A Lambie Christmas Summary

I truly thought I would have more time for blogging once I finished my degree, but getting used to our new schedule has been kind of well, hard.  So I apologize for my wayyyyyyyy late Christmas posting.

Last year, you might remember that my friend Marisol and her family came to our house….so this year it was our turn to visit them in Conshohocken, PA.  I love spending Christmas with my Goddaughter!

Through our Holiday time in Conshohocken, I was able to spend plenty of time with my beautiful ahijada Gabriela. See?

Gaby and Me preparing for an outing!

For example here we are in Merchantville, NJ a place with a lot of snow and beautiful Victorian homes, as well as, strangely, a Hispanic peluquería and a Latino Grocery where I was able to get all the fixings for our Cuban-Rican Nochebuena.

Gaby and Me in the snow!

After hanging out, it was time to get to the task at hand of preparing all the Nochebuena fixins’!  So I present to you the cooks of today – and the cook of tomorrow!

Marisol, Me & Gaby!

As I shared with all of you last year, our Nochebuena includes: lechon, arroz blanco, frijoles negros, arroz con gandules, morcillas, pasteles, tostones and yuca con mojo.  For dessert we always have a Flan de Queso.  This year’s Christmas celebration was particularly special since Marisol and Victor might be moving.  So it may have been our last one in Conshohocken!  Although I forgot to take a picture of what our plates looked like (I was too hungry!) I can show you what they looked like at the end.

Done!

So as you can see it was a success!!!!  Now tell me, how was your Christmas??

And you ask…What does a Cuban-Rican Nochebuena look like?

In all fairness, Cuban-Rican Christmas is sort of a misnomer – it only refers to the Nochebuena dinner.  Como nadie se puede quedar fuera, least of all Alan, we have a Chilean lunch: Empanadas.   That is the start of all our Nochebuenas since we’ve been married.  We are a diverse bunch so we have to be inclusive! 😉

Empanadas de Queso y Carne

Empanadas de Queso y Carne

Don’t they look yummy????  And it is a great way to hold off the hunger while the pork roasting in the oven aromatiza la casa entera.

Aside from the obvious religious and family reasons to love Christmas, there is one more reason why I love Christmas: I get to cook Cuban food.

*Sigh*, no I do not cook Cuban food year round.  I know, hard to believe right?  But, it is just not efficient.  First, I only know how to cook for four or more people.  Leftovers, you scream.  Not so fast.  Alan, as Papi (q.e.p.d.), will not eat leftovers.  New day, fresh meal…and I will not throw away food.  So, gasp! I cook mainly American – bistés and chicken with some rice, vegetables, or mashed potatoes.

So back to the joys of making Cuban food.  I make the frijoles negros in advance either the night before or that very morning (frijoles taste sooo much better after they sit for awhile!), and I have to admit this year I made my best frijoles yet (and man, I make kickass frijoles negros).

Although I know el puerco tastes great with just sal y pimienta, I’m sorry I like my lechon seasoned with mojonaranjas agrias, ajo, cebolla, comino, sal y pimienta.  It’s just not Nochebuena otherwise.

So while the puerco roasts, and the frijoles rest, Marisol gets to work on the arroz con gandules.  Hey, I was raised in Puerto Rico but my house was a vacuum sealed Cuban enclave.  I have never cooked with recao in all my life and have no clue where to start.  To each his own and since she is the original PuertoRican, she makes the arroz con gandules.  She is also in charge of supplying the pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales if you will).

Once the puerco hits those cherished 155 degrees, I turn the oven off and cook the Yuca.  I also make the mojo at this time – naranja agría, some limón, ajo, cebolla, aceite de oliva (very HOT), and some of the puerco juices.  Yum, I’m getting hungry just writing this.

Puerco, frijoles negros, yuca, pasteles and arroz con gandules…you put that all together and what do you get?

cubanrican0001

Cuban Rican Nochebuena!