One of the crucial elements of Puerto Rican identity (not just for me) is food. Our cuisine is a mix of Taíno, Spanish and African. There are also dishes that emerged as a result of the canned food and dry goods from the PRRA era. In short, Puerto Rican food is a reflection of our history and we are very attached to it.
I don't usually make a lot of typical dishes. Yesterday I had the urge to make some typical stuff, so I went to the supermarket and bought meat and some root vegetables and green bananas, because I wanted to make alcapurrias, biftec encebollado and guineítos en escabeche. This is the first time I ever attempt to make alcapurrias. Gabe had never seen me prepare annato oil before and he was very curious, asking what was it and what exactly it was used for.
Grating green bananas and root vegetables can be time consuming, so I relied on my food processor to speed things up. I used half of the green bananas I bought for the alcapurrias, and boiled the other half for the escabeche. I browned some ground beef with sofrito and seasonings, to use as filling for the alcapurrias. After the alcapurrias were formed, I put them away in the refrigerator. I will fry them today, hoping they come out right.
For dinner last night we ate the biftec encebollado and the guineítos en escabeche. Gabe loved the cube steak with onions, as he has before. But he had a harder time with the guineítos. He had eaten a lot of bread prior to the main dish, so he claimed he was too full to eat them, but I think he just did not like them much. It made me a little sad, although it is not his fault really. I can't force him to like something, and he did not grow up eating that, so he does not have the emotional tie to the dish that I have. But at times like this, I really wish I had my family nearby, so I do not feel so lonely.