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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Yuca, Yuca, Yuca!

Don't you think some words are just meant to be chanted? I think Yuca is one of those words.

Anyway, if you saw my pictures from Nicaragua, you also saw a picture of a creamy white, twice baked potato-looking side dish. (Yuca con Corvina to name the exact picture). This was no potato. It was actually yuca, or cassava, root in disguise. And it was delicious.

So when I found Yuca at the grocery store, I thought, why not try to recreate this Nicaraguan experience?

However, I think that without Nicaragua and any real cooking skills, this was an unattainable goal. My version turned out chunky, garlicky, relatively bland and all wrong... even though I did follow the recipe more strictly than I normally do.

I think the yuca described in the recipe was not the one in my head. I think I also need a lesson in cooking roots... or cooking in general.