based in Tennessee, this Chamorro mother and wife is all about her family and roots—and lucky for us, that includes tasty Chamorro dishes, a melting pot of Spanish, Filipino and Japanese influences, among others. She found the time to sit through our Q&A so we could get to know her a bit better and find out her food (and Food.com!) favorites.
But first, who are “Chamorros”? (We were wondering the same thing.) These indigenous peoples of the Mariana Islands, including Rose’s home bases Guam and Saipan, are all about hospitality, good food and island fiestas.
Can you tell us a bit about growing up on the islands of Guam and Saipan?
Growing up on the islands was very special. I literally ran barefoot in the sands and grew up around family. When I say family, I mean my mom’s siblings and their children. We’d spend every weekend at what we called the “ranch,” or the “farm”—working the fields, planting hot peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, coconuts, yams, etc. After a long, hard day’s work, my mother and her siblings would round us up for a huge lunch of BBQ ribs, chicken, corn tortillas, freshly caught grilled fish, red rice and fina’dene, and for dessert, a coconut soup called Ahu, made fresh from the young coconuts that we’d pick fresh off the tree.
Where do you live now?
I live in the beautiful city of Clarksville, TN, married to the love of my life and best friend for almost 26 years this August. After being a stay-at-home mom for most of my children’s lives, I went back to school and am now a dental assistant for a clinic on Fort Campbell, helping to give our soldiers beautiful smiles—and I love it! My husband is the DCSM for the 101st Screaming Eagles: Fort Campbell, KY, and I’m so proud of him! He is my true hero!!!
Out of the dishes you make, what is your husband’s favorite?
My husband loves anything and everything I cook, but most of all he loves to BBQ. It’s in our blood! Islanders, or Chamorros, which is what we are referred to on the islands, are always BBQing! Winter, spring, summer or fall. You come to a Chamorro home for dinner, and they will serve you up the best BBQ you’ve ever had.
What’s your guilty pleasure dish…you know, the thing you eat when no one is looking?
ICE CREAM!! Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk…and I love that cinnamon ice cream.
What’s your most epic cooking flop? Did you cry? Save it? Or just get takeout?
Believe it or not…I have never had a flop in the kitchen! With Food.com, I always read the reviews and that’s what I go by in order to come up with a menu or a meal.
We read this on your profile page and were touched: “With hubby in the military and traveling to places we’ve only dreamed of, I have an advantage, because he’ll always bring me home a cookbook from that country.” So sweet! What’s the best cookbook he’s brought home, and what’s the one recipe in your collection that you take out constantly to make?
My most favorite was the one he mailed home from Germany. Apple Kuchen is a favorite from that book.
We also see from your profile page that you like coffee. How do you take yours?
I love drinking my coffee every morning with my husband! I usually take it with what he calls “fru fru creamers!”
Dig In: 3 Favorites from ChamoritaMomma
Rose’s Fiesta Lumpias
“My fiesta table isn’t complete without my lumpias…..always a family favorite.”
Yummy Banana Cake Roll
“Banana sponge cake spread with a thick cream cheese filling rolled up into one yummy package — what’s not to love?”
Rose’s Yummy Chamorro Barbecue
“This recipe is a traditional island favorite. It’s usually served during village fiestas with red rice and various other sides, but my family enjoys it any time.”
Check out a past member of the month: