August 11, 2007

Fourteen people for dinner and no electricity or water

Imagine photo of refrigerator
stuffed to the gills here.
It didn't turn out and
I don't have time
to try to upload it again.

I'm actually pretty calm even though we are having 12 people over for Sunday dinner tomorrow at one p.m. (14 counting us) and we found out late last night that we will have no electricity all day tomorrow. My loyal readers and fellow sufferers know that also means we will have no water by the time they get here. Fourteen people and no running water for flushing toilets or washing the hands.

Ho hum. No big deal. My menu included pinchos (kabobs - both filet mignon and chicken) which we were going to cook on the anafre (grill) anyway, anafre con chorizo (a bean and sausage and cheese dip) which gets heated over charcoal in a special little clay serving dish also called an anafre (do you see any reason whatsoever to be confused about the Spanish language here? You could say, "Put the anafre in the anafre on the anafre" and it would make perfect sense....I guess).

I already planned to make deviled eggs (which this family loves - if I made 185 eggs, they would eat every single one, no wasted time worrying about cholesterol here), coleslaw, a dessert, and rice and beans with coconut milk in advance today.

Technical point: In Spanish beans are 'frijoles;' rice is 'arroz.' Here in La Ceiba, if you have them mixed together with coconut milk is the dish called 'arroz con frijoles' or 'frijoles con arroz'? Trick question. The answer is neither. It is called "rice and beans con coco" using English and Spanish mixed together. Why? I have no earthly idea and I haven't met anyone else that does either. Ha ha.

I had already asked my sister-in-law if she would make the tortillas. I CAN make them, it's just that who has time for that when you are cooking and preparing for that many people. I'm trying to buck the tradition that says whoever does the inviting is responsible for EVERYTHING! I think we would have a lot more family gatherings if everyone brought something or helped in some way.

We have our little emergency two burner gas cooktop that we can use to heat the rice and beans. We have our 5-gallon buckets of emergency water for washing hands and flushing. We won't need candles and we can eat on the terraza since it will be too hot inside with no fans. If we don't open the refrigerator too many times, it will stay cold. Everyone but the U.S. American-born nephew is used to living without water and electricity. I'm preparing everything I can today while I CAN still wash my hands and the dishes.

Okay, the only change I had to make was the dessert. El Jefe's brother called us while we were shopping at Paiz last night to tell us about the power situation. Thank goodness he did. I'm okay with it as long as I have a little advance notice. We did panic for a moment and then everything snapped into place except the dessert.

It would be a little difficult to brown the meringue on a giant baked Alaska on the grill, so I quickly switched from that to brownie sundaes. The ice cream should be nice and soft by then. :D I hope they will like it as well as they like the baked Alaska. One of my nephews once said it was the best dessert he ever tasted. Another loudly proclaimed, "No! It's the best dessert in the WHOLE WORLD!"

Now (Saturday evening) we are having a thunderstorm so I need to get back to the kitchen before the power goes out!
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