Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Read a great post today written by my friend and Blog-Brother Val at his Babalu blog site. As you know, "y'all" can link to it here. Anyway, the post had to do with reserving the pig to be roasted for Nochebuena - that's Christmas Eve dinner, a beautiful tradition which brought together family and good friends, in Havana and throughout the Island. This brought back fond memories of Nochebuena at home, or, usually, at my grandmother Maria's. Who as you already know was a helluva good cook. She could have taught Emeril a thing or two, believe me! As long, of course, as it wasn't Cajun cookin.'

I don't want to elaborate too much on Nochebuena right now, because I hope to - next month - do a post with photos of Christmases Past in Havana. Pray God give me 48 hour days for a month so this can be accomplished...besides which, Val's post on the subject is quite good and filled with humor.

However, this creates another opportunity to feature yet another excerpt from Nitza Villapol's cookbook (for you trivia types, originally printed by La Habanera Printshop, Mercaderes 208, Havana) for your enjoyment, and to acquaint the readers with the humorous drawings featured in each chapter. The artist was-or maybe-which would be nice-is Mario Masvidal. What became of him, one wonders? Since the subject here is a dissertation on roast pig, decided the first page of the chapter on meats - "Carnes" would be apropos. And so, heeeeere's Johnny! Or, Porky Pipp-ppippipeeg!

For some reason, my brain is in Evil Mode tonight. It happens, and this is a function of the Warped Mind gene which no doubt is in my DNA code. So, here is a playful suggestion for those of you skilled in image editing, using Photoshop, or whatever your favorite software happens to be: suppose you replace the piggy's head with the face of a certain grouchy old bearded scrooge...thereby creating a new cartoon symbolizing the kind of swine today's Cuban mothers, grannies, and housewives would just love to whack! Twack! Thud! Chop! Boy! Were that fantasy to become reality, that would be a Nochebuena to remember in Havana.


At 2:15 AM, Blogger Howarde said...

The more sites that show Cuba as it was (and my memory of visiting there goes back to 1941), the more they'll give the lie to what damage castro has done to it and the little he can show for almost 50 years in power, no matter what Hollywood's liberals say, except damage, neglect and a time warp like no other nation in the world today.

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Albert Quiroga said...

Thank you Howarde! I will post your comment, which is so on the mark and addresses one of the main reasons I created the Havana blog. You do good work too - as seen in "Fidel, La Cucaracha." Keep it up; all of us in "la hermandad de cyberspace" greatly appreciate your good work.

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Dear Sir, I am very lucky to have come across your blog. I am a Student at the University of Michigan and am enrolled in a class called Cuba and its diaspora. For our final creative project we have chosen to explore the culinary Cuba, before and during the revolution and in the Special Period. We have been looking at the work of Nitza Villapol but have not been able to find her recipes online. We wanted to do two dishes: one by Nitza (maybe one from the Special Period with no meat/orange rinds; have you heard of this?? and another with the meat to represent when times were better for rationing and food distribution). We are running out of time to locate the book itself (and most of our group does not speak Spanish). I love your scans. If you can get back to me, even to chat about general ideas, I would really appreciate it.
d. m. nowak

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Groupdmt said...

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