The cancellation of both the Meriden Puerto Rican Festival and the Meriden Daffodil Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic greatly disappointed many members of our community.
While we understood the cancellations were the safest route to take, we Meridenites couldn’t help but feel a certain emptiness as we recalled fond memories of festivals past. To some, the festivals are all about the vendors. To others, the crafts make or break a successful experience. Without a doubt, the biggest draw is the food.
While we weren’t able to experience the typical Meriden revelry of festival season this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate a little piece of the fun at home.
Here’s a brief detailing of our “DIY festival food” experience:
The first step was choosing which foods to recreate. Recruiting a kitchen buddy makes the experience much more fun and is highly recommended. I roped my father into the fun and he decided we could make our DIY festival food idea into a family meal.
Growing up in Caguas, Puerto Rico provided him with intimate knowledge of the preparation of the culture’s most beloved dishes, making him instrumental to the success of our endeavor. We thought about which staples were our favorites, and settled on a couple classics.
Pernil, or pork shoulder, was what we decided on for the entree, with arroz con gandules, or rice and beans, sliced avocado, and tostones, or fried plantains, as the side dishes. Of course, we had to have a sweet beverage to go…