Inside the Mind of Isadora


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Story of a Broken Man

Grenada Drunk Man & Shell Art.web (1024x884)

Broken

While on vacation in Grenada, we decided to drive around downtown which could be quite a challenge. Suddenly, I was overcome by the sight of a man sitting on the sidewalk.

“Stop,” I shouted.

Startled, my husband stopped the car assuming he was about to hit something or someone he hadn’t seen.

I said, “Look,” while pointing to this man. “Please!” “You’ve got to find a place to park.”

He drove a bit and found a parking spot.

Since we were unfamiliar with the downtown area, we had to walk several streets in search of where the man had been.

I thought I should purchase one of those shells he was selling since he looked like he was in need of a sale.

Eventually, we found him.

He was unaware I was standing next to him until I said, “Hello, I see you have some shells for sale.”

Tear filled hazy eyes glared at my me. I felt sucked in by his sadness. He was dirty with a profound odor of the unsanitary kind. It was the type of odor you knew was from a lack of any type of facilities. Yet, I felt compelled to talk to him. In one hand he had a cup of rum; the other hand held a blunt, doobie, marijuana joint. Drugs!

After briefly talking about his shells, I told him, “I noticed he was drinking and smoking marijuana at such an early morning hour.” It was 10:00 a.m.

He said, “There’s no set time for me to kill my pain.”

I didn’t dare ask what his sorrow was.

I asked, “Does it help your pain?”

No words were said. Just a tilt of the head in my direction with a curved smile that led me to believe he didn’t think I’d understand.

We spoke for a short time.

I handed him the money for the shell with a little extra. I recommended he use it for food or shelter. I told him to keep the shell so he could sell it to someone else.

As I began to walk away, he took another puff from his big sweet scented herb and shouted, “Pretty Lady” …

I turned.

He continued, “Someday, when you get to heaven, say hello to my angel. I know you’ll meet her there. Tell her, I’ll be with her before long.”

2018©written by Isadora

 

~ Kindness is loving people more than they deserve ~

Grant that, we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand … Saint Francis of Assisi

*****

 

*****Definition of Broken: forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured. incomplete; being in a state of disarray; disordered;

**** I received the Bronze Award for a: Street Life/Slice of Life: A photojournalistic photograph, camera as observer.

*****This story was originally posted in February, 2014 


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Coquito – A Traditional Puerto Rican Libation

The Island of Puerto Rico is still in the recovery stages since Hurricane Maria devastated it in September, 2017.

Many are still without electricity, clean water, everyday needs such as food, clothing, simple essentials and telephones.

During this time of giving – perhaps, you can donate to this cause:

www.unidosporpuertorico.com

Somos una voz – We are one voice: donate here 

One day, the island will return to the beauty it once was as shown in this video – Sung by native Puerto Rican Marc Anthony

I’ve posted this before, but this year, it has so much more meaning for those of us who helplessly wait for news

from family members living on the island in the devastation of Hurricane Maria.Christmas coquito - shot glasses IMG_4867

My first Christmas experience of Puerto Rican traditions was in 1963

when I was sent to a private Benedictine Monastery high school called Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Valvanera.

I was a senior. I lived with my maternal grandmother’s sister, her 5 children,

 my maternal great grandmother, who was a Taino Indian, and completed the family.

I had been raised in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York,

while attending Transfiguration Catholic school, up until that point.

When I first arrived in Puerto Rico, I was very unhappy after the first month. I had summered there but only for a month at a time.

I missed my former life.

Then, as I began to experience this very new culture, I started to feel an emotional connection I’d never felt before.

My great grandmother, Pagua, knew I wasn’t feeling like I belonged. She began to tell me stories of her ancestors and their traditions.

Below is one of the traditions I experienced during my first holidays on this personal cultural journey .

I hope you’ll try this very easy to make beverage and, perhaps, incorporate something

that sounds like a positive tradition in this story to your holiday festivities.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

coquito

Coquito is a traditional drink served during Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Fiesta de los Tres Reyes celebrations. The drink is similar to eggnog except with rum. In many households, it’s prepared days ahead in order to allow the flavors to blend well. This particular recipe does not call for raw eggs. Nor does it call for you to crack open a fresh coconut. It’s a very simple mixed drink. There’s another recipe below that is made with eggs. It depends on your family tradition as to which way you make it. No matter which way you decide to make it, remember that it is a lot more powerful than you think.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes – tastes best if left in the fridge overnight

Ingredients:
2 15-ounce cans cream of coconut
2 14-ounce cans condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
6 ounces Puerto Rica Bacardi white rum (use less or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh grated coconut (coco rallado) for garnish

and/or cinnamon sprinkled on top

Preparation: 1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.

Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Coquito must be kept refrigerated until served.

Serve as a cocktail in a shot glass.

Enjoy … !!!
Serves: This recipe makes about 36 ounces.

 Exitos Navideños De Puerto Rico: La Gran Trulla

This is a traditional song sung by the carolers.

Christmas - coquito ingredients - maxresdefaultAnother recipe for this traditional drink:

Coquito is gluten-free.  To make it dairy-free substitute the milks (except coconut) with rice, soy, hemp, , or almond milk and double the sugar.  If you want to lower the sugar content; substitute all of the sugar for agave nectar or brown rice syrup.
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans condensed milk
fresh grated coconut (coco rallado)
1 liter white Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi)
cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
In a bowl add egg yolks, sugar, milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and mix well. Add evaporated and condensed milks, rum, and coconut cream and coconut milk. Add grated coconut and mix well. You can mix all of the ingredients in a blender. Pour coquito into bottles with sealable tops and add the cinnamon sticks to each bottle. Refrigerate and serve cold.


5 Comments

Coquito – A Traditional Puerto Rican Libation

Christmas coquito - shot glasses IMG_4867

My first Christmas experience of Puerto Rican traditions was in 1963

when I was sent to a private Benedictine Monastery school called Colegio de Nuestra Señora de la Valvanera.

I was a high school senior. I lived with my maternal grandmother’s sister who had 5 children.

My great grandmother, who was a Taino indian, completed the family.

The family was well-known and taken care of very nicely since my great aunt was the mayors mistress.

It was an accepted arrangement in this town. I’ll be going into more details about this in my memoir I’m writing.

Anyway, you can’t imagine the culture shock I had.

I’d been raised in an orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York up until that point.

I was very unhappy  for the first month. I missed my former life.

Then, as I began to experience this very new culture, I started to feel an emotional connection I’d never felt before.

Below is one of the traditions I experienced during my first holidays on this personal cultural journey .

I hope you will try this very easy to make beverage and, perhaps,

incorporate something that sounds like a positive tradition in this story.

2015©Isadora DeLaVega

***** Yes, I have posted this one before.

I added a little inside information from my memoir to make it fresh for those who’ve seen this recipe before.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

coquito

Coquito is a traditional drink served during Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Fiesta de los Tres Reyes celebrations. The drink is similar to eggnog except with rum. In many households, it’s prepared days ahead in order to allow the flavors to blend well. This particular recipe does not call for raw eggs. Nor does it call for you to crack open a fresh coconut. It’s a very simple mixed drink. There’s another recipe below that is made with eggs. It depends on your family tradition as to which way you make it. No matter which way you decide to make it, remember that it is a lot more powerful than you think.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes – tastes best if left in the fridge overnight

Ingredients:
2 15-ounce cans cream of coconut
2 14-ounce cans condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
6 ounces Puerto Rica Bacardi white rum (use less or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh grated coconut (coco rallado) for garnish

Preparation: 1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.

Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Coquito must be kept refrigerated until served.

Serve as a cocktail in a shot glass.

Enjoy … !!!
Serves: This recipe makes about 36 ounces.

 Exitos Navideños De Puerto Rico: La Gran Trulla

This is a traditional song sung by the carolers.

Christmas - coquito ingredients - maxresdefaultAnother recipe for this traditional drink:

Coquito is gluten-free.  To make it dairy-free substitute the milks (except coconut) with rice, soy, hemp, , or almond milk and double the sugar.  If you want to lower the sugar content; substitute all of the sugar for agave nectar or brown rice syrup.
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans condensed milk
fresh grated coconut (coco rallado)
1 liter white Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi)
cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
In a bowl add egg yolks, sugar, milk, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and mix well. Add evaporated and condensed milks, rum, and coconut cream and coconut milk. Add grated coconut and mix well. You can mix all of the ingredients in a blender. Pour coquito into bottles with sealable tops and add the cinnamon sticks to each bottle. Refrigerate and serve cold.


17 Comments

Coquito – A Traditional Puerto Rican Libation

coquito

 

Coquito is a traditional drink served at Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

The drink is similar to eggnog.

In many households it was prepared days ahead in order to allow the flavors and the rum to blend well.

This particular recipe does not call for raw eggs.

Nor does it call for you to crack open a fresh coconut; however, if available you can.

It’s a very simple mixed drink.

Coquito is served with pasteles. The recipe for that is here.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 -15-ounce cans cream of coconut

2 – 14-ounce cans condensed milk

6 ounces white rum (use less or more if you’d like)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon coconut (or vanilla) extract

Preparation:

1. Mix all ingredients in a blender.

2. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Serve cold with a cinnamon stick as garnish

Serves: This recipe makes about 36 ounces.