Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Grace and I spent much of today in the back reaches of the upstairs walk-in storeroom, the place for things that didn't seem to belong anywhere in particular, but were hard to throw away. Somewhere between deciding whether it made sense to take three mosquito nets to Suchitoto and choosing to throw out the two unused and elegant faucet sets with hot and cold (we won't have hot water in Suchitoto), it occurred to us that Eleanor - who had stored the mosquito nets and faucets - was lounging on a beach in Hawaii. Bon voyage, Eleanor, how we wish you were here!

The storeroom is clean and cleaned out! A triumph. This laid the perfect groundwork for an adventurous meal, and I had invited our neighbor, Vilma, to dinner. I decided it was time to try cooking yuca. I consulted Healthy Latin Cooking and came up with a Cuban recipe for yuca in a lime and garlic sauce, paired that with chicken marinated in lime and orange, and the result was muy rico. Yuca (also known as manioc and cassava) tastes like a very good potato, only better, with a buttery and nutty flavor that was perfectly set off by the tartness of the lime. Vilma brought us a bottle of ice wine, which we had for dessert along with the coconut ice cream that everyone loves, and we had a grand evening of eating and talking. Never mind that about half of what Vilma had to say didn't entirely register (she's a fast talker) - it all felt friendly, mellow, and blessed, with the kind of blessing bestowed on those who have cleaned out the back closet.

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