In and amongst the writing and everything that goes along with that gig, the family and I are getting ready for Turkey Day. We’re big on tradition since it’s only the husband and I here to pass on family traditions to the children so we take it big. Big meal, big game time, and a big dessert to end it on. I admit we almost passed on celebrating this holiday when the kids were born. Since we live in a country where Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated we briefly considered skipping it all together. But that didn’t last. We quickly decided that it was too much a part of our upbringing to leave it out of their lives.
Plus, we like turkey too much!
One tradition we hold dear to our hearts is that of reconnecting as a family on the big day by everyone having a turn in dressing the main course—Mr. Butterball! I have a top secret Cuban sofrito recipe (seriously top secret people!) that we use in basing the turkey first. After that is done, the girls stuff onions in small slits made in the meat and then I top it off with a special blend of butter, soy sauce, and freshly squeezed orange juice. My mouth is just watering thinking about the delicious meat. And the smell… nothing short of divine! And if there’s one thing my kids will take away from this it’s how to work as a team and never suffer through a dry turkey meal. 🙂
Here’s our turkey from last year. Juicy, huh? 😉
We also leave this time of year for the pumpkin pie. I usually undertake this chore, but this year my eldest daughter is old enough to take on the task of making everything from scratch instead of store bought all on her own. Her big dream is one day being a master chef so, according to her, she needs the confidence. Can’t argue with that reason, so this I pass over the dessert apron to her. I’ll keep you posted with pictures after the holiday.
The menu doesn’t stop there. Since my husband is Cuban we like to mix up the more American traditional menu with some Latin spice. Every year I make a huge pot of moros y cristianos which is a dish of black beans a white rice mixed with herbs and spices. In fact, I have the recipe here for the taking if you’d like to give it a try this year. It’s a great dish to take to any gathering and easy to make if you know how to cook rice.
Moros y Cristianos
Ingredients for the back beans
1/2 pound of black beans (two cups if using canned beans)
1 medium onion
1 green bell pepper
6 sweet peppers (ají dulce or cubanelle pepper)
1 ham hock (optional)
Preparation of the the beans
- Rinse and pick the beans beans.
- In a pot with 2 1/2 quarts of water, put the beans onion, bell pepper, sweet peppers and ham hock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.
- Drain the beans and reserve 4 cups of the liquid. Discard vegetables and bones.
Ingredients for the dish
2 cups of rice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 pound of slab bacon diced
1 1/4 cup finely chopped medium onion
1 cup of green bell pepper, seeded, deveined, minced
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 tablespoon of dry sherry
2 teaspoons of salt
- Put the rice in a colander and let the water run until it runs clear. Drain.
- Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the bacon. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion, pepper, cumin, oregano and bay leaf and sauté until onion wilts, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir. Add the black beans and the reserved liquid. Add the vinegar, sherry and salt. Cook uncovered until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed and small crater have formed on the surface.
- Stir with a fork and reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, at least 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings
If you get a chance to try the recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
So what is a tradition you and your family share? Do you have a special recipe you make for Thanksgiving? Or do you prefer skipping all the work and enjoy something on a smaller scale? Step into the comment section and let’s dish! 😉 One lucky commenter will win a Kindle copy of Sunrise for Three!
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Since I won’t be posting again until after Thanksgiving, to all my American friends who are traveling for the holiday, be safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Until next time…keep it sexy!