Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Another Bronx tale

What a difference a day or so makes. Already, the sun feels warmer and there's a definite hint that spring's in the air. On a late afternoon ride up to NYC, the entire area was bathed in a gorgeous glow from the sun, one that turned the grey trunks and branches of the trees coppery red, the grass coppery-red, everything coppery-red. I love when I come upon the sun painting scenes like this, and it always seems to occur at two times of the year;mid-fall and very early spring.

We were on our way to visit Larry's mum who lives in the Bronx. She's can see into the Yankee stadium which is useful if you're a baseball fan, but not to her because she's wholly disinterested. As we drove by Yankee stadium, yet another sign of the changing season was evident--there was a sign on the wall announcing '27 more days' until the start of baseball. On we went past the Bronx Supreme Court in the Grand Concourse. I'd forgotten how impressive and beautiful the building is with its art deco copper reliefs and pinkish granite statues.

Every time I pass its great, sweeping steps, I'm reminded of a foreclosure sale I held there when I was at my old lawfirm--it was nerveracking because my boss had sent me out alone for the first time and said no-one would be there to bid on the commercial property. He was wrong. Many people were in attendance and I was terrified I'd make a mistake, maybe let the property go at the wrong price, my fear compounded by the knowledge that an associate before me had been fired for making such an error and I'd had to draft the litigation papers suing him. In the end, all went well and my boss trusted me enough to send me to do the closing of title a week later.

Larry's mum makes the most superb Puerto Rican food--there's Pernil (a fresh ham done in garlic), arroz con grandules spiced rice with pigeon peas, pegao (that's the crunchy bits of rice at the bottom of the pot, and my absolute favorite tostones deep fried plantains.

Jean Brodie says 'Ah, carnations, such a serviceable flower' most dismissively in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Well, in my opinion, plantains are such a serviceable fruit, but I mean that in a good way. You can have them as a savory dish or, when ripened, served with honey and ice-cream. Yummy!! His mum knows I love them and makes them especially when I visit, so I've become an expert in all things 'plantain.' Now she looks to me rather than her son for approval as to how they've turned out. Imagine, such an honor for a potato man.

And we polish the meal off with cake and Puerto Rican coffee, done Puerto Rican style with hot milk, of course. It's the best thing since I lived in Germany and drank tons of their coffee. For me, American coffee's just too weak.

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