Monday, April 20, 2009

Cuban-Style Yuca with Garlic Lemon Oil (Page 590)


  • Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

The Vegetables section of The Book is running low, so I am mainly left with the recipes that call for more obscure ingredients. Luckily, my usual grocery store sells yuca (aka cassava, aka manioc) so it was no problem making this recipe. I started by peeling and cutting up the yuca. Then I boiled it until tender in salted water. Meanwhile I made a sauce of garlic cooked in oil, with lemon juice, salt, and pepper stirred in. Once the yuca was tender I cut it into smaller pieces, and topped with the garlic lemon sauce. Yuca is the source of tapioca and the smell of the vegetable was certainly remniscent of a big bowl of tapioca pudding. That made me very optimistic -- I do love tapioca! I found the flavor of the yuca to be not very tapioca-like though. In fact, it wasn't so flavorful. It was not clear to me that the yuca I had was very fresh though, so perhaps it could have had more flavor. It was very starchy, and I do love starchy things. The sauce was perfectly fine -- it's hard to go wrong with garlic and oil. But I probably wouldn't serve boiled potatoes topped only with garlic lemon oil because it would be pretty dull, and similarly I didn't find this dish too intruiging. It wasn't bad, but it also wasn't one I will make again.

This recipe isn't online.

My birthday is coming up on Friday. Usually I get really excited about my birthday and look forward to it weeks in advance. I'm not sure what I like about it so much. I think partly it's the timing of it. It's so near to the end of the semester that I am typically getting a little burnt out by the time my birthday rolls around. Having cause for some celebration is nice. Plus, by the end of April the weather is often warming, which feels like a lovely birthday gift. The biggest thing, though, is that it is a time of reflection for me. I am reminded both of the many blessings in my life and also of the ways in which I can do better in the year to come.

This year, though, I don't feel nearly the birthday anticipation that I usually do. I am aware that it is headed my way, and my special gentleman and I have made fun plans. But I'm not as excited about it as I usually am. My analysis: so many good things have happened in the last year (getting engaged, getting a job in the same place as my special gentleman...) and I have so many things to look forward to (the wedding, buying a house...) that my birthday seems like not such a big deal. With so many big life changes on the horizon I have already spent a lot of time reflecting, and I certainly feel very appreciative of my blessings! Plus, lately it has been like Christmas around here. Many generous friends have sent us lovely wedding presents already. It is such a wonderful surprise to get home from work in the evening and find a package from Crate and Barrel, or Sur la Table or... Who needs a birthday?!?

On the birthday card she wrote to me last year, one of my dear friends wrote, "In my experience, 28 is a tough year with a glorious finish." She was certainly right about the finish! It is a very exciting time!


Liz C said...

About the birthday thing: I think it also has to do with getting older. As I approached 30, the whole birthday thing ceased to be that big of a deal. Twenty years later, it's even less of a big deal.

Welcome to grownup-hood!

GilaB said...

Happy birthday, from a complete stranger!

Teena said...

Liz -- Yeah, maybe you're right that it is an age thing!

GilaB -- Thanks!