Tonight Viv and I are having our buddies Don and Trish over. Once we woulda been heading out to eat at Chez Fancypants, as I am sure we will again. But given my restricted current financial situation, home-cooking will be the order of the day.
I have carefully larned the in-laws’ cookery, insofar as beans are concerned, and so tonight a fine Cuban meal is inbound. On the bill of fare are mojitos, black beans (easy easy but DO NOT forget enough salt, an entire green pepper, and a hank of bacon – the pepper, according to Viv’s mon, “gets the gas out”) and ropa vieja, Viv’s favorite.
Trish’s mom is from Puerto Rico and I imagine that there are similarities in the cuisines of the Caribbean neighbors.
Although we both know how to cook these recipes without cheatin’, we did find a great Cuban cookbook at the yummeria known as The Spanish Table (man, that website needs help – at least it loads fast) near the Pike Place Market the other day – A Taste of Old Cuba has tons of very simple, unadorned recipes that accurately capture the flavor and texture of my in-law’s diet from birth until they arrived in America, and even beyond; these dishes mean “home” to Viv as well, since Aida prepared them for her countless times as well.
It’s one of my deepest pleasures to be able to bring these tastes to my wife.
Writing this made me hungry.