I know I acted all like I was blogging again and then went and disappeared for a week.  Apparently I am not reliable anymore. I didn’t think anyone would notice, but my siblings called last night and expressed their need to know what I am eating, Chris wants to know what happened to his guest post about stromboli (soon, Chris, soon), and my friends want something to read in their downtime. So here I am again :-D

On Wednesday, my early childhood department at work had our Secret Santa swap and potluck breakfast. Belkis taught me how to make mangu (it’s right next to the bagels)!

I love mangu and speak of it often. And it seems that making mangu is not a challenge at all! The night before our breakfast, I made the onions the same way I’ve done them before to accompany yuca. I thinly sliced two red onions and then fried them in olive oil and the juice of a whole lime until tender (this is my coworker Maria’s method — most places use vinegar instead of lime). Belkis picked up the plantains, so I met her in the work kitchen at 8:45 Wednesday morning for my lesson.

We started by peeling at least 10 giant green plantains. Belkis peeled 8 of them in record time using her time-honored authentic Domincan green-plantain-peeling technique handed down for generations in her family. In the same amount of time, I peeled two.

We sliced the peeled plantains once the long way and once the short way and then threw them into a big pot of boiling water with salt. 45 minutes later, the white plantains had turned a brownish yellow, the indication of readiness. Belkis poured out most of the water, and then we went to work mashing. Belkis added some butter and olive oil and a touch more salt and proclaimed our delicacy ready. I heated the onions and served them on the side in a bowl because some people don’t like onions, hmph. 

We had a few kinds of cheese to go with the mangu. Deborah decorated:

We sat around and chatted …

… and then did our Secret Santa exchange:

Pansy was my Secret Santa and gave me a lifetime supply of Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolate balls. I almost cried. From fear or joy, I don’t know which.

Here’s my plate of food (though I obv had some seconds and eighths): three little pieces of Dunkin Donuts (blueberry, pumpkin spice, Christmas sprinkles), Pansy’s fish cake, lots of mangu, champagne cheese, Maria’s Dominican-style eggs with jalapeno, slice of cinnamon roll, and grapes.

And then I was full for the next 24 hours. Sadly, I was forced to eat again a mere four hours later.

Frances has been volunteering at my agency for the past 25 years, and she just celebrated her 80th birthday this past week. We had to celebrate with food, of course.

And especially with carrot cake:

The decorating crew did such a lovely job!

The party started at 3:30, but Frances didn’t get there until 4:20. Dorothy, Lucia, and Elsie regaled us with Christmas carols in the meantime.

I am pretty sure that I grabbed a dark chocolate covered pretzel, broke off a piece, and gave the rest to Deborah.

Finally, Frances arrived!

Of course, I had to leave at that moment to catch my bus to Massachusetts, but I’m glad I got to see her grand entrance. Happy Birthday, Frances!

I zipped down to Port Authority with my too-many-presents-stuffed suitcase and headed north via Peter Pan so I could keep eating too much food forever and ever.

How many food events can YOU squeeze into one week?

One thought on “Festivities

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