February 10, 2014

Solentiname Islands


Often times when we behold a beautiful sight, a brilliant sunset, a unique bird preening feet away or the diverse landscape of the world drawn together, the words, "that should be on a postcard" or "this would be perfect for the month of July" escape from our mouths. We are so amazed at the sight before us that we can not even begin to describe with words the amazement and wonder that we in that moment are experiencing.


Thankfully our senses and memories allow us to pleasure in the picturesque sights and sounds of our world; to interact with and share our memories and make new ones with loved ones in the present.  Back in September, Cassie and I ventured to the Solentiname Islands of Nicaragua with our friend David.  Once there we thought as though we had returned to the land of 10,000 lakes and I think neither one of us would have been surprised if we would have heard Suzy (Cassie's mom) calling the loons as we paddled across the lake.


It was one of those weekends in which we thought a lot about our past trips to the BWCA; swimming in the frigid lake, beautiful sunsets over the water, mosquitos, pit toilets, mosquitos and islands with boat being our only mode of transportation.  It made us miss our family as we were reminded of the beauty that connects us. However, we also realize that through our visiting of Nicaragua's "BWCA" we are making a path for ourselves; experiences to be shared, memories to be had with the calendar like imagines fresh in our minds.  Someday a sight or sound will conjure up these memories and we will be able to sit, imagining ourselves sitting hand in hand watching that beautiful sunset when we ventured to the islands of Solentiname.


In a somewhat related, but still in sidebarish fashion, I would like to take this moment to share a recipe with you.  Stopping by a roadside stand, where food and drink were being offered for purchase, Cassie and I embarked on a culinary adventure.  The owner was presiding over the stand and our short stop turned into a long talk and tour of the 10 acre farm.  After the tour we sat down for a cup of coffee and excitedly ordered our hosts recommendation of desert. 

Of course we loved it so much that we asked for the recipe which I would like to share with you:


  • 4 ripe plantains (boiled and then fried-see not below)
  • 1 quart milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 T whole wheat flour
  • 5 T sugar
  • 1 t of salt
  • 1/4 cup of margarine
  1. In a medium pot mix the four egg yolks with flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. Add the margarine and milk and place over low heat.
  3. Continue to stir vigorously until the mixture begins to boil.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Slice the four plantains (which have been boiled and fried) lengthwise--imagine that you are hollowing out a canoe
  6. Seek to submerge your plantain canoe with the hot custard.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon over custard as you so desire.

Two notes:

  • Hopefully you see the connection and are not asking yourself why I included this recipe, but if you did not, the desert is called a canoe, which is the boat that Cassie and I used in the islands and it is also the most typical mode of transportation in the BWCA.
  • I realize that very ripe plantains are extremely difficult to find in North America. We have learned from our neighbors that boiling a plantain for ten minutes will greatly expedite the process of frying it to the desired place in which your plantain is sufficiently soft and delectable.


*We apologize for the non-appetizing, plastic filled photo.  We first ate this at a roadside stand and the presentation wasn’t their number one concern.  But really, they don’t even have to consider it.  This was way too delicious!


Anonymous said...

Please prepare 'Canoes' for us when you come visit in Minnesota! Suzy (Cassie's mom)

Anonymous said...

Please prepare 'Canoes' for us when you come visit in Minnesota! Suzy (Cassie's mom)