By Angel Nuñez
TEA TIME: Do you know why the morning breakfast was called “Tea”? I’ll tell you right now. And do you know why the evening supper was also called “Tea”? It is very simple; it’s because along with whatever we ate in the mornings and evenings, we also USED TO have a cup of tea sweetened with condensed milk. Coffee was not very common yet to San Pedro, and so were chocolate drinks. The tea that moms prepared was not instant tea but Brooke Bond tea leaves that were brewed in some hot water and sweetened with condensed milk. So it was no wonder that mom’s call to the children for breakfast used to sound like this: “Children hurry up as tea is ready? By tea she meant that she had already prepared the fried fish, refried beans, flour tortillas and of course our cups of tea. Cups! What cups? We did not have coffee mugs or tea cups. We USED TO use the same condensed milk tins cans. Dad USED TO flatten all sharp edges of the tin can and even fixed a little handle from part of the cover. Morning tea was very sumptuous. And then even tea was even more delightful since it included the fish and tea plus fried jacks or waffles.
BREAST FEEDING: Breast feeding today is exactly the same as breast feeding in the past. How can it be different? Well, I’ll take it back because today in public nursing mothers carry specialized baby bottles or “baba” as they were called in San Pedro. In the past mothers used to breastfeed the very young babies anywhere in public because they had no baby bottles. So how was breast feeding different. In days gone by moms USED TO feed babies up to six and nine years of age. That was a marked difference. In fact moms USED TO have special diets of “atole” that was thought to keep the breasts filled up so that the child could lactate every three hours. And what is “atole’ you might ask. Well, atole is a porridge made with ground cooked corn, water or milk and condensed milk which serves as a sweetener. Rich, isn’t it? And delicious I may add. To end this section on a funny note, there was a joke about this child sucking breasts even after he had teeth. Do you believe it? I told you it was a joke!
DUTCH CHEESE THE ONLY CHEESE: There was a time in San Pedro when the cheese that comes in one large ball with a red waxy cover was the only cheese in San Pedro. When you go to the store today you have quite a large variety to choose from- cheddar, gouda, goat cheese, kraft, happy cow, gallo, feta, manchego, liver cheese, Oaxaca, mozzarella, ricotta, panela, to name some of my favorites. However in days gone by, mom USED TO say: Go to the store and get me half a pound of cheese and she meant Dutch cheese, or the round cheese. In Spanish they called it “queso de calavera” or queso de bola. One never questioned what kind of cheese because there was only one kind of cheese- Dutch cheese.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today Online Newspaper -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush, A & R
Contact the Author at: [email protected]