A heat wave is hitting us hard down here in PuntaCana, just like it does this time of the year. And I start whining about it just like I do every year. Like every year, I start sharing my famous (infamous?) summer dishes, drinks and paletas (popsicles), some of our preferred weapons against the heat.
Along with some heat-busting batidas de zapote / granadillo / níspero (fruit shakes) I am going to tell you about these unusual fruits that we Dominicans love so much. Better yet, I’ll also give you ideas to make your shakes without sugar or milk, and still love them.
Nearly two centuries ago a wave of immigrants from the former Ottoman Empire found its way to America (the continent), fleeing persecution and economic hardship. With them they brought bits and pieces of the rich cuisines from a territory that surrounded most of the Mediterranean, and the Red and Black seas.
Kipe / quipe, as we Dominicans call it, is one of those culinary treasures. You can find kibbeh from Northern Africa to the Middle East, and everywhere where their inhabitants have emigrated to, which includes most of Latin America. The most common version in our country is the fried, bullet-shaped one; but the fact that I have been asked many times to include this one in our recipe collection tells you that the love for the baked kibbeh has not been lost.
This is a post to say goodbye. Don’t worry, nobody is going anywhere, not literally at least. I think I am being too melodramatic. Does that happen to ladies “of a certain age”?
I have been doing this for 13 years, and by “this” I mean writing this blog. It’s fair to say that outside my immediate family, and my husband, this blog is one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had. Family is easy, we are glued by a strong bond of love, and a just as strong a bond of “can’t get rid of them”. Writing and keeping a blog, however, is more akin to marriage. Both require a lot of commitment, a lot of work, and the occasional reinvention to rekindle old flames. It is somewhat fitting that this post is about bolitas de tamarindo (tamarind balls), a treat that brings me so many good memories.
Somebody told me to make broccoli soup. Darn if I remember who. I can’t remember if it was on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, it’s hard to keep track these days, but some lovely reader asked me for a broccoli soup.
And I can’t say no to soup, because I love soup. Ask my husband, or my kid. Or anyone who’s ever stayed for more than one meal.
So I made soup for me, and for a reader somewhere that I hope reads this.
Sometimes some dishes just don’t work. Don’t worry, I am not talking about the moro-locrio (rice with pork and black beans). This one actually did.
I love experimenting with food — isn’t that obvious? Inspiration for new recipes come from everywhere, and sometimes things work in my head much better than they turn out in reality. That is the part of food writing that few people see. The failures, be they small or spectacular, can be very disheartening.
But even from failure we can learn.