I am married to a Mexican who moved to the United States as a child. He has one of the most amazing mothers... ever (no pressure!). Perhaps I am able to get along with my mother-in-law so well because we don't speak the same language? I'd like to think that we'd be great friends, regardless. The issue is, of course, is that there is no possible way that I could live up to her in my husband's eyes, whom I regularly refer to as the oldest son of a Mexican mother-- as though that description, in a nutshell, sums him up.
I do try. Tonight I am making chorizo tortas for dinner, which are his favorite artery-clogging memory of home. Of course, in our neighborhood, there are no fresh tortas, so I will make due with hamburger buns. I am sure Whole Foods means well, but the sausage doesn't crumble quite right (maybe because the fat content is not as high, which is probably for the better). I will add avacado, tomato and pretend that mayo is just as good as the Mexican version of sour cream his mom slathers on her sandwiches. Even though I typically think it is rediculous, I will place a paper towel on the plate under the sandwich because it somehow makes it feel more authentic (and quite practically soaks up all the grease). I will not pull out the extra bread like his mom does so that it is mostly just crust-filled sausage delight. He can do this himself. Therein lies the issue--I will try, but not that hard. They are a really good interpretation, but the real thing is much better.
I wonder what you do to incorporate your partner's childhood traditions into your now-shared life?