When I lived and worked in New York, I was quite fortunate to work with a lot of other Puerto Ricans. Why do I consider that fortunate? For Christmas, so many of them would make my favorite pork dishes and Puerto Rican eggnog. Our version of eggnog, called coquito, has no egg. Score! I am no fan of egg drinks. I should also clarify that it wasn’t just for Christmas that co-workers would make these savory dishes. They were quite a year-long staple.
I took all that for granted. I don’t really cook and I had the good fortune of having co-workers that loved to not only cook, but also share. Why, when craving comfort food and drinks, would I need to prepare anything with such grand bounties around me? I took it all for granted.
Fast forward to my adventure out in Los Angeles. There are not that many Puerto Ricans out here. The one restaurant I have found is a good 30 minutes drive on a good traffic day. If I want my comfort food and drinks, I need to start making it myself. And, that is what I have been proudly doing.
For this holiday season, I made coquito. And, it was super easy to do. I was shocked that I just needed 10 minutes. The hardest part was opening the can of condensed milk. Seriously. I went wild with the roasted cinnamon and nutmeg.
This might strange but I felt whole as a result of making it. I was proud, happy, and at peace. I can carry forth my own identity and traditions. There is something cool to be said about that. What a good way, psychologically, identity-wise to end the year.
In case any of you are interested in making it, here is the psychologist mimi recipe. But, I must note that the proportions of the ingredients are totally up to you and your taste buds.
2 cans of coconut milk (some people just use one)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vailla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 cups rum
Mix all the ingredients in a blender and chill for at least 3 hours.