Letters from Lindsay: Traditional Costa Rican Corn Cake
Cooking is one of my favorite activities. I enjoy it more when I am learning how to prepare new dishes from my mother. She is not a chef, but she cooks with love. To me, her food is the most delicious food in all the world! She likes to stick cooking this traditional Costa Rican corn cake recipe that is a part of common tico cuisine.
Today at coffee/tea time she prepared what's called Tamal Asado. It's yummy, simple traditional Costa Rican corn cake that is wonderful to have as a mid afternoon snack. My mother makes the best version, I think, and we love sharing each other's company together over a piece of eat and a hot cup of cafe. I've included the recipe for you below.
To go along with it, she also prepared a special picadillo called Ropa Vieja that we eat with tortillas or with a salad. Yes, it sounds funny if we consider that ropa vieja means old clothing.
The name comes from our recycling devotion. This is the way we recycle food: After tasting a vegetable and meat soup that traditionally is called Olla de Carne (great for lunch on a rainy day), we put some olive oil in a pan, then we add the veggies that are still in the Olla de Carne pot and mix it up. You can add the broth to make sure that the vegetables are covered, keeping them covered for 15 minutes. When it is ready, you can leave it on the wood stove on low until dinner time, so it gets dry, smells delicious and the taste incredible.
1 1/2 cups grounded corn
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter, we use the one from our área and the brand is Dos Pinos
1 cup of grated white cheese (homemade)
1 tsp of vanilla or almond
Mix the grounded corn with milk. Add sugar, melted butter, cheese, eggs and vanilla. Mix and place in a baking pan. If you use a oven, bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. In our case, we use the wood stove oven which takes around 25 minutes. Wait until cooled, call your family, relative and friends, make sure to have boiled water, prepare coffee or tea, and serve!
It is so easy to get caught up in the same routine every day. Thank you for this trip, True Nature Education, and the re-start I needed in my life.
The La Fortuna Waterfall was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen.
Seeing something so powerful makes you appreciate everything we touch, smell, feel, and taste. I loved this trip and would have not done anything differently!
The culture here is amazing. I feel so welcomed here I am so fortunate to be here. I could wish everyone could experience what I´m experiencing right now. Not only is the food amazing here, the people I´m with are amazing too! I miss my family, though...Oh well Pura vida!
The Society / True Nature Education program was a great experience, especially for someone for the first time out of the country and on your own. In this program you really get to experience the culture while giving back too. I truly enjoyed my time in the program and would love to do it again!
My True Nature Education retreat was a self and life transformational experience...
It was really incredible to bring our community from Asheville to Costa Rica, blending with rural communities in a such a drastically different environment. We learned so much about ourselves, our community, and the world.
-Linda Siegall, Coordinator of the Young Adults Program (YAP) at Jubilee-
The trip was truly amazing. A life changing experience for me that I will always remember...It was really special to connect with the youth in foreign country...not speaking the same language by understanding the common language of service and play.
I have never felt so empowered in my life. This trip has cleared my mind and opened my hear to receive more love, joy, and energy in my life. I feel so revived and so renewed. I plan on taking this momentum and energy back to the states to improve my wellbeing, my relationships, and my community. I have loved the people I have met here and the memories I have made here which I will cherish forever.
“Dream big, live bigger, and never stop exploring!”
I believe coming on this trip took me out of my comfort zone, no actually, it expanded my comfort zone. I feel I am a changed person now and that I am able to to see and experience the beauty of Planet Earth. I will take the memories or Costa Rica with me as I keep on with my journey of life.
There are no words to describe how beautiful everything is. Costa Rica takes my breath away. I was surrounded by life and felt closer to the Earth than I have ever felt before. More than that True Nature and everyone has been so supportive. I have never felt so unselfconscious.
The program exceeded my expectations. I was just hoping to chill in a beautiful place with some cool people and take some yoga, but what I experienced instead was transformation and deep, deep connection. I have never felt so connected to myself and my surroundings. Your leaders created such a safe and sacred space. I can’t thank True Nature Education enough!
The True Nature community of such beautiful souls, supporting one another in times of great joy and moments of need, is a great departure from many of my day-to-day experiences and encourages me to give more and to also allow myself to receive.
I am forever grateful and forever changed. I truly found myself here...who I want to be. I am happy, content, and a completely new person. Thank you so much True Nature and the Society! I could have never felt this way without you and for that I am forever indebted.
Best word for the trip is: AMAZING! Surfing was the best. Freakin´ awesome...
So much time to experience Costa Rica’s Nature and and abundance of activities through True Nature Education’s programs. An experience to escape the “Real World” to Climb on a cloud and drift away, swim in the ocean and ride a wave.”
The group is incredible... they have open minds and open hearts. Love every single one of them... such a joyous adventure Peace!
When I signed up for this trip I had no idea how life changing it would be. I have pushed myself, met amazing people, made strong connections, and found some answers within myself I wasn’t expecting to address on this trip. I can’t put a price on this experience. No matter where I go, I will continue to nurture state of mind from this trip so I can be at peace anywhere.
-Sean MacLennan, Illinois, 2013-
This is the best and most relaxing week I've ever had. I loved the whole thing and I feel like I´m making a difference when doing service work.