Damaris is a big-cheeked creole woman with a healthy appetite who we hired to cook up a 15-person rondon. We asked her about it in the morning. “Shoore! Dat ees no prablem. When you wahn I cook it? Tomaarow?” “Well,” I replied, “we were thinking to have it for dinner tonight, maybe around…sevenish?”
She shot me with a very concerned look and said, “Oooh. um…Okee.” And she was off. Two hours later she returned from the market with 10 pounds of fish, a bunch of plantains, a dozen coconuts and an even bigger-cheeked creole woman whom she introduced as her mother. We backed up and let the professionals do their work.
And they worked all day.
At 5pm the power went out. But electric light is still an unreliable novelty in many households and cooking by candlelight is still quite common. Sure enough, seven o’clock rolled around and the cocineras served the biggest rondon I had ever seen. Damaris dished it up with rice and beans and lemonade. It was unanimously agreed that it was the best we had tasted.
This is why I love the Caribbean!