Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Breakfast Club

I typically work a graveyard shift on Saturday and Sunday, and the last big task of the day is making sure that the place is open for business. I run around unlocking the parking lot gates and await the arrival of the day shift. The cleaning contractors typically arrive around 8AM, and the first of my co-workers arrives around 8:30.

Last week, the Colombia-born cleaning lady brought be a roll from a Colombian bakery, a slightly sweet roll with a slightly coarse crumb... the perfect accompaniment to a cup of the country's famous coffee. She then joked that her male counterpart, who was born and raised in Peru, would bring in some Peruvian bread. I jokingly asked her, "O, quiere decir una papa?", which translates to "Oh, do you mean a potato?" This had her doubled over in laughter, but there's a grain tuber of truth in this, as there is in every successful joke.

This morning, I was the recipient of not one, but two, light and airy rolls from a Peruvian bakery, accompanied by a Peruvian tamal, which differed from Mexican tamales by being wrapped in a banana leaf instead of a leaf from a cornstalk:

This tamal reminded me a lot of the pasteles that my Puerto Rican friends make for Christmas, with maize substituted for the traditional Caribbean blend of yuca and plantain:

It even had the fleeting briny bite of a small green olive placed in the dough to give a hint of seasoning.

The bar has been raised for Sunday breakfast. I figure that, since I have to work overnight, I am at a disadvantage unless I cook something myself. I have an electric burner in the house, purchased when my sister-in-law cooked a nabemono for Christmas dinner one year... now I have to figure out what I can make for what is shaping up to be a Sunday breakfast club.

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