Hours earlier, as thousands of Hispanics prepared for Christmas Eve dinner, a cold wind forced many to celebrate the occasion indoors.
Unlike in previous years, when large dinners were hosted with family and friends on terraces and gardens at home, the table was served in the dining room, or that large space with large windows that many called . Florida Room And look at the courtyard.
Matilde marinated the pork rinds for more than 24 hours with garlic, salt, and sour oranges, and she intended to randomize the juicy meat on an improvised grill in a hole in the ground that her husband used to fire every Christmas in the backyard. Let’s prepare on the eve. home.
But nature, cold, was strong and the hole was left halfway. “If you had listened to me, that it would be cold, you would not have worked for pleasure. But you never listen to me”, Matilde refuses with that perennial smile that she has even when she complains.
The pig was being cooked in the kitchen oven and the smell of the meat, perfectly spiced, filled the whole house. Some were eager to celebrate Christmas Eve, others were hungry because of the good smell.
Black beans, white rice and yuca con mojo were also ready. Nougats of gijona, egg yolk and almonds were waiting to be carefully eaten.
Meanwhile, beer and good red wine reigned in Matilde’s household, while the two opened boxes of chocolates and other sweets for the occasion.
Someone asked for water and he drank it, though he was later amused and quietly reached for a jug of sangria and tasted the rich drink, which included orange, peach, apple and lemon in addition to red wine.
“Try, try, don’t regret. I shed that blood,” Mario proudly declared.
Indeed, Mario’s sangria was superb, but the red wine took the attention to counter the cold that was blowing outside and seeping in through the terrace door that Matilde had left open.
“If it’s cold, you have to enjoy it somehow,” she demanded, not forgetting to give another smile that spread from ear to ear.
there was music playing inside Florida Room With a diverse selection of ballads, Christmas songs and old fashioned sounds. In the living room, on the other hand, the television never stopped broadcasting images of cities and concerts. I don’t know why this strange idea of playing music and watching television at the same time persists, but it is typical of many Cuban homes.
Samuel, who is a vegetarian, does not eat meat, and brought his own vegetable fritters made of potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and salt, which he fried in a pan.
Suddenly, Cuba, the always intrusive topic of politics with Biden and Trump, became fueled perhaps by alcohol and a desire to talk.
Respecting the place, the timely return helped calm things down.
“The pork is ready!” the hostess announced, staring at the more than 15 guests.
Quickly, as if it were a refugee camp, people who had been drinking or gossiping rose like a spring and rushed to the table.
“There is no seat for everyone. So, everyone serves their plate and looks for a place to eat,” Matilde announced with a laugh.
Miguel, who prefers the cool to the hot summer days in Miami, opted to go out on the patio, and from a terrace overlooking the lake, he thought about how wrong he had done for raising his voice during the argument.
“There are times when I just can’t stop crying,” he said.
Everyone ate, drank and hugged each other, looking forward to another dinner to say goodbye to the year that is getting older.
At nightfall, when Christmas Day arrived, Miami felt the force of wind and cold, which marked it at 40ºF, or 4ºC, to announce that the highly anticipated holiday had arrived.
The children ran to get their toys. They laughed and squealed with joy, not forgetting that on January 6, when the three wise men arrived, they would once again have gifts.