Chivirico came to stay with us for Easter week, which is an excuse for a massive party here in the DR. As soon as he arrived all of his games came out - his computer, bubble gum machine, lego and a new puzzle. He really is excellent at puzzles and once done we are not allowed to move them!
Then the serious Easter business began and he asked me to cook habichuelas con dulce which is Dominican Easter fare traditionally made on Good Friday. My husband said that I couldn't make them as only Dominican women could as it was a cultural thing handed down through generations. I pointed out that I could cook them from a recipe from a Dominican cookery book - he scoffed at the idea.
Stage 1 was to find the recipe so I went straight to Aunt Clara's Dominican Cookery book and found the recipe here. Then off we went to buy all the ingredients. I didn't have to tell Chivirico at all as he just marched around the supermarket telling me what we needed - Carnation milk, beans, cloves, cinnamon, coconut milk, sweet potatoes and of course the little biscuits to go on the top.
Friday morning arrived and I started cooking, ably assisted by Chivirico who informed me that the recipe was correct and just like his grandmother cooked them.
Finally they were ready and it was time to see how they tasted. Well, surprise surprise both Danilo and Chivirico said they were perfect.
So not only Dominicans can cook habichuelas con dulce - Brits can do it too thanks to Aunt Clara and Chivirico.