Pango! Jungle Lunch in Lima
It is amazing the joy that visitors bring. The way that people’s plans change. The way the impossible becomes possible. The last time the family met together here at our home was for Christmas – and oh! what an event that was! But this weekend, a visit from my mother in law not only brought the family together but gathered us around a jungle spread for Sunday lunch.
She came carrying a bucket with about a dozen fish, mostly boquichico and one special one for my DH. The bag was weighted down with green plantains and a few other fruits from the jungle. She had packed these things at her home, 20 hours away. The fish was salted to be sure it arrived to the capital in good condition.
Yesterday, the plans were made that I would make the rice, onion salad, the drinks and dessert. They would be in charge of making the pango. Everything seemed partway done and everyone gathered in my kitchen, all 3 square meters of it. The plantains were cut open, washed, peeled and placed at the bottom of the biggest pot I own. The fish was transferred from bucket to sink to wash away the “extra” salt while the plantains began the process of cooking. After I went to the sink to wash my hands and other things about 10 times, only to find the fish still resting there, they were finally placed on top of the plantains in the biggest pot I own.
While the pango came to a boil, the salty fish flavored the plantains and we got to work on other dishes to accompany the simple meal. The desserts were decorated, the onion salad was sliced, the spicy rocoto sauce was chopped and drinks were chilled. The children haven’t learned yet how to eat fish which has lots of bones yet, so chicken is seasoned and fried for them. I don’t know how to eat fish with lots of bones yet, so the children’s menu sounds delicious. Because the biggest pot I own isn’t big enough, the extra plantains were cut, peeled, sliced & fried along with the chicken.
“It is customary to not eat everything,” commented my DH several times after everyone had gone. He said that because there was nothing left. Nothing. No fish, no bananas, no chicken. The Passionfruit Papaya juice was gone, the iced tea and orange juice as well. The onion salad was completely devoured and the chocolate cake as well. Although dessert was eaten with one foot out the door, they would have scraped and licked the pan of Tres Leches Cake if had I let them…it was just that good.