Latin American feast

Sunday: day three of mindless eating. I overslept again, not because I had too many drinks but too much to eat. Still, I went to the 8:30 am boxing class only to prove that lots of sugar and flour lead to low energy (as if anybody knew this).

After the gym I went home for a shower and picked up my stuff to go to the Buddhist centre: my meditation book, my mala, plus 16 frozen empanadas, pancake ingredients and bananas. Not that I normally meditate with food, but we had planned a Latin American feast for lunch/early dinner. The initiative was taken by our lovely Marcela (from Costa Rica), who figured out that with so many Latin Americans in our group we should get together and cook once in a while.

Once I got to the centre I sat down to get some practice done while experiencing what people often describe as a heart attack, but I knew it was my digestive tract yelling at me. I decided to see the glass half full and be content on the fact that I’m getting better at keeping focused in spite of physical pain.

Some hours later my heartburn was much better so I decided it was time for a Corona while getting the food ready. Vicky (from Venezuela) had already assembled the pan de jamón (bread stuffed with ham, olives and raisins) and put it in the oven, and was preparing the ensalada de gallina (salad with shredded chicken, potatoes, carrots, apples and mayo dressing).

Pan de jamón

Pan de jamon

Ensalada de gallina

Ensalada de gallina

Jane (who is an Aussie but lived in México for a while and speaks Spanish like a Mexican) had already prepared guacamole (mashed avocado with tomato, onion and lime juice) and pico de gallo (tomato, onion, coriander and lime juice) and was frying some sopes (corn flour flat bread) and topping them with shredded tasty cheese.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Pico de gallo

Pico de gallo

Sopes de queso

Sopes de queso

I (from Perú, in case you don’t know) put my frozen empanadas (pastry filled with minced meat, onion, garlic, chili, olives, boiled eggs and raisins) in the oven while drinking beer and slicing the pan de jamón.

Empanadas de carne

Empanadas de carne

Marcela heated the big pot of pozole (soup with maize and pork) she had brought from home.

Pozole

Pozole

Jane fried some pimientos de Padrón (hot peppers) and we were ready to start eating.

Pimientos de Padrón

Pimientos de Padron

We sat at the outside table with our bowls of Pozole and a few beers. It was such a beautiful afternoon, perfect for feasting and being lazy. Suddenly I felt more Latin American than ever (yeah, we’re lazy bastards!).

Pozole

Between the soup and the rest of the food we had a round of margaritas (cocktail with tequila, Triple Sec or Cointreau and lime juice). They were not as professional as we’d like them to be but we were busy with other things (getting drunk on Coronas, for example).

Margaritas

Margaritas

We decided to take a long break before dessert. There was music (salsa, cumbia and everything else I hate), some dancing (not me!), lots of stories and laughter.

I had brought the only CDs I’ve got that feature some sort of Latin American beats: etnotronic by Miki Gonzáles (Andean and other Peruvian music in lounge version), Mundo Nuevo by Perujazz (you guessed it: Peruvian music and jazz fusion), Más Poder by La Sarita (Peruvian music and rock fusion, this first album has some Rage Against The Machine-y riffs), and Fundamental and Unión by Puya (Puerto Rican beats and metal fusion). I played Unión partially as a revenge, but also as a way to prove that not all Latin American music is crap.

Marcela and her husband Don left us with the tray of tres leches (sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream) they had brought.

Tres leches

Tres leches

I mixed the pancake ingredients and cooked five big ones while Jane sliced some bananas. Then I cooked the bananas with butter, brown sugar and a final touch of tequila to flambée them. When set on the table, each person grabbed half a pancake and topped it with bananas and cajeta (Mexican caramel). The original idea was to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream but I decided not to due to the excess of food.

Dessert plate: tres leches, panqueque con plátano flambeado en tequila y cajeta

Tres leches, pancake with flambeed bananas and cajeta

I had overestimated our belly capacity and brought more pancake ingredients and bananas than needed. With the bananas there’s no issue because we eat a whole lot of them at home, and the leftover batter got frozen for a future post-workout breakfast.

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