Sometimes when I'm describing to friends or acquaintances how my big, fat Cuban family celebrates Christmas, I feel a little odd.
You know we Cubans just do our Nochebuena thing without giving it much thought. But to someone who is not versed in our "Cubanisms" (<-- is that a word?), all this pig-eating and rum-in-the-eggnog-drinking may come across as a little...odd.
"Yes. We eat pork with black beans and white rice and umm...fried bananas."
(Technically, they're ripe plantains, but that's not important right now.)
If you can explain what exactly "Yuca con Mojo" is, you're a better Cuban than I am.
And then we inevitably get to the "turrones."
"It's a hard nougat candy-ish treat named for different places in Spain."
"No. We only eat them at Christmastime."
"I don't know why. We just do." *sigh*
Not everyone loves them, either. But on Nochebuena you MUST have Turrones (a variety!) on the table.
Even if you don't love them, you purchase them and struggle to cut them up (did I mention you could chip a tooth on these things?) and lovingly place them on your table.
Maybe you do it just because they remind you of how much your father loved them.
And that's good enough.
Merry Christmas, my friends.