“Las flores de Isabel”

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The bad, bad bush, turned out to be a very beautiful orchid…

Isabel’s Orchids

After my Mom’s passing I was left among with great memories, knicks and knacks that she left behind,  her flowers, mostly orchids. To tell you the truth, I don’t have the best green thumb, actually I thought I didn’t have one, at all.

So with that in mind I decided to cut a lot of trees in the backyard (a pigeon peas one too, something  I regret).  At that moment I thought “I won’t be able to take care of all this”.  So cut and gone they were, big mistake. Then the orchids, yes the beautiful orchids my Mom loved and cared so much. It crossed my mind that I should give then away, but just thinking about it, made me cry. So I did what I had to, look for information and learn.

One of my closest friend, told me, “water them twice a week, and always water them like that”.  A coworker told me, “they have orchid food, you can buy it at Home Depot, once a month feed them”. A friend from church gave me a great idea “tag me in facebook and I tell you what to do” Et voilà.

I got what I needed, so far only one of the flowers, is not progressing nor dying, and I just don’t know what else to do with it (if you have any advice, is very much welcome).

Two months after Mom’s passing, two bloomed. Last year I bought two plants, which are growing. Also two weeks ago I found another,  I thought it was just a bush growing out of place and about to be cut. It turned out to be an orchid (the one on top of the article).

So without further ado here they are, “Las flores de Isabel”

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A friend from church gave me this one, a month after it bloomed!

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This one bloomed a few months after Mom’s passing

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This is Cataleya, it also bloomed the same year that Mom died, it smells so sweet. Also is the only one I know by name :/

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ImageImageThis are from april 27, 2012. The same day of Mom’s burial, two years ago.

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Now this are my new babies, bought them last year, each one has a little plant growing next to them (hijitos).

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They bloomed almost at the same date. This time with more flowers…

Well this are the orchids my Mom loved and cared for.  Also there is a few banana trees and  a lemon tree in the backyard.  All the work of her blessed hands.

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20130425_063517 Now this one is the bigger one. It was a present for my Mom in her 80th birthday (2009)

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Arroz con gandules

Born and raised a puertorrican, you must know that our typical food selection is whoa! Where do I start, and what do I chose?. Unfortunately almost nothing is light, but I assure you is delicious or in good spanish, riquisimo!

As a food lover, I have learn to cook a few good things. Surprisingly none of it, puertorrican. That worried me. Raised in a family that loves to eat, by a Mom that cooked like a goddess, is a shame that I didn’t learn more. But when you love too cook, you know that cooking sometimes is about taking risks, inventing, trying until you finally get what you are looking for. So this is my case with the typical “Arroz con gandules”.

My Mom use to cook this and it was delicious, scrumptious, yes, RIQUISIMO. So I took the risk and now you are reading  a good “arroz con gangules” recipe. This is how, Dalice finally learn how to cook it…

Ingredients
2 cups of rice (short or medium grain)
1/2 cup of pigeons peas
1/4 cup of cooking ham
1/4 cup of frying pork (lightly seasoned with garlic, pepper and salt)
1/4 cup of sofrito (recipe at the end)
2 packets of Sazon with azafran
2 tablespoon of oil
2 1/2 cups of beef or chicken broth
Salt to taste (eyeball it)
3 tablespoons of grated green banana

Method

In a medium pot add the oil and fry the ham and pork (Medium heat)20130512_155404
Add the rice, peas and sofrito cook for a few minutes
20130512_155617Add the broth, salt, mix and bring to a boil20130512_155749Add the grated green bananas20130512_161350

Cover and cook in low until rice is tender (20 to 30 minutes)20130512_162908
For the Sofrito you will need onions, cilantro leaves, garlic, sweet red and green peppers. 1/4 cup each add salt to taste or you can always buy it!

You can serve it with fried pork… 20130512_165245or go all the puertorrican way, pasteles, guineitos en escabeche y pernil!

Hope you enjoy it!!!

