Nov 21, 2007

Getting ready for sanguibin

Yep, it is just like that.

The turkey is soaked in mojo criollo since last night, the sweet potato and the "light"stuffing recipes are lined up in the kitchen, and for dessert, guess what?
We are having flan de calabaza.

In a nutshell, the best of every background: the American and the Cuban. Coincidentally, this year is a significant one; MDH and I became American citizens two months ago, attended the naturalization ceremony on Nov. 9th and --besides believing that we are getting blonder and our eyes are getting a hint of blue :), we're really proud and eager to celebrate.

I think this is the first time we're actually going to throw out a "real" dinner in the turkey day. We'll have some friends coming over and hopefully, by Friday, we are going to overcome the super high "diabetic type" sugar coma.

Some pics will come later...

Nov 16, 2007

Cambio de planes, "a la Cuban"

Remember my yesterday's quest about what dessert to bring to the potluck we' re having at work? Mami and I definitively gave a try with las islas flotantes. But something happened that the dessert didn't turned out the way we were expecting.

However, since we live with this philosophy that " if live gives you only lemons, then, make a lemonade", we ended up with a delicious dulce de leche cortada.

For the future record, here is one traditional Cuban recipe from the 1920's; and here is a modern adaptation, for our English-speaking viewers.

Believe me, it's a no-brainer. This is the recipe we used to make it at home, in Cuba:

  • 8 cups of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, which, in Cuban, means lime juice (limones criollos are the best!)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of sugar (either refined or brown)
  • 2 whole eggs

Slighly different ingredients --going back to the "right to food" and the chronic scarcity-- but the preparation method is the same.

Buen provecho, y a engordar!

Nov 15, 2007

Filosofando about the "right to food" or, Some days, I feel the world really sucks...

I know it is not a very optimistic title to start a post, but it was the first idea that came up to my mind after the morning round up that I usually do through the Cuban blogosphere.

First reaction: What's wrong with people?

To start, the whole saga of Chávez and his well deserved "Por qué no te callas?". In the back of my mind, Mami's remarks: "That is all the same m..... In a few days, they'll be licking each other's c.... again. La política es una cosa tan cochina". And she is SO right.

Since then, a chronic-verbally-diarrheic Chávez have been con lo mismo, over and over, and over. (Following the lessons of his sicko master, Barbatruco, so well!). Not being enough, the new Homo Reflexing Barbadensis sides with the idiot (C'mon, weren't you all expecting that?) and throws his diplomacy towards Spain, literally, por la cloaca.

Second, last night's news that Castro is going to give the Cubans beef. Unbelievable. A miserable amount of ounces that, to me, se me quedarían en una muela.

What's the sordid game now? Give? What's wrong with the news reporting?
I know. I've been asking that same question too frequently lately. Shame on me.
Or shame on them? Don't they know where the beef have really been for the past forty something years?

And there comes Mami's experienced knowledge again: "All that is just a pantalla. Los de arriba have never quit eating beef. They have never had período especial. It's just another opportunity to revamp the black market. The ones caught up in the middle are the ones really jodidos".

I am telling you; it's nothing but a sordid game where the life of the regular Cuban is being thrown down the world's cloacas.
Every. Single. Day.

Not being enough, in the third round of morning news, I have to swallow the report from the UN comunistoide de pacotilla, about the "right to food" in Cuba. (Excuse me?!!!What the hell is he talking about?).

I have to admit, though, that it was nice to read how Castro's blackmailing tactics are being brought up to light, to the benefit of the rest of this blue planet that for some many years have been in the dark.

George Utset, from The Real Cuba, have the details:

The U.N. expressed "regret" after one of its officials allowed undercover Cuban diplomats to attend a news conference where they sought information on a French journalist asking questions about Fidel Castro's regime, the Associated Press reported today.

UN Watch, the Geneva-based monitoring organization, called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and members of the UN Human Rights Council to order a full investigation into "the tangled web of Jean Ziegler's collusion with the Castro regime."

