Hosts Fausto and Alina entertained their extended “Cuban” family in the garden under five huge old oak trees on Christmas Eve.
The centre of the festivities was the “Lechon Cubano”, a 60 lb pig that had been marinating in sour orange, garlic and cumin since the night before, and then cooking in the “caja china”, a US invention to replicate the earth oven of old in Cuba. All the guest arrived in time to see the cooked pig being turned and the burning coals placed back on top for an hour to crisp the skin. The crackling was the best part of course!
While it”s Christmas Eve here in Florida and I”m enjoying the festivities amongst a very close-knit but extended Cuban family, for many of my own family it is already lunch time on Christmas Day in Australia.
My sister Anne is at my newly engaged nephew Danny”s on the Gold Coast of Queensland with all her family; and my brother Mark is at his daughter Lucy”s new home in Brisbane with his four children and their families (including son Tim who is visiting from Japan with his wife and new son).
My thoughts at this time are also with my older brother Tony, who hasn”t been well. He has his son Jonathan visiting with his wife, Birgitte from Copenhagen, while his youngest and seventh child, Jacqueline is on Long Island, New York in the snow with her Indian fiancee, Satye. Jeremy, one of Tony”s other sons is in Khartoum in the Sudan with his Sudanese/Jamaican partner, May.
Whereas the Cuban families here tonight seem to stay very close to home, mine is becoming very far-flung, and I pause to wonder what my late parents Connie and Les would make of it all!
The following group picture is taken at the Christmas lunch festivities with brother Mark and Jenny Musgrave”s families, in Brisbane, Australia.