“The greatest things in life to remember are unseen. That’s why we close our eyes when we kiss, cry or dream.”
Our Christmas supper was quite frugal this year due to my reflux problems. I had to put the brakes on my intake of food or else my stomach would go bananas. Alcohol? Out of the picture–that was banned by our family doctor several years ago due to my high blood pressure.
Considering above food constraints, we were able to organize a conservative Christmas Eve supper consisted of a large bagel known in Spanish as “Rosca Navideña”. This is a round twisted loaf of soft yellow bread. I understand the rosca has a Jewish origin known in English as a bagel. Without a rosca—in Panama—there is no Christmas or New Year’s dinner. It’s a must on the table for us.
Aura also had a tasty potato salad with rich purple beets, but no mayonnaise. A small fruit cake and a couple of apples, pears and grapes crawled to the table. We have been eating this type of food as far back as I can remember. Tamales also should have been on the table, but that is also a no-no for my stomach. I miss them so much, that just writing about them, brings lots of saliva to my mouth. To balance the meal, I had a cup of steamy Chilean boldo tea. Yummity-yum-yum-yum.
Another popular food during the Christmas Eve dinner is “Arroz con Guandú” (rice with Guandú). Guandú is a black or green small bean that grows on small trees in Panama. I understand the translation in English is Goya Gandules or Green Pigeon Peas. This year the demand for Guandú was so great, it was selling for $9.00 a pound and above; surpassing the price of ham or even jumbo shrimps or prawns. At those inflated prices, we said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Oh…, we also had a nice-smelling roasted turkey breast (pechuga de pavo) which was finger-lickin’ good. Aura is a consummate cook I’m her most loyal customer. Been eating her food for the last 29 years.
Abdiel was busy at home playing with his new skateboard, but Carol made it to our supper invitation. The three of us prayed at the table about seven o’clock, way before the midnight festivities when Panama goes wild with telephone calls, screaming, hugging, kissing, firecrackers and fireworks displays. Our street was as bright as noon at midnight, when our neighbors started firing up their rockets. The noise was deafening, but the colors in the sky were awesome. I wonder how much money goes up in smoke during the year’s end holidays?
Carol was picked up by her father around nine o’clock. We were reluctant to let her go, but her place was with her parents. We understand that. Shortly before ten, we were cozy in bed trying to get a wink before the bangs and bright lights of midnight. Sure as my name is Omar, it was noisy and bright. This time I decided not to take any photographs. I was too much in awe looking at the sky on fire.
I did take a picture of Aura and Carol at the dinner table for posterity. Aura was in a fine mood as so was Carol. Maybe she was already thinking of her mysterious packages under the Christmas tree when she got home.
This is how Aura and Carol looked during our modest Christmas Eve Supper. Here we go.
Another Christmas came and went as the clock of life keeps ticking. Now it’s time to wait for the New Year’s Eve celebration. Again it will be noisy, crazy and bright. And again I will love it! Good Day.