Odds & Hens – Inspirations in Cuba

I couldn’t help but be inspired for future craft and cooking projects, urban farming ventures and of course, blog postings. Thought I would share some, all the while increasing my accountability to you.

Sweets

Sure the food in Cuba is not Michelin quality, yet, but this dessert of guava paste and cheese was so simple and satisfying. I love pairing jam with cheese, especially apricot. Guava is a tropical interpretation and should be a pretty simple preserve. Now I just need to scour the fruit stands….

Coconut Flan – never have made a flan but this version with silky sweet with good for you coconut on top. Also reminds me of the silly Coco taxi’s (which I am convinced are from broken carnival rides)

Savory

The tour of the Vivero Alamar organopónico (organic urban garden), I saw tons of ideas for making herb flavored vinegars and other preserves. They re-use old Corona bottles.

Cocktails

No, not mojitos and cuba libre’s, sheesh, how predictable. I had two great drinks and no pictures of them (too busy I guess). First one to recreate: Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha (or caipiroska, if made with vodka) consisting of vodka or cachaça (fermented sugar cane juice, close to rum), lime or lemons and wee bit of sugar. The other, a canchánchara, consisting of raw rum, honey (now you know why I like it) and lemon.

Handy Tool for Canning

Using an cranked apple peeler for citrus. From here I can take the peels and make extracts, candy them, dry etc. Still need to remove some pith but the ribbons would be worth it.


Pets & Gardening

Rabbits for manure and general comic relief (also from Vivero Alamar). As many of you know I loved my pet bunnies as a child. I do (only now in my mature years) like to eat braised rabbit and might be close to raising some for meat, not just pets. But for sure the manure would be great. Chicken poo has to be composted first before garden application (learned that the hard way).




I also plan to learn how to grow (or see if even possible) some new plants including taro, cassava, noni (a bleu cheese smelling superfruit, picture below) and the latest superfood, Moringa oleifera, also known as the horseradish tree, drumstick tree, clarifier tree…… Dr. Oz will be all over this I am sure.

Beading

Just a fun idea for a tapestry using beads and screen, as seen at Muraleando in Havana. The beads remind me of necklaces I made as a child (and some now too).

Pottery

Cue the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody (a la Ghost and my junior high boyfriend and I’s song, not sure he knew it though) I have got to go back to pottery classes. Maybe …. There is just so many fun hobbies out there but pottery is pretty therapeutic, and served such purpose at a stressful time in my life. If I knew I could make these beautiful chimes and not questionable ashtrays, I might just pick it back up. The artisan is Alferero Santander in Trinidad, Cuba.

Quilting!

Quilt square inspiration found in the stained glass at Palacio de Valle: Cienfuegos, Cuba

Wonderful scrap quilt – as seen and sold at Manaca Iznaga in the Valley de los Ingenios or (Valley of the Sugar Mills)

But best of all – a crocheted patchwork quilt, made by hand in Trinidad, Cuba. I am the proud owner of a colorful version, but how calming is the white with cream version.

And of course, murals, but I am not worthy in terms of Fusterlandia and plan to share a whole post instead of a quick brush stroke here.

Other posts about Cuba:

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