A Postcard from Mrs. Sundberg, Part 2
Listened to the show Saturday, and it was not bad. Wasn’t THE show as I know it, but it was. I attended the Sail-away Party, Sea View Pool Lido Aft, where wine and pink drinks were served and Mr. Keillor led us all in a sing-a-long — “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” and “Roll Out the Barrel” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” And “I Saw Her Standing There.”
It was fun, and we sang along — a couple hundred of the more than thousand people with whom I’m on a boat for a week in the Caribbean. That night, just before bed, I had the pure joy of taking a bubble bath while floating on the sea.
Unlike my visit to Ireland a couple years back, I have been unable to communicate daily with people back home, and this is my only frustration. (Well, the sunburn isn’t the best thing but comes with the landscape.) I have so many stories, so much to tell you, and I’ll send along more once I am home.
For now, what I can tell you is this:
If you around 3 a.m. somewhere on the Caribbean, not every time but sometimes, you’ll hear and see the splashing of thousands of flying fish.
There’s a man named Etienne (you can call him “Steve” but he prefers “Etienne”) who will drive you around the island of St. Maarten where you’ll find delicious beignets in Marigot marketplace and a beach where the planes come in just over your head (seriously) and another beach where, to the left, people eat iguana stew and sleep in the sun, and to the right, a ways off, they walk naked in the sand. (Tempting, but our time was short.)
A young man named Abraham found a can of pop for me, and poured it over ice and brought mustard for my sandwich and asked if there was anything else I might want, and I couldn’t think of a thing.
Wednesday night, about 11:30 p.m. out on the deck under the stars, Mr. Fred Newman told a most glorious story about the universe, and a woman who weaves and a juggler, a hound and a silver wolf, and how chaos and order find each other, and find each other again.
Shaved ice with pineapple and coconut syrup will get a person going again after a day in the hot sun. A plastic cup of rum punch will do as well.
I’ve eaten 9 kinds of fish, and I’m not done yet. Bring on the octopus.
Wherever you are, if you can’t find your way back to the bus, or the ship, or home, ask a local. They know where all the roads go.
I am not a fan of iguana stew, but oatmeal always tastes like home.
Every person has story. And in person’s story, if you’re fortunate enough to hear it, there is suffering and there is beauty.
It is Thursday today, and we are at sea until tomorrow when find port at Half Moon Cay, where I plan to dive into the waves and nap awhile on the beach and, in the evening, join the others on the deck in a farewell kind of thing where we’ll sing and maybe dance a bit and just be together one last evening under a sea of stars.
A dear friend spending time in Arizona this spring sent this along last week and I have to share it with you. I’ve been looking for this recipe, and Mr. S — almond-lover — gives it a big thumbs up. I’m thinking a bit of coconut sprinkled in might work just fine on a tropical day in Minnesota. Which we do have on occasion.
Nutty Cracker Delights
42 club crackers (2.5” x 1”)
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup slivered almonds
Place crackers in a single layer in a foil-lined 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, and add vanilla. Stir well, and pour evenly over crackers. Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately remove from the pan, cutting between crackers, if necessary, and cool. Store in airtight containers.
Makes 3½ dozen or so.