It is more than fitting I guess, that I am launching my Blog with two entries dedicated to one of the great men in the history of the United States, Leonard Weinglass. He was too like an ajiaco, very much a part of the great mix that is life, so today AjiacoMix is out there and I am proud to dedicate it to Lenny and to the struggle he so bravely and brilliantly led in the defense of many who have fought for justice and peace. This is for you Len, we shall overcome!
I had been thinking of starting my own Blog months ago and it wasn’t until just recently that I actually took the step.
An Ajiaco [ah-hee-ah-co] as defined by the Wikipedia is a type of stew wherein lays most of what one finds in the kitchen at any given moment. It is considered one of Cuba’s national dishes and usually contains corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, all greens available, opinions and garlic and tomatoes. Meat is not necessarily a must but can also be part of the mix.
Fernando Ortiz, Cuba’s foremost ethnologist referring to the Cuban nation once said “we are an ajiaco,” and from a 1948 copy of Selections of the Reader’s Digest, “Cubans drink happiness and sadness from the same cup, they make music from their tears and laugh at their song. They take their jokes seriously and make a jest of everything serious.”
So, just as one finds in the delicious Creole dish, in Cuba everything lays in the mix: happiness flows with tears and ingenuity; solidarity, rhythm, fall in line with irreverence stubbornness and laughter.