Cassie and I have often shared with you the different flavors and tastes we experience as we venture into the culinary experience of Nicaragua. We continue to try new recipes and street foods as we encounter them. A recent favorite was a ripe plantain that had been gutted and stuffed with local cheeses and peppers. Thankfully the people of Nicaragua are passionate about their local delicacies and are more than willing to assist us in learning alongside them.
Before coming home to visit our family and friends we invited some of our students over for a last supper in order to celebrate the holidays over a home-cooked meal and table fellowship. Our students at the seminary know our favorites. I made a lasagna (We have found that our Nicaraguan friends and family love casseroles and what is termed “comfort food”, but they have a fear of the oven and therefore usually do not bake), Cassie made a scrumptious salad and our students made the rest.
Solkey made a plateful of buñuelos which is fried patty of cheese and shredded yuca that is then dipped into honey infused with cinnamon and clove. The real treat was that Solkey brought the majority of the buñuelos in unfried form. This meant that Cassie and I received a cooking lesson that very night as to how we too could prepare buñuelos in our home. As we waited for the lasagna to cook and other guests to arrive we grated, pressed and fried a mound full of buñuelos for the upcoming desert, though we did try a few and may have spoiled our appetite!
Alvaro and Zayda were also invited for dinner that night - they are perpetually late people who we love dearly. Because of their tardiness Solkey had planned another cooking lesson for Cassie and I. We are not ashamed of our love for the quesillo, the cream drenched, cheese filled, onion loaded snack that is enjoyed anytime of the day here in Nicaragua. I have attempted to make quesillo (the food item gets its name from the type of cheese - quesillo - that makes up the majority of the food) before and had failed. However, Solkey showed me a technique that uses boiling water and now I am fully confident that I will be able to make fresh hot quesillo for Cassie and ourselves upon our return to Nicaragua.
The night was a special one enjoyed by all. Our students stayed late into the night as we dined and then basically ate again, enjoying the traditional deserts that Solkey and Zayda - who makes excellent arroz con leche (recipe to soon be posted) brought into our home.