Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year

The partying continues!!!! We had a great time getting together with friends and family to ring in the new year. Alicia, her husband Tom and sister in law Mercedes came in from Bentonville, Arkansas.

We made Hallacas which can only be fun if there are a lot of people around helping out, and there were! Mercedes, Sofia and I were in charge of cleaning and steaming the plantain leaves, and Ricardo and Alicia made the filling and masa.

This first picture shows the leaves being steamed (bright green) and then turning brown when they are cooked (at left of green leaves).

Then we all came together to assemble the hallacas, which is quite a feat: first each leaf is oiled (Tom), then the dough / masa is spread onto the leaf (Alicia) then the filling is put in (Mercedes) and the toppings are added (Sofia) and then the folding takes place (Carla) and finally each packet is tied with string (Ricardo)! We ended up making 50 or 60? You can see Ricardo holding up a wrapped one. After they are all assembled, they are steamed to cook the dough, and then are ready to eat! They came out SO DELICIOUS! Seriously, they were the best ones I've ever tasted, and were truly made the "old fashioned way"!

Ricardo and Sofia also made the deboned turkey with the special super rich, pork and cheese stuffing. It cooked for 10 hours...Here it is in all it's glory, trussed and ready to slice! Mercedes, Alicia and I took a field trip to IKEA that day...and got back just in time for another Parranda at Zaguan. They loved IKEA and even though we spent 5 hours there, it wasn't enough, that place is so huge and packed with good deals. We'll have to go back when they come for another visit.

Our house is almost back to normal, except Ricardo's brother Jorge and wife Cynthia are arriving today. We're not sure when they will stay until as they are considering moving here from Venezuela. I'll keep you posted...

Today was back to work and school day for us, I'm pretty tired...mostly I'm hungry! I've been used to eating and snacking all day long during the holidays, and three meals doesn't seem to be enough...

Happy New Year!

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