Inside the Mind of Isadora


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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.


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Small Business

Today, Janet @ Sustainabilitea.wordpress.com has added a post on small businesses.

With everyone running from place to place to get the best deals, Christmas can become

overwhelming. Check out some of the items she has listed.  Small Business click here:

Thank you, Janet, for adding me to the list of your favorite businesses:

Isadora Art JewelryCopper Whimsea’s by Al

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


48 Comments

Friday Fictioneers – Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

friday-fictioneers-12916-lucy-solMegan hadn’t slept a wink.

She was surprised her mother had said she’d take her tomorrow. Plagued with social anxiety, her mother never went out. But, she said she would.

Megan picked out her red and green snowflake hat and gloves. She wanted christmas written all over her in the photographs mother would take.

Morning dawn peeked through the curtains. Megan had butterflies in her stomach from anticipation.

She smelled coffee.

Mother was up.

She ran downstairs.

“Mother, what time are we leaving to see the tree at Rockefeller Center?”

Without turning she sulkily said, “Not today, Megan, maybe tomorrow.”

2016©Isadora De La Vega

Genre: Flash Fiction

Word Count: 100

 

Rochelle hosts the Friday Fictioneers challenge
to join in click here

to read other entries click froggy button

~~~~~

*****Social anxiety disorder also called social phobia involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.

Anxiety disorders can cause such distress that it interferes with your ability to lead a normal life.This type of disorder is a serious mental illness. For people who have one, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling. But with treatment, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life. info:web md

For Online Support Group: Anxiety and Depression Association

 


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.


6 Comments

Sunday Song – Spanish baby Lullaby

Angel Blessed MotherUntil one feels the spirit of Christmas,
there is no Christmas.
All else is outward display
so much tinsel and decorations.
For it isn’t the holly,
it isn’t the snow.
It isn’t the tree
not the firelight’s glow.
It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men
when the Christmas spirit returns again.

May the Christmas spirit fill your hearts with overflowing love that lasts the whole year.
Blessings … Merry Christmas Wishes – Feliz Navidad
Isadora
2015©Isadora DeLaVega

May the Christmas spirit fill your hearts with overflowing love that lasts the whole year.
Blessings … Merry Christmas Wishes – Feliz Navidad
Wishing you and yours a joyful, loving Christmas

A Very Happy and Healthy New Year!!

A la nanita nana Villancico con voz


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Santa brought a Schwinn

Schwinn Bike.web

Dear Santa,

I forgot to mention I want a bicycle. Thank You …

Dori (my family called me this when I was growing-up)

Those were the words that rattled inside my mind when I saw this very shiny bicycle near our Christmas tree when I was 9 years old on Christmas morning.

I know what most of you are thinking, ‘Why did she believe in Santa Claus at age 9?’ That’s a little old to believe in things that don’t exist.

But, I always believed everything my parents said to me even if classmates said there wasn’t a Santa Claus. Parents wouldn’t fib to their children. Besides, we were taught everyday in Catholic school that lying was a sin. I didn’t want to believe my parents would commit a sin on purpose. My little sister was 5 then and she believed in Santa. Should I have spoiled it for her? No. And so, I believed.

On this Christmas morning, I questioned whether or not I had asked for the right gifts. Although, I had 2 gifts this particular year. It had always been just one. I must have been real good. I was thrilled when I opened my first gift and it was the special Shirley Temple doll I had asked for. She had the prettiest smile and blonde curls. She was wearing a plaid skirt with a crisp white blouse and a beret atop those ringlets of curls. The second gift was the exact beret Shirley Temple wore when I had seen her at the Macy’s store on 5th Avenue. My family had gone into the city to see Santa and all of the wonderful New York decorations. As I think back to that day, my grandmother had taken us to have lunch while my mother did some errands. Doing Santa’s work, I’m sure. Well, he did fulfill my wishes.

