Friday, December 24, 2010

Noche Buena y comida Mejicana.

For a while now I had been thinking about making piñon. SS loves plantains and her love for crunchy tacos has provided a way to get protein into her skinny frame. A piñon is basically a plantain lasagna and it has green beans, one of SS's favorites. Why I decided that yesterday was the day to cook a Puerto Rican dish (something I suck at) is beyond me. We had gifts to wrap, a toy to assemble and were eagerly awaiting JJ's arrival. While we were searching for the right platanos, P asked me an obvious question. He wanted to know if I had made the dish before, because it never made it into our menu in fifteen years. Maybe yesterday was not the right time to try a new recipe. As I was distractedly choosing produce I said of course, I made it when I was pregnant with JJ.

During the drive home the ridiculous nature of my statement hit me hard. Have faith in me, I made this dish 28 years ago, piece of cake, what can go wrong? I sometimes wonder what keeps P from having me committed to a psych ward. But Sunshine was supportive and I am sure he was going over backup plans for dinner in his mind. But it went well, everyone enjoyed it, and the Puerto Rican in SS came through for us. She is a plantain eating machine, and was upset that she could not swipe more while we assembled the dish.

In Spanish speaking countries Christmas Eve is called Noche Buena. It literally translates into Good Night, my people are not exactly the most creative. I fully blame them for my lack of creativity. To keep up with the Hispanic food theme we made carnitas for dinner tonight. I found an easy recipe on a blog where the author cooks almost everyday with her slow cooker. P loves carnitas and we had yet to introduce JJ to his new food obsession. So we had a Noche Buena con comida Mejicana.

Since we did not have a tree last year we decided to allow SS to decorate her tree. Her first year home she did not know what was going on, but now she is getting Christmas a bit more. P was bummed because he could not find the monstrous tree stand or the fancy LED lights he bought two years ago. JJ came to the rescue and found the stand in a corner of our garage. It really pays off to have the kid around. No luck with the lights, but I reminded P that SS does not care about fancy lights, the old ones would do just fine. What really matters is that we are home together. When SS looks at the pictures in this post years from now, she is not going to bemoan the fact that LED lights did not grace her tree, she won't worry about the things we fret about. What SS is going to focus on is that we gave her free rein with the tree, that yesterday her Mama cooked to please her palate, and that JJ was home.

Turns out that SS is her mother's daughter, lazy as hell. She played with the ornaments, she placed some at the bottom of the tree, then decided that was good enough. Just like with the gingerbread house she lost steam and walked away. We are hoping this is not going to be a life long pattern. Then again we could argue that SS is a minimalist.

I had forgotten how much this stand weights. My brilliant plan to maximize space was to place the tree on top of SS's train table and cleared it for that purpose. The stand weights almost 20 pounds, no way was I going to risk destroying SS beloved metropolis.

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