Gearing up for the World Cup

Açorda de gambas, shrimp bread porridge, didn’t turn out quite the way I thought. But it was tasty, and with a couple of tweaks, it made a fine lunch.

2018 is bringing better tidings than 2017, which I can safely say was the worst year of my life up until today. For one, my personal life is looking brighter, I am recovering from very painful losses and feeling more optimistic every day. But starting on June 14, 2018, will deliver me the best possible gift: the FIFA World Cup.

If you are wondering why a food writer would care so much about the world’s most wonderful celebration of the Beautiful Game, you should read this story, which my friend Addie Broyles wrote for the Austin American-Statesman in 2010 about the World Cup-themed parties I have hosted since 2002. With just 66 days until kick-off, my thoughts are focused on matches that will present interesting combinations in the kitchen. Addie has also requested I write a story about how this massive sporting event relates to my life, especially under my current situation. I can hardly contain myself with excitment.

A dozen new cookbooks sit on my working table, with page markers for quick reference of recipes I want to test for both the article and the parties I will hopefully host during the month-long event. One that caught my eye quickly was My Lisbon, by Nuno Mendes. The first recipe I tested didn’t turn out quite the way I envisioned, but I am not discouraged; the book features dozens of enticing dishes from Portugal’s rich culinary repertoire. In the coming days I will be trying recipes from cuisines as varied as Moroccan, Swedish, Japanese, Peruvian, Russian, and more, as I learn how to cook for, and take care of, myself.

I am looking at this year’s World Cup as a great reason to revive this blog, as well as a marker to the start of a new life. I didn’t ask for it, but I plan to embrace it.

Posted in Cooking the World Cup, Featured.


  1. I am very honored to have been invited to a few of these parties. I learned to eat new things, laughed, yelled, cursed (en Español), and drank many new things (special mezcal) with family, friends, new friends and four legged friends. My Niñjas and I have enjoyed el mundial with Claudia. Gracias Loca.

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