Preview: Cooking Colombian dishes with friends

I’m going to break a coconut. It’s not out of frustration. It’s for cooking purposes only. I promise.

I’m making coconut rice. And it’ll be more fun to make it the traditional way, than just buying coconut milk from the grocery store.

This will be part of a fun afternoon of cooking, conversation and learning next Saturday. One of my friends is originally from Bogota. I asked her if she and her husband would be up for a cooking double date. One of the best ways to learn about a culture is making its food with someone who’s lived there for a while.

She and her husband will make a traditional Bogota dish: ajiaco, a warm delicious soup that fills you up after one bowl.

Ajiaco-colombiano_1

My boyfriend and I are going to make coconut rice, with a green salad and a meat dish. This isn’t my invention. This dish hails from Barranquilla.

After talking with someone I know from the city, I think I’m ready to dive in. That conversation highlighted something I’ve found to be true in almost all my interactions with other Colombians: They’re some of the warmest people. Ever.

Luz had no problem explaining the whole coconut rice cooking process for 20 minutes on the phone. (I’ve only talked with her once before that.) I asked if I could call her next Saturday, should anything disastrous happen.

She laughed.

“Well, of course! And if it doesn’t turn out well, I can make it next time around.”

So from smashing a coconut open, to frying coconut milk, it’ll be an adventure.  The best part will be talking in Spanish with my friends and hearing about their experiences in Colombia.

Look to next week’s post for pictures and a video of coconut smashing. It’ll be thrilling.

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