Friday, December 30, 2011

Heaven on Earth...Really.

This evening, as I wait for a batch of whoopie pies to come out of the oven, I'm feeling a little homesick. For those of you who don't know, whoopie pies are a traditional Mennonite dessert that is so sweet and delicious they absolutely inspire the soul (seriously, they are that good). But for me, whoopie pies conjure up memories of our time in Honduras. Think it's strange that a dessert that is so absolutely opposite to Central American cuisine should remind me of Honduras?

Well, if you ever find yourself on the long road from Tegucigalpa to Catacamas you will understand my retrospective frame of mind tonight. Because on that road, somewhere between the thousandth pothole and the hundredth over-packed bus and after you've consumed your third bottle of water to alleviate the effects of the sweltering heat, you'll no doubt need to stop to go to the restroom. And while you may be braver than the rest of us when it comes to public toilets, I highly recommend that you hold out until you get to a place called Guaimaca. Along the side of the road there is a quaint little rest stop that's almost North American in standard (I mean, they even have real toilet paper!). It's a thriving business catering to the locals and weary travelers alike. Built by Mennonite missionaries, it is there that our family was introduced to the wondrous whoopie pie. And yes, this stop is slightly famous among missionary work teams for the souvenir, handmade baskets that are works of art to behold. But I submit that it is the whoopie pie that makes this little oasis a truly remarkable place on earth...perhaps even worthy of "wonder of the world" status. Sure, you can whoopie pies in the U.S. (and probably around the world), but none are as sweet as the ones at Guaimaca. And none let you know that you're almost home to El Sembrador.

So, if you're ever in the neighborhood, remember there's not another decent restroom for miles. Go ahead and stop, make use of the flushing toilets. Then grab yourself a couple of the most heavenly desserts on earth and Pepsi for the road. I promise it'll be the best snack you'll ever have (at least while you're in Honduras).

Ok, until you can get there, here's a recipe for whoopie pies that are a distant second to the Honduran version:


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