There are many wonderful things about living in Mexico: white beaches, cheap tacos, swaying palm trees, and the ease of socializing with friends. One of the downsides is when those friends move to another place or go back home.
The couple that moved here at the same time we did over nine years ago has since moved on to Guatemala. I probably would have never gone to Guatemala except for the fact that two sets of our dearest friends moved there. Only after we visited for the first time did we realize how beautiful the country is. We visited Lake Atitlan, which is unparalleled in its beauty. The city of Antigua, nestled below a few volcanoes, including Fuego which is still active, is beautiful in its colonial buildings, heritage, and great food. From Cancun, the flights can be less than $100 each way.
Despite all of that, we’ve only been there twice. Life is busy and we just never get to visit with the people we love as often as we want. That’s why, when I do visit, I kind of want to do, see, and eat the same things I did last time. Except for hiking up the volcano Pacaya.
I like to go along with the gang, but this time, I may have been in over my head. Did anybody tell me that it’s 2 miles straight up? We decided to do it only with our trusty legs and to forgo the horses that are literally nudging your butt three quarters of the way up. Not making it any easier were their owners behind them, who would call out ‘taxi, taxi’, just waiting for the first sign of weakness. We refused to give in. Instead, we used our sturdy walking sticks. We had to rest often, between altitude that us coastal people can’t handle and the hike itself. Of course, the effort was worth it. The views were spectacular. Roasting marshmallows on hot lava rocks was an experience itself. We drank in the beauty around us.
Then came the walk down.
I can’t tell you how many times I fell. You would think I’d had a bit too much to drink. Instead, my calves had had enough. Because I was the oldest of the bunch, nobody was really laughing, I got more words of concern every time I slipped.
And I thought climbing up was the hard part. My calves hurt for daaaaaaaaayyyysssss.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did it, but I now consider it checked off my Bucket List, not to be re-visited.
When we do visit our friends in Antigua, there are three things that I expect to be fed: the husband’s Peasant bread, the wife’s Tortilla soup, which recipe I forced her to give to me and is on the blog, and this dessert.
It’s simple, fast, and you’ll always have the ingredients on hand. While I almost never buy fresh berries here because they’re quite pricey, I always have a bag of frozen mixed berries in the freezer.
Just the smell of this baking today reminded me of dear friends, adventures together, and the food we eat that binds us all together.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups mixed berries
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add butter and cut into flour mixture until it looks like small crumbs. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs. Add milk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add wet mixture to dry and combine well.
Spread evenly into a standard size cookie sheet. Sprinkle berries evenly over top.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle evening over berries.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Serve warm with whipped cream and/or dust with icing sugar.
Serves 8 generously.