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.