Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Extending your table....

Ernie and I with Peter and Jessy
For our first Christmas in Guadalajara our children came, and that was wonderful.  Our second Christmas here, they also came, which was an amazing gift.  During our third Christmas we were alone, without family from home.  However, we spent it with our Mexican family.

This year, Peter and Jessy came for a visit, and that is so very special.  They began their holiday alone in Puerta Vallarta.  Then we went to get them and spent 3 lovely days in Bucerias (close to Puerto Vallarta).

It has been so wonderful to have fun with great friends.  We have walked many a kilometre, both at the ocean, and here in GDL.  We have seen the sights, talked about our lives, and eaten plenty.

Having a Chef in the house is not good for the waistline! But it has been so very delicious!

We decided to invite some friends for Christmas dinner on the 23rd.  Together we planned the meal, but Peter was most definitely in charge! He worries not only about what is being served, and how it will taste, but how it will look! (I mostly hope my meals are edible!) While he didn't give himself a 10, our guest most certainly did.
Right to Left: Jordana, Ricardo, Lalo and Carmen (a family) Us, Jessy and Peter, Karina
These are friends from the gym, and the good thing is that they speak English, so the fellowship was easy.

Here is a pictorial of our meal:

We started with appetizers; each one added something to the table.  We had a tuna mouse on crackers, cream cheese with a chilli jam, chips, little toasts with cheese and jam.  All very yummy.

Then, while our guests played table games, Peter and I headed to the kitchen to prepare dinner  We (mostly him instructing me) made creamy mashed potatoes, a roll of ham stuffed with cheese, topped with a cornflakes crusted chicken breast, gravy that was out of this world, deliciously sprinkled with red pepper pieces and the veggies were green beans and carrots in garlic butter.

We won't talk calories!

The dessert was home made oreo cookies topped with chocolate and raspberry sauce. Yum! Yum!

Alejandrina and I
Then I added a Mennonite tradition and make home made white gramma cookies to decorate.  They loved the decorating! This is something my own family has done at a gathering - gets very creative, and is lots of fun.  Both of the teenage girls are artistic so this was right up their alley.
It doesn't hurt that they taste great too!

Samples of the art
So while this event was over the top in its culinary art, one does not need to be a chef to extend their table.  Most cultures use food to offer friendship.  What one needs is an open heart filled with love for others.  This year, thanks to a friend who loves to share his gift in the kitchen, we had a WOW meal.  But a previous year I made everything myself and we had a lovely evening building relationships.  

Peter himself says their are many simple meals, appetizers, and desserts one can make to share with friends.  Food is a great way to build relationships.  It is less about the meal and more about who is around the table.  One should never be scared to extend their table because they can't cook; take out can be ordered.  Opening your home and your heart is what it is all about.  Life is about relationships, people, community. 

This was our Christmas Day dinner.  We made it Mexican: Carne Asada (basically barbecuing meat).  Then we made potatoes, corn with chilli and cream cheese, pico de gallo or salsa mexicana (a la Peter), avocado and Coca Cola in a glass bottle.  

We have consumed our fair share of calories ... but calories amongst friends don't count!

We trust you too shared your table with loved ones and enjoyed a Blessed Christmas.  And we wish you a wonderful New Year, from our table to yours!

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