Over the weekend it struck me, I really do like dirty clothes. Not the dirty clothes you may think of sitting in your laundry basket or near your wash machine… no the ‘dirty clothes’ I miss is the Cuban dish Dirty Clothes. It is a dish of seasoned pulled pork on a delightful bed of dirty rice and beans.
I was first introduced to this wonderful dish in Louisville, KY. Our stairway lead into 4 different apartments, below and to the left of our door was a Cuban family. They had moved into that apartment when they ‘made it’ from Cuba. That was their statement, “we made it from Cuba.” They were just darling people!! Grandmother, the married couple, 2 children. They hardly spoke a lick of English and my 4 years of Spanish in high school was woefully lacking. But we mucked through it together. I helped them fill out paperwork for various things, they brought me delicious food, their daughter played so well with ours, and they happily opened their home to us. It was wonderful! Their cousins had come years earlier and opened a Cuban restaurant with the hope that Grandma’s sister could show off her cooking skills. Whenever we came in to the restaurant I am sure folks wondered why the chef would burst out of the kitchen to come out to hug us when we came in and why my plate of food always had more meat than other’s did!! I was expecting our 3rd at the time and she insisted I need to eat enough for two!!
This family even had us down for their daughter’s birthday. They sang to her in Spanish and then they wanted us to sing to her in English. They showed us how to dance and cut a rug, Cuban style. It was a wonderful time of getting to know another person’s culture and helping to make folks feel welcome in America. I loved it. It was so sad when they moved away, but they were able to afford something bigger with having found jobs. If you ever have the pleasure of eating at a Cuban restaurant, get some dirty clothes…. you won’t be sorry 😉
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