I’ve been cooking since I was nine. From my mother I inherited the culinary passion which, like in her case, has accompanied me throughout my entire life. She wouldn’t let any of the family women into the kitchen and she didn’t like what they cooked, she only enjoyed my dishes.
I think that cooking requires a vocation, to do it well one has to know how to interpret the food’s smells and flavors. I tried to catch many of my “mom’s” secrets, she never wanted to reveal some of them and she lacked the time to leave others when she passed away. In order to not lose those secrets, the ones she bequeathed me and others I have been incorporating, I’m writing a modest book of recipes to make the life of my daughters, nieces and granddaughter easier.
Lately, what do you enjoy most to cook?
When you live outside Cuba for a while you try to take your cuisine with you, making it with the ingredients you find, it’s rather easy and I enjoy it a great deal, but what most satisfies me is assuming the challenge of cooking Italian food with what we find here. It’s much more complex than the process the other way around of preparing Cuban food in Italy, but my greatest satisfaction is when I achieve a delicious solution to Italian dishes a la Cuban style. Another of those moments is the day to day, assuming the constant challenge like all Cuban housewives, of not letting creativity die with the daily question of, what am I going to cook today?
What do you cook the best?
They say the desserts and meats. I believe that it’s the sweets, like French toast, which is made many ways, but I propose them with a bit of cooking wine, which gives it a very special flavor, like those made by my mother.
12 slices of bread
1 liter of milk
2 cups of sugar
1 spoon of cinnamon sticks
1 spoon of cooking wine
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of frying oil
a pinch of salt
Boil the milk with the cinnamon and sugar, let it cool and add the vanilla and the cooking wine. Prepare the syrup with the cinnamon. Slice the bread. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. First soak the bread slices in the milk and then in the beaten egg. Fry in hot oil until they are golden on both sides. Bathe in the syrup and, eat and enjoy!