Tom Lehman is the son of a Mennonite missionary couple who lived in PR in the 1950's. He has amassed an extensive collection of pictures taken by his parents and other missionaries during the time they lived on the island. As his collection became more well-known, others have contributed their own pictures and what has emerged is a fascinating and moving account of life in PR. Many pictures taken at the time are in black and white, but these are in color; they capture a way of life that is all but gone, but still informs a lot of our culture. Historically speaking, not very much time has passed at all, and yet the difference just a handful of decades has made is astounding. These pictures are not to be missed.
adobo: a powdered seasoning agent, usually consisting of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and other assorted spices. It is a catch-all, go-to seasoning.
ajonjolí: sesame seed
arroz con gandules: rice with pigeon peas
arroz y habichuelas: rice and beans
asopao: a rice stew that often has chicken or seafood added to it
avísenme: alert me
ay, bendito: roughly akin to "awww"
ay, que calor: "what heat!"
bistec encebollado: beefsteak with onions
boricua: Puerto Rican, comes from the old Taíno name for PR (Boriquén)
café con leche: coffee with milk
chuleta: pork chop
coquito: holiday drink made from sweetend condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, cinnamon, and rum
despedida: the act of saying goodbye
dulce de coco: coconut candy
independentista: as used in this blog, a person who supports independence for PR
jíbaro: Puerto Rican farmer or one who lives off the land
lechón asado: roasted pig, can be made in the oven but traditionally is cooked whole over a spit
los de aquí y los de allá: the ones from here and the ones from there
mancha de platano: literally, "plantain stain". It's a saying that means you have something about you that identifies you as a Puerto Rican
panadería: bread shop, literally translated, but often they also have pastries, coffee, and some serve sandwiches and meals
parranda: a group of people get together and show up at friends' houses late at night, singing Christmas songs and playing instruments. If the friend lets them in, the party continues in the house and the "host" serves food and drinks.
pernil: roasted pork shoulder
pilónes: plural for pilón - 1) a mortar and pestle, 2) a sugar lollipop sometimes covered with sesame seeds
quesitos: pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese and coated with sugar