Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy

Fireworks last night.  Too many plastic cupfuls of strong iced coffee from the back of our pick-up.  Feeling too much alive to fall asleep, I stayed up until 1 am and am suffering for it today.  Traded Grey last night for a cookbook.  Memoirs of a Cuban Kitchen makes my summer reading list this year.  Mary Urrutia Randelman tells stories of what it was like growing up in 1950’s Cuba:

Cuba, the magical island where I was born, was a paradise- a place of dazzling light, tropical breezes, and starry nights.

I have wanted to visit Cuba for quite some time now.  And maybe because as an American, Cuba is so forbidden, I want it even more.  So for now, I’ve begun working through the exotic recipes (exotic to me, yet very wonderfully simple and unbothered – Avocado and Mango Salad, which I made and promise to give you the recipe along with a photo soon).

Best of all Mary Urrutia Randelman has devoted an entire chapter to Cuban cocktails: Puesta del Sol (Havana Sunset) – guava nectar, pineapple juice, grenadine and vodka; Fuego Liquido (Liquid Fire) – pineapple juice, lime, dark rum, sugar and a splash of beer.  There are a couple of daiquiris and of course, the Cuban Mojito among many delicious others.

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy another sultry sunset this evening than by sipping an icy Puesta del Sol beside the one I adore, while our children run barefoot through the grass to the wild vocals of Celia Cruz, who, I bet, would sound even better coming from vinyl spinning on my grandfather’s old record player.

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