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Three generations collaborate to cook a favorite Cuban dish

Vintage snapshopt of man with small child on his lap in an easy chair, with a woman sitting on the floor in the forground

Alexis Carvajal (pictured here as a baby) consulted with her grandmother, Rachel Carvajal (foreground) on how to prepare a favorite family dish. Then she worked with her father, Fernando Carvajal (in chair) to prepare the dish. (Courtesy of Alexis Carvajal)

“You know, you’d wake up the day before, in the morning, and there was Grandma, already in the kitchen. You’d just get the smells, the aromas of the garlic and the citrus from the mojo, and you know it was just kind of ingrained in the memory of sitting there with my grandma while she was preparing it and just talking…”

This week on the show, Alexis Carvajal prepares a family recipe with the help of her father, Fernando Carvajal.

Pernil is a Cuban pork shoulder dish that’s made its way to Indiana through her grandmother, Rachel Carvajal. Rachel walks Alexis and Fernando through the 2 day and 5 hour process of making the dish. But it’s not just about the meal. Both Rachel and Fernando reflect on their fond memories of Pernil, and the times spent enjoying the dish with family.

Also this week, producer Daniella Richardson reviews the critically acclaimed show all about kitchen culture, The Bear.

Plus, are you wondering what to bring to your eclipse viewing picnic? We’ve got ideas and an original recipe for some special eclipse cookies. 


The Earth Eats’ team includes: Eoban Binder, Alexis Carvajal, Alex Chambers, Mark Chilla, Toby Foster, Daniella Richardson, Samantha Shemenaur, Payton Whaley and Harvest Public Media.

Earth Eats is produced, engineered and edited by Kayte Young. Our executive producer is Eric Bolstridge.

Music on this Episode

The Earth Eats theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

Additional music on this episode from the artists at Universal Production Music.

Stories On This Episode

Pernil, a Cuban pork shoulder dish

A piece of pork shoulder covered in garlic and a marinade placed in a glass pan surrounded by mojo liquid.

Pernil isn’t just a delicious dish, it’s also a meal served with many memories.

Forks, Smudges, and Other Things That Give Us Purpose

Richie Jerimovich poses in kitchen with deep fryer basket in his hand

Chefs may hang up their hats at the end of the day, but the principles of the kitchen find their way from the pots and pans and into their lives. FX's The Bear illustrates this with striking character development that we can all find a bit of ourselves in.

Eclipse cookies

Twelve round, black and white cookies in a grid on a white plate. the decoration mimics the phases of a solar eclipse

Delicate tahini sandwich cookies mimic the phases of a total solar eclipse.

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