Mr. Ziegler, mandated by the council to address the "right to food," recently returned to his native Geneva after an 11-day mission to Cuba, which he hailed as a world model for how it feeds its people. At an October 11 press conference convened by Ziegler prior to his departure -- where he announced that he would visit Cuba not to investigate violations but rather to praise its government -- a journalist who asked critical questions was quickly singled out by undercover Cuban diplomats who had entered the room in violation of a strict U.N. prohibition. The officials asked other journalists to identify the name and agency of the reporter who debated Ziegler.

And, evidently, this guy have not seen the images and footage recently aired in more than one country, portraying the "right to food" that Cuban elder have in the "Mariana Azcuy" elderly home, in Pinar del Río.

"But, who's this Ziegler anyway?", I asked to myself.
Then, I found his updated résumé, courtesy of UN Watch .

And the UN, oh my God, "regrets"?.
Shame on you. All that money put into it, just to ended up being new millionaires living la vida loca en Manhattan, y haciéndose los de la vista gorda.

But then, I asked to myself, one more time: "What's the news? They haven been just another piece is Castro's game since day one. Why should I be surprised?".

Trying to move on, I switch to the cooking topic, looking for some stress-relieving reading. I jumped in this article about how Castro's "right to food" in Cuba have been destroying the traditional cuisine of my country.

And going through Maricel's memories, I remember my conversation with Mami two nights ago.
(My translation to English follows)

Mami, we're going to have a potluck in the clinic on Friday. What could I bring that's easy to prepare the night before?
Mami: What about the pastelitos?
Me: No, I brought pastelitos to the last potluck. I want to bring something different this time.
Mami: I can make up some islas flotantes, so they can try them. It's not that complicated to prepare.
Me: But that natilla is floating in caramel... I don't know.
Mami: What natilla muchacha? Islas flotantes are not natillas?
Me: Mami, aren't they the natillas you used to make at home, that you would put caramel on top and you melted with a hot iron?
Mami: No hija no! What are you talking about? They are like milk balls you prepared rolling a mix of powdered milk and then smother them in almíbar. Don't tell me you have never try them.
Me: (Silence. Confused state of mind.) No mami, I don't know what are you talking about then.

Moraleja: I left Cuba about six years ago. I am a "daughter of the revolution", therefore, I have missed a huge chunk of the culinary traditions of my country.
Why? Because I used to have an excellent "right to food" while growing up in Cuba.

After that morning kick off, I totally back up from the ideas that I've been cooking to blog, such as the presentation about "The Two Cubas" I recently did in a local library, to a full room of people totally clueless of the reality in my country.

Or the naturalization ceremony we attended last week, and how now I feel as American --or even more-- than some idiots that I have around me.

Or how Nicolás is starting to walk and waking up less at night, after begging to snuggle with me in our bed. (Poor Dad!)

So, I decided that, maybe, I'll prepare Marta's "Date with Bacon" for tomorrow's potluck. I just decided that I will catch up with those culinary traditions that Castro's Robolution have stolen from me, without even asking my opinion.

Nov 5, 2007

Shocked and pleased...

Right here, in Colorful Colorado --where only a few people know about Cuba and most of them are clueless about the reality of the island, NPR surprised me with its report on Oscar Elías Biscet in today's "Morning Edition".

It was music to my ears.

I was driving to my office, listen to NPR as usual (and craving, as usual, for a radio station like that in Spanish...) when it took by surprise listening to Biscet name, how President Bush awarded him with the Medal of Freedom, and how he won't be able to receive it, because he's imprisoned by the Castro's government.

A little bit more than two minutes. That's what usually takes a radio report.
But it felt so good. It felt like it was the right thing to do --for them.

Biscet was at some point compared to this administration political views, but you know what, at this point, I really don't care that much about that.

The point is that he was described as a pacifist, follower of Ghandi and Dalai Lama, inspired by Martin Luther King, pro-life Cuban doctor that have been in jail several years, just for daring to speak against Castro's government and its policies towards health care amd its lack of respect for human rights.

(Yep, that same health care system that a sicko filmmaker portrayed in a sicko-film that was recently debunked by some really sickening images of Cuban hospitals)