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Sunday, January 3, 2010

More of My Favorite Things.....

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” - George Bernard Shaw

I've been accused of being many things during the course of my life, but a healthy eater is not one of them. By taking one look at this group of my absolute favorite, can't-live-without eats, it's obvious I don't spend much time focusing on healthy eating habits. All of you know of my unapologetic love for designer handbags, but none of you know that food, particularly these items, ranks a close second.

First and foremost, I am a Coke addict (you know what I mean). I'm almost ashamed to admit how many cans I consume during a 24hr period, so let's just say the number is more than three and less than eight. My Coke obsession goes hand-in-hand with my Hershey bar addiction. I've actually cut down on those, but I was up to 3 or 4 bars a day. Now I have two a week. Not bad, right? I know, I know, I shouldn't be having any of this stuff, but they're so darn good!!!

Next up is my favorite dish other than Cuban food (I'll get to that in a minute) - fettucini alfredo. This is a love/hate relationship of epic proportions, folks. I love to chow down on a heaping plate of this stuff, but I feel sick to my stomach mere seconds after finishing up. I'm a masochist, I know.

All these eats, as great as they may be, pale in comparison to Cuban food. Growing up around Cuban food was a truly memorable experience. There was nothing like having a Cuban grandmother who knew how to cook (as most of the old school grannies did). Every Friday for lunch, my abuela made my favorite dish - picadillo can arroz blanco and huevos fritos (ground beef with white rice and fried eggs). Just writing about it makes me salivate like a hungry dog. The ground beef was not your ordinary, run of the mill variety. It was flavored with onions, garlic, green peppers, olives, raisins, tomato sauce and plenty of spices like paprika and cumin. A mound of white rice and two fried eggs served as side items, but I mixed them up for maximum effect. If you talk with any first generation Cuban, you'll get a similar story of culinary master grandmothers and savory picadillo.

Now I've come to the zenith of my gastronomic memories. Every noche buena celebration (that's Christmas Eve for most of the Spanish-speaking world) was capped off with a couple of buñuelos for dessert. These figure 8 concoctions made from a mixture of cassava and malanga (another tropical root) are pure heaven. When topped with the requisite sugar syrup, they are nothing short of divine. My grandmother would make at least a hundred of these for the holidays and not one was ever left over. In fact, the term "left overs" isn't really part of the Cuban vernacular. "Why eat tomorrow what you can enjoy today" is our motto. This would probably explain why many of us are pleasantly plump and lugging around some extra junk in the trunk, if you know what I mean ;-)

Hope you're getting to know me better by learning what my favorite things are. I'll share a few more of those things  (including more embarrassing photos) with all of you next week. Until then, how about telling me what some of your favorite eats are!


3 Responses to "More of My Favorite Things....."
  1. gail said...
    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Dania, I love reading about your favorite things. To me, and I think universally, food symbolizes love, family, togetherness and comfort - to name a few. It also conjures up great memories, as you illustrated. For me, my favorites foods also have strong family/cultural ties. My mother's meatballs and Italian pot roast and my grandmother's homemade bread - you guessed it, Italian! I assume the attached pic is you in all your adorableness enjoying the foods you mentioned! The picture says it all - happiness and comfort! Happy New Year!

  2. Dania Padron said...
    Monday, January 04, 2010

    I agree, Gail. Food is about comfort and family. I think my love of Cuban food is tied to my grandmother and all the love she put into cooking for the family, and, yes, that is a photo of me at six eating in grandma's kitchen. Interesting how your mom's pot roast and grandmother's bread ilicit the same feelings in you. It's true that the kitchen is the heart of the home.

  3. Kery said...
    Sunday, January 17, 2010

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