The weather today makes me nostalgic for Christmas in Miami. I know that might sound crazy, but if you have ever experienced a Cuban Nochebuena, you know what I mean. On a perfect December 24 in the 3-0-5, you will wake up to a day like today, sunny, warm, zero-humidity, and the lightest breeze ruffling the palm trees. The smell of hundreds of charcoal fires being lighted in backyards around the neighborhood starts the anticipation for the juicy lechon (roast pork) to come when the sun sets.
Kids start their sugar rush early with candy canes for breakfast. Visitors start coming by with last minute gifts and cookie trays loaded with goodies. If the lechon is at your house, the anxiety begins will it be ready? Did you add enough salt? Maybe you should have pealed a few more bulbs of garlic? If the lechon-making is at someone else's house, its time to visit, maybe take the roasters some cafe cubano or pastelitos? You sit down and play a round of dominos with Abuelo and sneak a peak at the pig under the banana leaves to see how it is coming.
Before long, you shower, head to church, try to concentrate on what the priest is saying instead of your empty stomach, and FINALLY make it to the Noche Buena celebration. Gifts, family, and food in short sleeves and sandals!
I know its only August but on a balmy day like to day, I can't help dreaming...