Cuban guys can COOK

My friend, Val (from Babalú blog) sent me the following story:

"Henry was at my house on Sunday for the Dolphins game and mentioned that he’s on a list serv for his graduating class at Belen. Basically, it’s a net  service where men from that class post links and communicate with each other.  Someone had mentioned on the list serv about Cuban food and missing pastelitos de guayaba as he lives up north somewhere where there’s no Cuban food and Henry posted your pastelito recipe to the list serv.
He says that a bunch of those guys – mind you, Cuban, professional men that have no idea what a kitchen is actually for – actually made the pastelitos and not only loved them, but found themselves talking about and trading “pastelito baking tips” on the list serv.

It's all your fault they're all acting kinda gay."

Then, Henry (also from Babalú blog) sent me the actual thread:

From: Henry Louis Gomez
Subject: Re: [belen87] Pastelito Recipe

Here's your quick and easy pastelito recipe courtesy of Marta Darby of Babalu Blog:

From: RD
Subject: Re: [belen87] Pastelito Recipe

Thanks for the recipe - it looks totally do-able ( and I can get the Ancel Guayaba here...)  It is clearly a Cuban cook, with the manicure and the bracelets while she cooks.....

From: Henry Louis Gomez
Subject: Re: [belen87] Pastelito Recipe

Marta Darby is one of the sweetest people in the world.  She lives in California and thus she's had to become an expert in Cuban cooking just to be able to eat.

From: Jorge C.
Subject: Re: [belen87] Pastelito Recipe

Awesome recipe (I had to try it out).

From: RD
Subject: Re: [belen87] Pastelito Recipe

Boy, the tone of this list has taken a post-election turn.  
Now we're exchanging recipes....  

OMG!  Isn't that AWESOME???  I just about wept because I was laughing so hard picturing the Cuban men exchanging "pastelito baking tips."  And I especially LOVE that one of them included pictures of his final product!

(BTW, my pastelito recipe can be found here.)

But there's more... from Amy Arnaz upon receiving my cookbook:

"Desi saw it just now and loves it! Tomorrow I'll take the picture and send it to you.  There are a few recipes in there that his Dad always made and we never really knew how to make them."

(NOTE: emphasis mine. BTW, Mrs. Arnaz, who is a lovely ballerina, has a blog called Insights from the Magic Tutu. Go visit her and tell her Marta from MBFCF sent you.)

To me, those were the very BEST compliments I could receive.  I often say that I'm not a "foodie" or anything, I'm just Cuban and I cook.  My goal is to make easy, delicious, Cuban-tasting food.

If I can get people (that is, Cuban professional men!) to connect to their Cuban roots by way of their stomach I feel like I've done a good job.  That Desi Arnaz, Jr. is able to connect with memories of his Dad in this way "puts the lid on the jar" for me.

Which is why I'm framing this picture and putting it in my kitchen:

Desi Arnaz & MBFCF
Desi Arnaz Jr. (*sigh*) enjoys MBFCF Cookbook.

Well, okay, that... and because he's still so dang ADORABLE!    (Hi Desi! Besitos!!)

Martas kitchen logo 1 copy-1
I'm making baby-back ribs today using the pimentón I just received.
Get yourselves over to Babalú blog for some Costillitas de Martica.

And be sure to tell any Cuban guys you know that I have a cookbook. ;-)

A celebration of Cu...
By Marta M. Darby

Now.... can anyone tell me how to get a hold of Andy Garcia??? (hint, hint)  =D