Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Papa Day

Surely no one expected a post from me yesterday. I, or we. were recovering from a day of stuffed potato cakes (link below). Yayabo and I spent the day lounging about making the papas. Well I cooked the picadillo (with raisins and olives no less, probably one of the best I have made. I have become such an expert at making it), and then set to cook the potatoes. All the while going back from the porch to the kitchen to the bridge (my name for my game room) where Yayabo sat humming Brazilian samba and blasting aliens, Nazis, and robots (something he calls 'Gun Porn').

I made a huge mistakes with the potatoes. Instead of fork mashing them, I whipped them, thinking I was being all slick. Well that was the word, slick. I cooled them and when Yayabo and I went to make them, we found it infinitely hard to turn mashed potatoes into balls.

The answer? FLOUR. Lots of it. Nothing better (except eggs) to make food stick together. We made the balls alright (the image of Yayabo's percussion hands covered with a thick layer of breading goop, will always live in my memory), but we had an ocean of bread crumbs and flour all over the counter and the floor. Not to worry my two dogs raced to the occasion, and had the floor cleaned in seconds. The desert of crumbs, flour, and a glowing yellow river of egg were a different story but all turned out well.

I love frying. Perhaps it is instinctual but I adored dumping those lovely cakes into a cast iron pot over a fire. Now some broke apart as the hot oil ate away at our meager coating. Also I wish I had put more meat into the center, but like I said, with mashed potatoes- who could have done it?

We got about 12 solid balls, and ate well here and there, always with a staff of rum beside us. Lovely and good Mount Gay, from Barbados. Just sweet enough. Now a good mixing rum is Flor de Cana Extra Dry. Surprised me beyond belief. Diet Coke and Coke pouring here and there.

I had so many leftovers,and since I am a kind of culinary missionary, I brought the papas to my neighbors and exchanged them for crabcakes and fried shrimp- wonderful. Then since a friend of ours closed on her house around the corner, I made a tray of everything I had, and a bottle of Marques de Caceres (I adore Spanish wines) and headed on over. The only article of furniture she had was a rug- thus a makeshift picnic started.

All the while Yayabo blasting away in the bridge.

Did I mention the next day? No? Good!