Although Christmas is not a big event in Cuba, they do celebrate on Christmas Eve, which they call “Nochebuena”. We were privileged to be asked into a Cuban home for Nochebuena. Our hostess and friend was Anna. Anna sells fish sandwiches (which are delicious) from her bike as she rides around the streets of Santa Marta
Judy and Ron celebrate Nochebuena with Anna and her husband – note the plate of fish in Anna’s hands!
Anna’s bike with her sandwich container strapped on the back
Getting the coals just right is the secret for a fast boiling pot!
Anna’s husband grinds up the yucca before Anna makes the roll-ups for deep frying
As is the custom in the Cuban home, guests are fed first and then the family eats. This was very strange for us but there was no way we could convince the family to join us. First we were served Anna’s delicious fried fish which was outstanding. Then we had a fruit plate of fresh pineapple, papaya, oranges and bananas. By this time, we were both very full!
Fresh, organic fruit – absolutely delicious!
Judy tries her hand at rolling the mashed yucca into pastry shapes before they are deep fried
Judy nibbles on the rice and beans trying very hard not to appear impolite by saying she was too full…
Then the rice and beans with pork slices came out! After that there was dessert – shredded coconut with sugar and syrup and deep fried mashed yucca with syrup. We cycled home after dark with very full stomachs! Our hosts were gracious and very kind. When we arrived at the house, Anna’s husband was boiling the yucca out back on a grate over a bed of charcoal set in an old car wheel. The charcoal was sparking all over the place – it looked like fireworks were going off! It was a good thing that the walls and floor were cement blocks. We had a very enjoyable evening talking with Anna’s daughter and her boyfriend who was a baseball teacher the university in Santa Clara.
Very curious about our Christmas gathering was this dog that roamed the ledges on the second story of the house next door
Anna’s neighbours across the street are having a secret “garage party” for their Christmas Eve celebration
On Christmas day, the cruisers got together for a pot luck dinner up at the marina. There are a great bunch of cruisers on the dock this year so we had a fantastic time and the food was outstanding! The group is a very international one – Swiss, American, South African, Australian, Polish, and, of course, Canadian.
The cruisers enjoy a delicious Christmas meal and spend time getting to know one another
Duelling cameras – an irresistible past time for Ron – even during Christmas dinner!