A Word On Food: Ventanitas

In 1971 when I … and three other wanderers .. crossed the short span named the ‘Cow Key Channel Bridge’ from Stock Island .. the island to the immediate north of Key West I passed forevermore through a magical window of life. What was unfolding all around me that Spring was so totally different to me than the Northern Illinois life it was difficult to pick out just what was happening. It would be like being able to discern which of the phantasmagorical things that happened to Dorothy upon entering Oz charmed or disarmed her the most. It has taken years to unpack what mattered to me so deeply. Upon reacquaintance with an experience I was reawakened once again. Just such a moment arrived this week as we were returning from visiting our family in Key West to celebrate our granddaughter Audrey’s birthday. Except this time the reacquaintance happened ‘up the Keys’ as one says when in places like Marathon. Which is where we were. But I will come back to that. 

The first ventanitas I experienced beguiled me with food aromas alluring and at the same time exotic. They were not in my sensory repertoire yet. They were the first kisses of what became a lifelong love affair.


Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IGTV cooking videos @normanvanaken 

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