October 26, 2011

PicaPica turns 5!

Conversation Monday night between PicaPica and his mother:

Mother- "Tomorrow you're turning 5 years old!"
PicaPica- "I know. I'm going to miss you when I'm a grownup."

And so the tone was set. PicaPica is 5 and is now a man.
Si, we know better, but by the way he strutted around on his day you'd almost believe it.

His dad asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he answered "Shrimp- at Red Lobster." Que crees? Pizza or a hamburger? JU SO FONI !!! A man with a man's appetite- nothing but the endless shrimp platter for him!

Of course there were presents, abrazos and lots of cake.

Mom giving PicaPica a hug, "Aw, I remember when you were a baby!"
PicaPica patting her condescendingly, "I know, I know."

He had a wonderful day, and Babushka hopes that he's right- that today will be the sign of what his life as a man will be.

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

October 19, 2011

Midnite Muse

Midnite, la medianoche, on Tuesdays, this is the time my Muse decides to be a minx and starts to meander in my mind.

Never mind that I know BB's blog comes out every Wednesday. Never you mind I need complete quiet... maybe that's part of the problem. Complete quiet? In a Cuban household? All together now- JU SO FONI !!!

I actually was able to have a post written a week before time, but that's like losing 5 pounds before the holidays. You lose it to look good but then start partying and gain back the 5 plus an extra 10 pounds. The time I wrote the early post I was up South, but I've been with family in Miami for almost a month now so I've gained those 10 pounds figuratively and literally.

Seriously though, what is it about waiting until the last momento? Is it perspiration over procastination that thrills me, or am I waiting for a better subject for my post? Perhaps it's both. I'm Cuban, so I'm always in a hurry to savor the good things in life. I know, Extreming.

My Midnite Muse- of course being Cuban she isn't always punctual. If I'm lucky she'll be running on time (which for Cubans is an hour late), if it's a milagro she'll be running American time (which is the actual time specified) but for the most part she starts cooking around 2 a.m. Si, 2 a.m. This is the hour she's had her cafecito and is positive hers is the only voice I hear.

Aha, a true CAP pero que vamos hacer?
Es mia, she's mine-

and besides, she's brilliant.

; )

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

October 12, 2011

So Sweet!

No, this isn't a post about mis nietos (my grandchildren). Well, not directly anyway. Ok, ok, kinda sorta. But it doesn't start that way!

Sweets- candies- one of the many goodies of the Gods. As I was wondering what music to play in today's post, I reached into my purse and pulled out a piece of dark chocolate. Oh yeah!

Instantly the day brightened , and as I was beaming with anticipation- inspiration!!

I remembered that same beam of joy radiating from La Princesa's face when I bribed her with a candy. A candy for a kiss. Whaaaaat? She doesn't know Babushka yet, so I tempted her with el caramelo; THAT she knows! Don't give me that tsk,tsk! and shake of the head as if I was the first to do that. How do you think those chocolates got the name of "kiss" ? Seriously! You think I'm the only long distance abuela? JU SO FONI !!!

Caramelos- sweets, staples of the Cuban Way, and like everything else, we like it rich and to extreme!!! This being a post and not a novel, I will name just two of the mucho, mucho, many sweets we love. Actually, I'm just going to mention drinks, because the cravings will start and I really don't think the bodequita is open.

Ambrosia #1 Guarapo.
The ever natural, original soda of our island. This is the juice taken from the sugarcanes; so special we even use special machinery to extract its' goodness. Fresh from the sugarcanes the flow of liquid sugar would entice us with it's coolness and jumpstart us with it's potency.

Ambrosia #2- Chocolate Caliente (Hot Chocolate-Cuban style)
On the rare nights it would go below 60 degrees in Miami, we'd trek to Moro Castle for their sickeningly sweet, super addictive hot chocolates. Yo se, I know, I promised only drinks, but Oh of course they had to be accompanied by churros, nice and fresh, looking like sticks of solid snowflakes from all the sugar glistening on them. Now, if you think ours is the regular hot chocolate that is mass produced, here I must say Sacrilegio!!! Cuban hot chocolate is made with the French (originally) Chocolate Menier, and that not being rich enough, evaporated and condensed milk is added. Again, oh yeah!

But sugar isn't just in our foods, it's in our souls and part of our history. And no one is more in our souls or part of our history than the late Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz who's signature word was sugar- "Azucar" and it fitted her importance to us perfectly.

BB surrounded by Azucar

A post about Chocolate, Grandchildren, y Celia Cruz - SWEET!!

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.

October 05, 2011

How to keep healthy in a Cuban household

Old time remedies, old wives tales. I'm sure every culture has them; I bet we even find similarities among them. But this belonging to Babushka, I'm going to list some of the major beliefs my Cuban culture imparts on health and how to maintain it.


Apparently the feet are portholes of infirmary. Between the cold, animals,germs, and bugs, it was a given hospital stay if you were ever found barefoot. (Oh, and Lord forbid if anyone ever saw you like that- they'd think you were from "El Campo".) My poor parents tried for 17 years and finally had to give up. I LOVE going barefoot. Guess I was destined for the South.


There we go, being extreme. First the feet, then the head. Besides being a recipe for bed head in the morning (which no self respecting Cubanita would allow) the air would bring about tremendo cold. If you think I mean a/c- no, no,no we don't need to be so drastic to have a cold. The culprit of many a Cuban malady- NIGHT AIR.

Yes, NIGHT AIR, the demon of diseases and destruction. Not only did this devil cause more sickness than the plague, but it also broke down and disintegrated anything left out in its' domain. People or patio furniture, neither are immune to its' powers.

This being a well known truth, we continue to-


Anytime there was a breeze, or heaven forbid you were going out at night, the head (especially in little children), the chest and back (covering the lungs) must be covered. The later in the evening the more and/or tighter you should bundle up.

If by some milagro you did catch something then they went straight to the cupboard for the Cuban Cure All.

Vicks Vapor Rub, or as we were brought up to say, VIX VAPO RU. The magical ointment was slathered on the bottom of the feet, the chest, the back (covering the lungs), the neck, the forehead, and VERY important- under the nose. The fumes alone brought people back from the dead.

Aha, I see you smiling. You know of what I speak.

Por supuesto this aromatic bath was done while a cazuelon of hearty homemade chicken soup with bolitas de FuFu was being made-to cast out the fever, the bad spirits and the hunger.

Old time remedies, a bit of history. I'm sure we all have our memories of "cures" and "wisdom" and we shake our heads. Let's just smile and remember the love they were given with. And to those who wonder if I've followed these and shared them ... JU SO FONI !!!

I'm a Cuban Grandma; need I say more?

Babushka Besos a todos. Cuidensen.