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Happy Holidays with plenty love, the LATINO way! edit

Cr_2 There is something about having "Latino blood" in our veins. There is something very special about being born in a Latin American country. My heart has deep roots of love and tears that travel deep,...to the center of our planet Earth. There is a cry of the long gone times that took away many of our traditions and childhood friends. There is a song with perfume of roses, and a thousand butterflies that travel along with the wind in this precious land.

When I was growing up, I used to ask my mom WHY I had freckles in my face. With a smile, every time she said..."you got them from me, and you can not change that.... In the family we all have freckles: we got them from your great great grandmother who came from France." I probably was ten years old or younger when I began questioning about my "turkey-egg-like" freckled face. I tried all the fading creams I could afford with the weekly saving of my daily allowance. None of them worked. Then, one day I woke up and realized I was wasting my time with all that nonsense imaginary war I had started with the freckles of my great great granny. Since that day everything made sense and I loved every sassy little caramel colored shade in my face. I loved my roots.

Too far the Land of Long Ago! BUT the people, the same people who one day came from far away lands and made Panama their home; they have brought gold to our culture. THIS time, I am not talking about "GOLD", the one that holds the atomic number 79. This time I am referring to the kind of "gold" that enriches a culture, the one that in silence shines (...sometimes loud too!) and shares the goodness of many lands in just only one.

This is our country: Welcome to Panama! And now, it is yours too! smile

I have been working on an article with plenty delicious recipes to honor and celebrate the "Sweet Tooth" from Panama and Latin America, and I will post it soon...before the new year arrives. BUT, today after seeing what my friend and colleague, Chef Elena from the "El Amor por la Cocina" blog has rescued from her family memoirs and traditions, I thought it was a fantastic idea to share with you the LOVE and lust for our roots we have engraved in every cell of our body.

Today you will learn how to prepare: "MY FATHER'S NEW YEARS DAY BARBECUE" (or How to roast a pig the Cuban way). Including:

  • Lechón Asado a la Cubana (Roast Pork, Cuban Style)
  • Arroz Congrí (Red Beans with Rice)
  • Yuca con Mojo (Boiled Cassava with Garlic Sauce)

We hope you enjoy the beautiful holiday season, with delicious meals featuring food from all over the world (including our recipes, of course!).

Stay tuned and make sure to come back to get a fantastic selection of holiday desserts from Latin America.

Do not forget to participate in our worldwide campaign "A Menu For Hope II", to help the people affected with the earthquake in the Kashmir region of Pakistan. Just donate $5 for a chance to participate in the raffle of fantastic prizes donated by food bloggers from all over the world. For more information visit my previous post: "A Menu for Hope - Un Menu por la Esperanza II".

God bless you!

Chef Melissa

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

panama christmas latin america navidad chef felicidad happiness new year ano nuevo recetas receta recipe recipes delicious cooking cookingdiva diva chef melissa de leon douglass elena hernandel amor cocina academia artes culinarias fabian fabien charlie collins
  • by Chef Melissa
  • December 15, 2005
  • 5:45 pm


Picture of Elena Elena said on...
12.15.05 at 10:02 PM |

Melissa, thanks for posting the story and recipes, they bring back beautiful memories of old days! Hugs, Elena

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva melissa_cookingdiva said on...
12.15.05 at 11:30 PM |

Thank you Elena,...the memories of old days are good. Just keep them safe, close to your heart…, where nothing can take them away. Hugs! smile

Picture of Yovanna .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
12.16.05 at 10:59 PM |

Feliz Navidad Melissa and everyone else reading! I know it’s a little early, but I’m just so excited about the holidays. I love holiday cooking! I’m going to be making some peppermint bark with crushed candy cane and some cookies to pass out to co-workers and friends (plus plenty to keep around the house).
I’m looking forward to reading some holiday recipes from Panama and Latin America.smile Oh…rosca navideña! I’m in need of a good recipe for it:) Thanks and God bless!

Picture of Yvette Yvette said on...
12.17.05 at 12:43 AM |

Oh..I’m so fortunate to meet you as my friend and it is so nice to know many interesting things about you! tahnk you so much for sharing this with us and it even makes me smile, knowing that I grew up in multicultured community.  Im Hawaiian, Tahitian, Spanish, British, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Portuegeses and Chinese. Perhaps, I could write story like yours! *Mele Kalikimaka* and how do I join in food museum? Hugs!

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva melissa_cookingdiva said on...
12.17.05 at 08:00 AM |

Thank you Yovanna and Yvette for your visit and thoughts. Holiday season is such a beautiful time of the year…I love it. Yvette, it would be great and very interesting to learn about your roots! Perhaps we could start our own meme smile

To participate in the museum, just pick a photo of food related painting or art piece, and write about it. Then, send the link to Sao Mai from http://cocinalia.blogspot.com/
She will add it to the http://cocinalia.blogspot.com/2005/12/ag-meme-museo-gastronomico-online.html


Picture of sha sha said on...
12.18.05 at 01:26 PM |

food blog hopping…. hello from greece

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva melissa_cookingdiva said on...
12.18.05 at 03:18 PM |

Thanks Sha for your visit! I just came back from your blog. I enjoyed very much your 10 favorite foods post. Marzipan RULES! Hugs from Panama smile

Picture of champurrado champurrado said on...
12.19.05 at 08:52 AM |


Holiday time also reminds me of the traditions and routines of my family.  Tio Rafael making barbacoa in a pit in the back yard; filling fresh tortillas with the results of two days deep earth roasting; and most importantly learning that the men in our family are natural braisers, fryers, bakers and roasters.

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva melissa_cookingdiva said on...
12.19.05 at 09:18 AM |

Hola Champurrado! I agree with youThey sure know how to cook! Thank s for your visit and Happy Holidays…

Picture of Michelle Michelle said on...
12.19.05 at 05:05 PM |

Melissa, what a lovely story!  Thank you for sharing your memories as well as your family’s recipes!  I’m glad that you have learned to love your freckles - they are part of what makes you, you - and you are why we return here day after day to see what you have to say.  Have a wonderful holiday - I’m leaving soon to go home for Christmas so I won’t be blogging nearly as often, but I’ll be back soon to read about your Panamanian/Latin American sweet tooth!

Picture of Paz Paz said on...
12.19.05 at 09:58 PM |

Love your story!  Looking forward to your upcoming recipes!  Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and fantastic 2006!


Picture of sailu sailu said on...
12.20.05 at 07:03 AM |

Melissa,traditions,culture and family are responsible for what we are today.Appreciate you sharing with us what you hold close to your heart..smile
Look forward to those lovely desserts and wishing you and your family a wonderful x’mas and a very happy and cheerful new year 2006!

Picture of Vegan Momma Vegan Momma said on...
12.22.05 at 08:55 AM |

You should publish a cookbook, if you haven’t already. I love the way you write. I definitely would purchase it!

Picture of melissa_cookingdiva melissa_cookingdiva said on...
12.22.05 at 09:07 AM |

Dear Michelle, Paz, Sailu and VeganMomma: thank you for your kind words and thoughts for the holiday season and new year. I really enjoy sharing my stories with you, and I love to learn about yours when I visit your blogs.
Many hugs!

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