Inauguration of the Summer Cuban Cooking Project

Here I go again. Restarting this blog.  This time, however, I have a project, a mission:  To learn to cook Cuban cuisine.  Why?  Well, I want to be able to cook it for my kids someday so they can be in touch with their heritage, and I need to get a little closer to my heritage as well.   When I was a kid I didn’t appreciate Cuban cuisine.  In fact, I suffered through countless plates of rice and beans, but especially the meat.  I’ve always been picky about meat.  I would chew and chew and chew those chewy chuletas and thin fried steaks until I gagged.  It was enough for me to declare myself temporarily vegetarian.  I used to think American kids got to eat burgers and macaroni and cheese every night.  My mother always said I would like Cuban food when I was grown-up, but I didn’t believe her.  Now, I must begrudgingly acknowledge she’s right. 

I’m still not a fan of porkchops and steaks, but I love foods like Moros y Cristianos (black beans and rice cooked together), tostones (twice-fried plantains), arroz con leche (rice pudding), and more.  I miss the nostalgia, pride, and comfort those foods bring me when I’m away at college and I’d like to bring myself and others those feelings by learning to cook them.  Eventually as I grew up more and more non-Cuban foods were a part of my diet until I didn’t eat any at all unless my grandparents came to visit and my grandmother cooked them.  But now…now I’m going to make them and make them great. 

This blog is inspired by Julie Powell’s book Julie & Julia.  She kept a blog about her attempt, successful attempt I should add, to cook 524 Julia Child recipes in 365 days.  My goal is to master classic Cuban recipes this summer.  I will be trying several each week and blogging about it.  (I’ve already done flan, which I will write about.)  I’ll be taking most recipes from various cookbooks here at home or the internet.  I’m not so sure if I’ll be cooking recipes that involve meat.  The only meat I’ve ever cooked is ground beef and I’m just getting over my raw meat phobia so we’ll see if I actually cook some.  Perhaps towards the end of the summer I’ll be making Rabo Encendido (Oxtail Stew) :D.  Ready or not, here I come.


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