How to Make Tostones: Brief prep, Wondrous taste

By: Melanie

I have a bit of a confession to make, and I hope this won’t come as a total shock to all the loyal readers[1] out there:  I haven’t always been this cool. I know…take a minute. Wrap your brain around it. It’s hard to believe that someone as awesome as I am now[2] is the same girl who couldn’t snag a date to her high school prom[3].  This is why I love[4] The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

Our protagonist Oscar[5] is disastrously uncool; a “ghetto nerd,” he’s overweight, obsessed with D & D, cursed by the Fuku[6], and worst of all, can’t get a girl.

 While Oscar Wao is not, ultimately, a comedy, it is an undeniably funny book[7]. I think what makes the novel so funny, yet so touching, is that Oscar is real.  His flaws render him instantly recognizable, relatable, and likable[8].

 I’ve never understood a writer who crafts a “perfect” character.  Personally, I don’t know any Edward Cullens[9].  Who wants to read that? It’s not funny. It’s certainly not realistic. And moreover, it makes the reader feel like crap for not measuring up.

So, this one’s for you, Oscar. It’s super easy to prep, it’s fried[10], and it’s a true taste of the D.R.[11]  Eat up!



Plantains: banana's ugly cousin



2 unripe plantains

½ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp salt

Vegetable Oil


Heat the oil in a deep frying pan

Meanwhile, peel the plantains and cut into 1” thick slices. Then fry until they are golden brown and float to the surface.

While they are cooking, mix the salt and garlic salt together in a small bowl.

Remove the plantains from the oil and flatten using the bottom of a glass.

Fry them again for approximately 30 seconds

Remove them from the oil and sprinkle each with the salt mixture.

Serve immediately.

[1]A big shout out to our number one fan, my dad, who Christy aptly refers to as “Danny Tanner.” Though, I think my dad has a leg up. Danny Tanner would never fashion a plate or a napkin out of his shirt as my dad will do in a time of need. So, thank you, Dad, for teaching me practical life skills. 

[2]  What is awesome? Having a couple vodka sodas and rereading A Clockwork Orange for the tenth time. That, my friends, is what I mean by awesome.

[3] I was in a “punk” phase in high school. I redesigned my clothes with safety pins, chalk, and sharpies. To me, prom was a cliché. I refused to go because it was a trite, outdated, sophomoric ritual. Then again, I was never asked. 

[4] I know, I say I love a lot of books, but I really love this book. Immediately after finishing it, I gushed to Christy about it,  probably using the words “brilliant” and “amazing” as much as Tomcat in their early years. She selected it for our book club and I was thrilled to read it a second time.

[5] This novel is, of course, not wholly Oscar’s story. It’s the story of his family and of the Dominican Republic

[6] Allegedly

[7] I can’t tell you the number of times I read Brian passages that had me laughing out loud.

[8] Literary lesson for the day: Aristotle explained that a perfect tragic hero must be flawed (thus, the “tragic flaw”) because if he is too perfect, the audience wouldn’t care about his demise.

[9] Well, except for that dude who bartends at The Bohemian and is also friends with the guy who looks like Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But he only THINKS he looks like Edward Cullen. He doesn’t really. Basically, he’s just pale. 

[10] Edward Cullens of the world, beware. This means fried in oil, and thus, will not build or maintain a six pack. Oh…nevermind. Edward Cullen doesn’t eat. Scratch that.

[11] Dominican Republic

About melanieandchristy

Follow us on twitter: @christy_melanie
This entry was posted in 5 ingredients or less, Book Club Snacks and Appetizers, Easy preparation, Side dishes, Summer dishes, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to Make Tostones: Brief prep, Wondrous taste

  1. Christy says:

    What’s wrong with D&D?

  2. Melanie says:

    Garret?? Is that you?? Nothing’s wrong with D & D. Why? Big tournament this weekend?

  3. Robert Honson says:

    Danny Tanner?? Really?

    And Melanie…
    Is it really a compliment to say that I can use my clothes instead of dishes? Still, thanks for defending me.

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