Mary Beth Writes

Who is Franc? 

Hi, this is Franc and I am Puerto Rican and I am talking Sofrito, so listen up, Amigos…

 "Sofrito" is a blend of herbs - cilantro, culantro, oregano, ají dulce (Puerto Rican sweet peppers) red bell pepper, onion, and garlic - that are blended together in a food processor and then sautéed (frito means fried) in achoté (annato) oil.

I was invited to a get-together at the house of some friends recently. Tom likes to cook and had asked me the week before how to make "arroz con pollo" aka chicken and rice. I explained how to do it and told him that I would bring him a jar of my sofrito on Labor Day. He responded that he had already picked some up at the Latin grocery store in town and I told him that that was his first mistake. I make my own. Thanks, Mom!  

My mother taught me how to make sofrito years ago, soon after she announced that she was retiring and moving back to the island. I asked her who was going to make Puerto Rican food for me. She replied, “Sit down here and I'll teach you!” So I did. (It was always wisest to do what my mom told you to do, even if you were well into your 40’s.)

Tom admitted the stuff he bought was watery and flavorless. He’d made a pot of black beans for the party and had used his sofrito. The beans were OK but not nearly as flavorful as they could have been. After the party they sent me home with some of the leftovers, and as they always do they used containers that they save for such occasions. (Frugal people seem to be my type.)

One of the containers I got was from Tom’s sofrito so I read the ingredient list. It contained things like capers, olives and adobó seasoning. Now don't get me wrong, I love all three of those things just NOT in my sofrito. We use olives and capers in a lot of our recipes but they are added as part of the cooking process. As for the adobó seasoning it's a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano and is used to season meat, poultry, fish and seafood. It has no place in Sofrito because most of that stuff is already in the fresh ingredients list. Plus salt should never be added to sofrito, it should be used as you are cooking. (Salt is always one of the last things I add.)

Sofrito to a Puerto Rican - is what herbs de Provance is to the French - or garam marsala is to Indian food - or what a rue or The Holy Trinity (celery, onion, bell pepper) is to a Creole or Cajun cook. Without sofrito it’s just not Puerto Rican!

I remember my Mother making a huge batch of it just before the holidays and the way it made the entire house smell like the island, with promise of some really good eats in the near future; especially the labor intensive stuff that was only made for the Holidays.  

I now make it in large batches, put it up in canning jars and pop it in the freezer or the fridge. It can be added to soups, beans, rice, and mashed potatoes - or used like pesto on pasta. It can be mixed with rum, lemon or lime juice. and rubbed on fish, meat or poultry overnight so that the flavor goes into the meat. Or stir fry shrimp in a 50/50 mixture of butter and Sofrito. Or use that same mixture to make some truly tasty garlic bread.

….

Hi, this is Mary Beth. Franc and I were texting about Sofrito and I casually suggested he should teach a class and we could do it at my house (my kitchen is not under construction). 

Within five minutes we came up with this idea and now we wonder if it is a good one. Let us know…

Do you want to learn how to make Sofrito?

If 5-10 people are interested, we will host a Sofrito Bandito Class in my house here in Waukesha, WI on Saturday, November 3. We will start about 11 and go until we’re done, probs around 2-3:00.

Yes, this is the Saturday BEFORE the election. If you are canvassing, we salute you!  The 3rd is the only Saturday we have open in November.  

We are ASKING each person to pay $10-$100 for this class – pay the most you think you can contribute because we will use your money to 1.) buy the ingredients and then 2.) Donate all the rest to:  Casa Puebla  in Puerto Rico – http://casapueblo.org/

Casa Puebla installs solar panels in Puerto Rican communities so that they will not be so devastated and dependent after storms. They also supply 12V refrigerators, so that if electricity goes out, medicine can be kept cool.

Here’s what YOU will get:

  1. Fun and knowledge!
  2. A small jar of Sofrito to take home
  3. Lunch of smoked pork (Len is on duty), rice, plus a mojito and/or Hibiscus tea!

Please respond to me at MB@MaryBethDanielson.com or to this website if you are interested.  Right now we want to know if people are interested. You can pay your money the day of.

Gracias!

Comments

Sounds like fun, but I'll be out of town!
Mary Beth's picture

If there are others who would like to do this but are also not going to be around 11/3 - let us know and if it makes sense, we will try a day in 2019.

It does sound like fun. To bad we live 4 hours away. Darn it
Mary Beth's picture

Someone has to look a little further into shape-shifting...

It was a great idea; Great cooking lesson, great food and beverages, great company and conversation. Thank you Franc for sharing your lovely mom's recipes and your cooking skills. And thank you Mary Beth and Len for opening up your beautiful home. Viva Puerto Rico!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks for attending. It was great to meet you (more) and have an interesting afternoon. Franc said later, "Wow, making sofrito usually takes hours. I looked over and they had everything chopped so fast!" Here's the 'best' - together we raised $325 to send to Casa Puebla in Puerto Rico!

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Making Memories?

This morning the Washington Post has an article about how we make memories. Interestingly, just because we say we are “making memories” doesn’t mean we are. Most little kids will not start making many memories until they are around age 8. Memories get stuck in our mind if they involve several senses and we are going slow enough to pay attention. If one WANTS to remember something, stop paying attention to everything else that is going on, focus in on the thing you care about using more than one sense. Recall it again later. Deep sleep on it overnight and good luck with that.

The Pilgrimage of Wally, Diego, and Miles

I wrote this story nearly 20 years ago. Our second kid was getting ready to go to college, our youngest was in middle school. I needed to find a job - and trying to find a satisfying one when you still don’t know, at the tender age of 50-whatever, what it is you want to do … that is a tricky time for many women. For many adults.

Three Things & One Announcement 7/16/2021

Thinking Outside the Box: 

Len once told me this WWII story. The first generation of bomber raids from England to Germany resulted in a terrifying number of bomber planes being shot down. Experts carefully examined the returning planes to create detailed reports of the bullet holes as they tried to understand how to reinforce the planes to make them safer.

Three Things 7/7/2021

Israel’s Health Ministry this week announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the world’s most effective shots — was offering only 64 percent protection against infection and symptomatic illness caused by the delta variant.

The vaccine was still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, the ministry said.

(I read this in the Washington Post, though it’s other places also.)

7/5/2021 Three Things (Don’t miss Highland Mitzi)

Last year was the Covid quarantine so most of us didn’t do very much over the 4th of July holiday.

This year, with half Americans now vaccinated there’s more freedom to do things and be with people.

Three Things (Well, Four) 7/1/2021

Bill Cosby is out of prison on a technicality. The judge said 40-year-old Britney Spear still can’t run her own life. Yesterday 88-year-old war criminal* Donald Rumsfeld died comfortably in his bed.

My gut is twisting. How are you? Power, injustice, and money still row the boat that we’re all on. This nation is playing whack-a-mole with justice, hope, and human rights. It feels ominous. I thought I would just mention this in case you thought it was just you that felt assaulted this morning.

Nope.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable Advent anniversary antlers apples Arrows Ashland Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cat romance cats cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering depression Destination Today Detroit disasterprep dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd ghosts gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland Ocotillo OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Remember Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb rime RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion