Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cooking & Bethlehem

So baba is being working so much that I have not being cooking much what can I say I just don't like cooking for only the girls and me. So this morning I woke up in full gear of cooking and more cooking I made arepas,

I used precook corn meal mix it with some salt and then take hot water and start pouring little by little until the dough is not too watery but soft to play with.

This is the shape they should be they can even be made thin or thick I like them medium, then we put them in the parrilla. (This parrillas I have I got from Colombia usually you need two have 2 parrillas going so is enough for everybody, I usually put them in the oven once they are done while I make the rest.

After they are done, I get a little of butter and spread them over them and then to the oven till is time to eat.

In Colombia we eat them with hot chocolate but I love my cuban coffee so we drink coffee oh and it has to be boiled milk there is nothing better than boil milk, Abuela makes fun of me why I don't use the microwave to warm up the milk, I just don't like it I just love la nata from the milk.

Before I get them out of the oven I throw some white cheese it can be any kind of cheese preferably spanish cheese but this time I put some shredded mozzarella.
While I was doing the arepas this was my little helper washing the dishes and Gamila dancing

Then I tried for the girls to help me Samia making them and Gamila eating the dough

Nenas when I was a little girl my grandmother Aleida that lived in a small town of Colombia Chinchina would make the best arepas of the world well I guess she had many years of experience and specially in the quantities she used to make them. Abuelo has 14 siblings yes 14 siblings let me just name them to see if I still remember them (good memory exercise): Gonzalo, Alberto, Octavio, Geraldo (que en paz descanse), Arturo (Que en paz descanse), Ligia, Aleida, Gabriela, La popochita, Javier, Hernando, Samuel, Margarita I think I got them all. From all of these aunts and uncles only 3 did not have children since Javier and Hernando are priest and Margarita a nun, the rest have at least 2 children with some of them having 3 and some up to 4 so you can imagine many many arepas...and the best part we lived far away from Abuela Aleida and when I used to come and visit her she remember how I like my arepa.

Since I was in the kitchen after having breakfast I decided to cook dinner so Baba could take to his second home TARGET land, so I made Lentils and on the side Beef Stew Elashry Way.


I take Green Onions a tomato and chopped it.

I put some olive oil in the pot in medium-high and once is hot I throw the onions and tomato with some garlic.

I add my spanish sazon Goya, and some Egyptian cumin.

Wait for it to start sizzling then I add some pieces of meat to get some good flavor and start adding water little by little.

Then I add some potatoes and then big pieces of Celery (Abu always puts celery in her food so it can always be moist since Celery has some much water, I make them big so then I can take them out)

After everything is in I put more water and let it cook in low-medium for a couple of hours.

For the beef stew I get the meat and I hammer it with my colombian Hammer I don't like to used meat tenderizers the meat taste so good after I hammer it and it makes it so soft as well

I put some olive oil in the skillet and cut the onions let it grill for a little bit and then I put my masala seasoning..

After I put the meat cut some tomato on top and also some pieces of celery.

I cover it with foil paper and then a kitchen towel on top (also Abu's ways and I just follow)

Bring the fire down and let it cook.

After lunch baba went to work and I headed out with my nenas. We went and got some fabric As of these Christmas the whole family would wear that same pajamas pants on Christmas day...and I convince Baba to wear pink since Samia pick the fabric out and it was pink for princess, well Baba has no choice majority wins. Afterwards mami went and did some shopping and then I bought the girls their presents for EID tomorrow is an Islamic holiday and we will be celebrating it I just got them some little things for the goody bags.
Then we headed to Bethlehem, I had seeing on a magazine that this church by Highland Road was having like a reenactment of the Christmas Eve the night Jesus was born in Nazareth, it was lovely they had a little Christmas Village, Samia did some crafts and then we follow the lights. The place was very nice set up we first encounter Virgin Mary talking to Angel Gabriel, then we encounter Joseph in his workshop, then we encounter some Pastores (not sure in spanish) with some angels telling us that Jesus was going to be born that night and then finally Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. It was very nice done they even had a real donkey, beautiful singing etc. Samia just follow the lights..Oh I should mention while all of these was going on my daughter kept on asking me Mami where is Santa???? I wanted to die so then I had to tell her about El Nino Dios like we say in spanish. Remembering in the car on my way back I was not introduce to Santa till the first Christmas in the USA, in Colombia when I used to live there I only heard about el Nino Dios.

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