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Back to writing…

It’s been a while since I last wrote something here. A few things had happened, but I am still alive and kicking. Among those things, I started writing a recipes column for a local newspaper in Orlando, Florida, got a bad case of a slow gallbladder (it got so slow that it stopped working and had to have it removed), Puerto Rico got a new governor, went to Costa Rica and I learn to cook a few good things.
The gallbladder ordeal, well since 2007 it got slow, but last year it just stopped working, a month before my trip with my brother and sisters to Costa Rica. Got it removed, and let me tell you, I don’t ever wish anyone to go through that; it was painful as it is. And well is a surgery after all. But out the non-working gallbladder, in the pain free tummy.
Then the elections, yes how could I forget that. We have a new governor, I had the chance to see him from afar, in a concert by La orquesta sinfónica de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico’s symphony Orchestra, using google translate for that name). Where there was a lot of people wearing bling bling and as I told my friends “a lot of bling bling and me no bling bling”.
Ok back to Costa Rica, I had a blast. I mean is such a gorgeous country, and the people and the food. I spend time with my sisters, and my brother, but it was my first time in Costa Rica, and is like they say “Pura Vida” (Pure life). I love Germany, but Costa Rica won my heart too. Sadly I don’t have a laptop, so it might take a while for me to post some pictures.
I started writing a column on a local newspaper in Orlando, Florida, so I will be posting the recipes here, I will translate them, for you English speaking, so you can try them too.
Well see you soon!!!
Love and hugs
Dalice

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Playa Flamenco

Finally the link

 

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Recipes

The news paper I mentioned before

 

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My beautiful Island, Puerto Rico

Hello there!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve been good, not great but good.  Writer’s block? Maybe.

This past monday was Mom’s birthday, yes I was sad, but I was also glad that I got to live with her and have so  many great memories.

The week before, a new school year started, same people, different year.  Still lots of work. And I also started collaborating on a local newspaper in Orlando, Florida sharing recipes.  Is in spanish though. As soon as I figure it out I’ll post the link.

I also wanted to share, my precious island is been mentioned in the tripadvisor site, “10 breathtaking beaches”. Yeap there we are, number 3. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico. Same applies here, as soon as I figure it out I’ll post the link.

Here are some pictures from my first and sadly only visit.  My nephew was visiting us so he couldn’t decide between Vieques (another island here with beautiful beaches too) or Culebra.  So I pulled  the Flamenco is one of the prettiest beaches in the world card, and et’voila.

Here are some pics I took from the trip. You have to take a ferryboat.  Once you get there a “guagua” (google would translate it as bus, but is just a van). That will take you there and pick you up. Or you can walk. We chose the “guagua” there and the same “guagua” pick us up.

Playa Flamenco (Flamenco Beach)

this is me 🙂

Well that’s all folks, till next time 🙂

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It’s been a year, but it feels like yesterday…

Well Here I am again.

The title, this next Wednesday.  The 25th last year, was the last time, I heard my Mom’s voice and held her hand until she was gone…

So a while ago I wrote this long blog narrating almost every single detail of my Mom’s passing. I just flowed out of me. I cried an ocean while I wrote it. And I asked my best friend to once more proofread it for me.

I don't know how old I am in this picture. Is the same house I live in.

She liked it, not loved it, but she also told me “don’t dwell on it”.

Today those words came into my mind.  So instead I decided to follow my friend’s advice, and instead of sharing with you what it was like, I decided to celebrate my Mom.

She was full of life, a woman who loved God, and gave her life entirely to Him.  She raised us to be honorable, respectful, loving and funny people.  Us 5, today only 4, I lost my older brother to AIDS almost 20 years ago.

I was talking to my neighbor yesterday, and we just laughed remembering Mom’s things.  How she would tell her cardiologist to do whatever test that needed to be done fast and now, because she was leaving the next day to see her family in the states. The look on the doctor’s face, PRICELESS.  Or how she would call my best friend (yes the very same one who proofreads my blogs before I post them) and quarrel with her because she didn’t go to the doctor. By the way, my friend lecture me about that phone call, but those of you who are mothers, know that you would go for the kill if someone stands in your way while helping those who you love.

It’s been almost a year, and while I feel this sadness that sometimes feels like I’m, drowning in it, yet I  have to fight it and be grateful, for all the years I had my Mom with me (nine years living with her).

It makes me sad to see my brother and sisters struggling with their own mourning process.  But I rejoice when I think of how much of her we all have in us.  My older sister’s protection over us. The other older sister,  fighter and go-ahead spirit.  And my brother’s tenderness with us.  He is reserved, he won’t show much emotion, but the way he cares for us.  You can see Mom right there.

Although she is no longer with us.  There are constant reminders of her all around.

I am a blessed woman, we all are. My two sisters and my brother (by the way I’m the youngest).  The kind of woman; God was well pleased with, just like the bible says in Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (TNIV)

And that woman was my Mom.

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