Happy Mother’s Day Peruvian Food Aficionados!

Happy Mother’s Day!  To all of you who visit Kukuli Douce’s blog once in a while and can see how I have been struggling to set it up for a time now!  Through these lines I plan to share my very personal experiences and recipes of Peruvian cooking as I tasted them while growing up at my parents’ home in Lima, Peru.  I learned to cook from my mom at an early age just by looking at her doing her things in what I would call “her kitchen.”  I also taught myself from looking at the cooks that learned from mom while working for us.  All of them would not allow me to do anything at all, even to help them.  Except Teobalda some times, bless her, who made Nane and I sit down at the large, rectangular wooden island and peel fresh, green sweet peas and pick on the day’s raw rice when we were about four and five years old.  I will never forget them!

The sweet memories of them abound and I am deeply grateful for the imprint they left on my life!  Always positive, kind, patient, smiling;  filling the large kitchen space and cupboards with their contagious laughter!  Teobalda Baylon and Edelmira Rios (Mama Mira, who used to do our laundry) who came accompanying my mom when she and dad moved from Pisco, Ica, to live permanently in Lima.  Jovita, with her “ocopas” and “huancaynas.”   Benito, the Chinese chef who used to cook for Cerro’s management before working for us.  Benito introduced us kids to compound, parsleyed butters, melting on tenderloin fillets, and simple ways to prepare seafood!   Later on, Margarita Murayari, who came from Iquitos and who helped me cook up storms and take care of my four daughters;  she gave so much peace, walking quietly, softly, taking matters into her hands and making my every day easier.

I don’t want to forget our Julio Parodi, also from Pisco, who went with us in that memorable trip of 1940.  We had come to the United States that early Spring and by the end of December we were in New York getting ready to go back to Peru.  Nazi Germany had conquered most of Western Europe and President Roosevelt was preparing to enact the Lend-Lease Bill (to provide material support and supplies to European countries affected by the German invasion;  it was enacted in January 1941).  My parents had reservations to take what was said to be, at the time, the Grace Company’s “last Santa”  to leave the port of New York en route to South America.  We had to travel sort of incognito, I remember.  All the lights out at night, heavy drapes in the round windows of the rooms at all times.  We celebrated Xmas quietly a couple of days after leaving port;  mom and dad had a Xmas tree for us with real, little candles and both Nane and I got presents.  We always wondered and asked ourselves how could Santa, being so fat and rotund, managed to go into our cabin to leave the packages!  We are still wondering…

Well, this blog is going to be like this.  Memories, comments, Peruvian recipes, apparently unrelated thoughts but mine nevertheless.  Genuinely candid and open me.  But, back to Julio…  He cooked for the four of us, himself and Lolita, our nurse, at the kitchenette of the St. Moritz Hotel suite where we stayed for months at a time!  Julio went into business for himself, later on, in Pisco Playa, where he was from originally.  Our family used to go to Paracas almost every year while growing up and he still cooked seafood and chicken or duck rices in marvelously orchestrated symphonies of color, delicious flavors and aromas for us;   placing them in huge, commercial-size, pots that we took along on our all-day fishing picnics to Laguna Grande and Lagunillas, south of Paracas, or even Punta Pejerrey, across the bay from the Paracas Hotel.  He was a happy, no-problem, total chef to me, kept a grin at all hours and proved to be an unforgettable friend and support!

I miss all of them and I owe them a continuous mention in this blog…

Anyway, this is the scope of my blog.  Peruvian Cuisine recipes, tips, comments, some “remembrance of things past…” both from Lima and abroad, profiles of people I met at some point; and, when possible, pretty photos… This is it for Kukuli Peruvian Cuisines and I hope I can make it real considering that I don’t know much about computers and can’t understand WordPress’ instructions sometimes… on how to set this blog up…

Love you and have a happy day!   A Very Happy Mother’s Day!

(Not to be petty about it and please forgive me, but all of the text and some chosen photos and videos by me, are Copyright!  Forever and Ever…).

CAU-CAU… A PERUVIAN TABLE FEAST!

Internationally known, Peru’s Chef GASTON ACURIO’s PERUVIAN CAU-CAU!

Made from beef tripe, diced potatoes, fresh corn, chopped onions, bits of oregano, green “yerba buena” leaves and redolent of turmeric, it’s hotness depends on how much “Peruvian Aji Amarillo” paste you choose to use.  Served, always, with white rice and sliced or minced fresh Aji Amarillo on top, it is just one of the perfect comfort dishes that delights Peruanos and makes life worth living!.