Sunday, June 21, 2015

Carolyn Anne's Feast

Many of you are aware of my (one and only) wife's love of hospitality and entertaining (I help out on the entertaining part).  Well, last night, she got to do something she has not done in months: put on a full course supper (cena here in Ecuador) Ecuador style. 

It all started when a Cuencana friend of ours with some more minimal English skills asked me as we were attending our weekly Celebrando la Recuperacion (Celebrate Recovery) meeting at our church, Iglesia Verbo Cristiana if I could write a recommendation for her skills and services she offers on an English language Internet site read by expats here.  I said, "Sure!"  (Actually, !Por supuesto!")  We agreed to be in touch Saturday for the final details of the meeting. 

Our friend Mercedes did call on time yesterday as planned, and she came right over via a taxi ride.  We got busy writing the piece, and sent it.  At that moment, Carolyn Anne came bursting through the door and saw that our friend had arrived.  I had previously prepared 12 piernitas de pollo (chicken legs) in the cocina (kitchen) and breaded them with the bread crumb mix we find here at Coral - a half hour's job.  Carolyn Anne took it from there, especially when our lovely but still jetlagged from her European vacation landlady "Lucia" came a knockin'.  She cooked up some mixed veggies, steamed some white rice - a staple of the Ecuadorianos here - and diced up our cantaloupe.  We cleared the table, set it, entertained our guests with conversation, and prayed:

Lord, thank you for our friends.  Bless them.  Bless this mess, in Jesus' name, Amen.

I could have said it in Spanish, but Lucia is bilingual, and Mercedes enjoys hearing us in English - it helps her to learn the language much as being immersed in Spanish helps us learn that language.  Knowing grins are exchanged when Mercedes realizes that small fact.  She continues to try out her English, and I continue to use my Spanish, as Carolyn Anne gamely also tries (and succeeds in part) to do as well.  Her Spanish lessons are beginning to pay off.

Afterwards, there are four pieces of chicken left, not much mixed veggies, more than enough rice - always seems to happen here in Ecuador - and enough extra diced cantaloupe to give away to Mercedes, who has an appointment with a client to go to this evening.  God is indeed good. . . all the time!  

Normally we don't cook 12 pieces of chicken at a time, but these were on the smaller side this time and Carolyn Anne thought we could just do it all at once like we had done when we first arrived here in Cuenca.  Interesting how that worked out, eh?  (smile)  We thought we were cooking for ourselves when it turned out we were to cook for others.  

Thank you, Father, for the opportunity to put on a feast for our new friends!  It felt really good to do so.  

Oh, yeah. . .  the title of this post is inspired by a foreign (Danish with English dubbing if desired and/or English subtitles) film released in 1987 (1988 in the USA): Babette's Feast.  A very different story from a very different time and place; the 19th century in Jutland (part of Denmark).  If you want to know what true love and sacrifice is, get the film and watch it soon sometime.  It has been available on Netflix (DVDs by mail) in the past in the USA.  We highly recommend it to you. 

Here's the link for the official video trailer:  and here's the link for the General's exquisite after dinner speech:  followed by the well placed remark to the General of "Hallelujah!" by Christopher (at the 9:48 mark) here:   Enjoy!