But there in the middle of the living room, next to a brightly lit tree, was this blue and white shiny bicycle. It had a giant white bow and my older sisters’ name on it. It was so pretty. It was really very high too. I could barely reach the handle bars. It was gleaming and satiny bright. When my sister saw it she squealed and jump all around the living room. She had a huge smile on her face and slight giggles emitted as she spoke. We all gathered around it as we oohed and aahed.

Excited and ready to get her new bicycle outside, my sister ran into her room to get dressed. I waited in the living room with my Shirley Temple doll. I knew she wasn’t going to be able to ride. When she grabbed her bicycle and was ready to go my mother told her she couldn’t go outside.

Stunned she asked, why?

She was told the bad news. It had snowed 5” during the night. The sidewalks were covered in snow. Well, she wasn’t having any of it. She trotted down the 2 flights of stairs with her new bicycle and went outside. She rode on the snow. Of course, she fell a lot too. It didn’t matter to her. She wasn’t going to be stopped. All of us watched from the window and laughed.

Weeks later the weather improved. Eventually, she gave me a ride on her new bicycle. I didn’t know how to ride a 2 wheel bike. She had to hold onto me and the bike as I attempted to reach the pedals. It was futile. I was too short. Since she had asked for a boys bike with the bar that ran across from the seat to the handle bars my riding days quickly ended. We did have a great many fun rides with me sitting on the back fender while holding onto the seat.

Four years later, when she left home at 18, I was given the bicycle. I learned to ride. But, I was never as interested in bike riding as she was.

I guess I did get the right gifts from Santa that Christmas, after all.

2014©written by Isadora

Schwinn Blue Bike.web


38 Comments

A Christmas Wish for You – 2014

Angel Blessed Mother

“Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display–so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn’t the holly, it isn’t the snow. It isn’t the tree not the firelight’s glow. It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.”

May the Christmas spirit fill your hearts with overflowing love that lasts the whole year.

Blessings … Merry Christmas Wishes – Feliz Navidad

Isadora

                              

If you’re still having a difficult time deciding on gifts here are

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness
To an opponent, tolerance

To a friend, your heart

To a customer, service

To all, charity 

To every child, a good example

To yourself, respect.

 


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T’was the Night before Christmas – Florida Style

Santa w-Flamingo

Florida Christmas Poem

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
No noses were frozen, nor snow on the ground.

No children in flannels were tucked into bed,
They all wore their shorty pajamas instead.

To find wreaths of holly was not very hard,
For holly trees sprouted in every backyard.

In front of the houses were daddies and moms,
Decorating hibiscus and coconut palms.

The slumbering kiddies were dreaming with glee,
Hoping to find surf boards under the tree.

They all knew that Santa was well on his way,
In a fiberglass boat instead of a sleigh.

He whizzed up the rivers, zoomed up the canals,
Delivering toys to good boys and gals.

The tropical moon gave the cities a glow,
And lit the way for Santa below.

Quite soon he arrived and started to work,
He hadn’t a second to linger or shirk.

He jumped from his boat and gave a wee chuckle,
He was dressed in deck pants, with an ivy league buckle.

There weren’t any chimneys, but that caused no gloom,
For Santa came in through the Florida room.

He stopped at each house but stayed only a minute,
As he emptied his sack of the toys that were in it.

Before he departed he had a long drink,
From the glass of fresh orange juice left by the sink.

He turned with a jerk and jumped into his boat,
Knowing that he still had more toys to tote.

He put it in gear and he opened the gas,
Then up the Peace River he went like a flash!

And I heard him exclaim as he went on his way:
“Merry Christmas, Punta Gorda, I wish I could stay …. Annonymous

Santa w- Surf Boards

This is turning into a yearly repost due to the Christmas festivities that are going on at this time. I hope you enjoy it again. This was on the radio on Christmas Eve last year.  Punta Gorda is a boating town 5 minutes away from me.

                                          Merry Christmas to all of my loyal followers.

             May your hearts be filled with magical splendor of the Holiday Season.

                                         Blessings and many Hugs and Kisses to you !!!

                                                                                Isadora