Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Cow in Any Language

Since the members of my own family are either too busy or not interested in my blog, I've decided to adopt another one, folks who appreciate my deep and insightful ruminations and haven't yet learned all about me and therefore like me. Meet Gaby and Dina from Guatemala City. Mike discovered them a few years ago, as Dina had the impossible exciting job of translating his speeches when he was there. As you will see later, after all these years, his Espanol(despite his boasting) leaves much to be desired. It seems they have been exchanging recipes for awhile now; he told them about the blog (only because he wanted to share Elise and Emily's pictures), and they got in touch with me to chat about important things, like planting squash and avoiding housework.

They are 2 beautiful sisters who are just delightful to talk with. They each have equally beautiful husbands and sons, and I'm waiting for permission to post their pictures.

The language barrier is no problem - there's not one - and that's totally because they speak English so well - and I speak no Spanish, except for the few phrases I remember from high school Spanish . But when Gaby sent me her recipe for zucchini soup (succini), I was a little confused about the cheese. I just figured it might be a special cheese that we couldn't get here, but then lying in bed one night thinking about important things (like cheese) it came to me. The "smiling cow" cheese she mentions must be my Laughing Cow cheese that I eat every day. Little round container, cute little wedges, several flavors. I still need to ask what president is.

Anyway, here is the recipe - and I include it in her own words because of the wonderful expressions she uses. She says she is just learning English, but I think she does a great job. I'd love to see me translate a recipe to Spanish!

3 succinis
1/2 onion
1 garlic
olive oil
3 slices of triangled cheese, (the brand is that who gots a smiling cow) maybe president? Comes on a rouded package, on triangles.

Cut the succinis on wheels with the onion and garlic on a pan with the olive oil. Stir frecuently, when the veggies are almost tender, put them on the blender with the cheese and salt, add water and put it back on the stove to warm it again.
This is so delicious, has a silky texture.

Sounds delicious, no?

So instead of being happy at having gotten us together, Mike feels left out, so this is his correspondence to us. This is idea of "having the language."

Dearest Gaby, Dina, Becky:

Blah blah blah dee blah-blah.

Las tres brujas writing to each other and not giving me maximum attention. I will maybe act badly like a child. Now I have things to say:

1. Zucchini seeds would be excellent to send to Guatemala,. I think yellow Alabama squash also for sure. What about some hybrid tomato seeds like Better Boy? Something that might give Gaby some 1 kg tomatoes? And cucumber? We should get a seed catalogue and load up with the special types for small areas. Of course, this will have to be smuggled in to Guatemala.

2. Dina, why do you not send to me--your ONLY friend--pictures

3. The zucchini recipe sounds good, Gaby. I will try. But with my gringo cheese. I have not done the tres leches yet, but I will cook it soon.

4. Go to on tu computadores. This is the photographer that Emily will be using. And...for all the money we will be paying this person we do not get any prints. Only the digital access.

5. Maybe we can find a way to get you three diablas together--would you prefer to meet in USA or Guatemala? I think Mrs Ray would enjoy having Dina and Gaby visit, but I am having trouble deciding what she would think was happening.

It would be great if they could come for a visit. I very much want to go to Guatemala (and stay) where it's always spring and you can grow vegetable almost year round.

I now have permission for posting pictures, but that will have to wait until I have more time to get the names straight. It'll be worth waiting for - those little boys who are so beautiful they'll break your heart. Also more recipes to come, at Mike's request.


  1. Thanks for the laugh today...needed that! I will have to tell you about our Espanol adventures one day! Have a good one!

  2. I'm sure I've seen Dina and Gaby's picture before, but I can't wait to see them again with their familias! And the recipe sounds so delicious, especially since I've started eating healthier in these past 3 weeks.
    Once upon a time, Daddy (Mike,or Miguel) had a co-worker & friend named Sandy. When we met in NC, we went to the zoo there, and to make a long story short, I stole Daddy's new friend Sandy away. I do not feel bad or guilty for stealing Sandy away my own father; she is a wonderful, pretty, intelligent amiga, and I don't think I'll give her back to Daddy anytime soon. We still talk via email, and send funny jokes and videos to each other. Here's one that my friend Sandita emailed to me:
    Sandy, please give me permission to post your picture. I want everyone to see how pretty my "stolen" friend is. Love to all, Elise

  3. I'm so sorry! I forgot to mention in my last blog that Sandy is from Mexico, and she's living there now. She would come to work with Daddy while we lived in North Carolina. It wasn't all work, though. We had a lot of fun visiting, eating good food, and just talking.

  4. Hi Lydia!
    Elise, you better be careful with the pictures you ask me to post. We may be seeing the ones of dad dancing the macarena (sp) with all his co-workers. I have those pictures, by the way.