The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

March 9, 2009

Sermersheims enjoy Panamanian dishes

DANVILLE — Even when it’s a cold winter’s day in Danville, there’s a sense of the warm tropics at the home of Paul and Maria Sermersheim.

Around 5 p.m. each day, Maria is often preparing one of her family’s favorite Panamanian dishes, featuring a variety of mildly flavored fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The aromas of onion, garlic, cilantro and other spices are a tempting invitation to stay for dinner. And Maria always is willing to share her tasty meals with guests — even the unexpected ones.

“I learned to cook my country’s traditional food from my mother at age 9, while growing up in Panama,” Maria said. “I have nine siblings, so we all learned to cook in large quantities for the whole family.”

Panama is a small, narrow country located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the southernmost nation in Central America.

The Sermersheims’ two daughters, Gloria, 10, and Suzet, 6, are eager helpers in the kitchen. They like to smash the garlic and plantains (green bananas) with a rock to help make the fried plantains, and they stretch out the pliable dough for the empanadas (meat and vegetable pies fried in canola oil).

Paul mostly enjoys test-tasting in the kitchen, but admits that he also likes to cook.

“My mother, Carol Sermersheim, has catered for more than 20 years, and she owned a restaurant before that,” he said. “You can say that my three brothers and I grew up with cooking all around us.”

The family often prepares their meals over the open flame of a wood fire in their back yard. “That’s the way they cook in Panama, and we love our food prepared this way,” Maria said.

The family has dedicated a section of their living room for displaying Panamanian memorabilia, including artwork made by a Kuna tribe, hand-sewn garments, a ceramic rice platter, and big-brimmed hats that are woven from palm leaves.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ornament designs sought

    July 31, 2014

  • NAACP plans brunch

    July 31, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 31, 2014

  • Fun Days this weekend

    July 31, 2014

  • Three face robbery charges DANVILLE — Three men were booked without bond Tuesday in connection with the robbery of a downtown jewelry store.Donovan Wheeler, 29, of the 300 block of Bradley Lane; John Billips Jr., 23, of the 200 block of East Roselawn Avenue; and Jabari O’Conno

    July 31, 2014

  • Georgetown Fair ready for annual run DANVILLE — One of the big fair attractions of the summer kicks off this weekend in Vermilion County.The annual Georgetown Fair begins Saturday and runs through Aug. 9.Don Hackler is president of the Georgetown Fair Board. Both he and the group of 24

    July 31, 2014

  • NWS-CN 7-31 VA employee photo Jaycees select VA employee for award DANVILLE — Bryan Stewart, coordinator of the Veterans Transportation Program for the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System, was selected as one of the Outstanding Young People of 2014 by the Junior Chamber International Senate with the Jaycees.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Tuesday, 11:23-11:32 a.m. — A medical call in the 200 block of West Voorhees Street.Tuesday, 1:30-1:45 p.m. — A natural gas leak at 107 S. Jefferson St.Tuesday, 1:41-1:59 p.m. — An accident on Interstate

    July 31, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleMonday:Theft in the 100 block of North Logan Avenue.Tuesday:A man and woman arrested for domestic battery at Fairchild and Moore streets.Retail theft at Meijer, 3649 N. Vermilion St.Wednesday:A man arreste

    July 31, 2014

  • Group to help Mission

    July 30, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Must Read