August 12, 2007

God was on my side

Some of the family -- note the thumbs up

It was blazing hot this morning. Not even the tiniest of wisp of a breeze to cool off the house and, of course, we had no cooling breeze from the ceiling fans because we had no electricity.

I got up at 8:30 this morning. I really wanted to sleep but there were a few more things I needed to do before we ran out of water. Sometimes it's already gone by 8:30 but God was on my side today. I kept working and washing dishes and El Jefe was washing the grill and the terraza and everything else he could reach with the hose.

He kept nagging me that if I wanted to take a shower I better do it before the water went out. I was still in my jammies and completely drenched in sweat, so I kept thinking that I needed to get everything done or else I would just be drenched in sweat again. Plus, I can't stand having a kitchen full of dirty dishes with company over.

I knew I was really pushing my luck, but I finally took a shower at noon. To be more precise, I took a dribble, not a shower, but the water lasted long enough to rinse off and, most importantly, rinse the shampoo out of my hair. One minute later, I turned on the sink faucet and the very last teaspoon of water came out before it started sucking air. God was really on my side.

The guests arrived a respectable 30 minutes late, instead of the usual Honduran two hours. Perfect! Five minutes later, THE POWER CAME BACK! It wasn't even 2 p.m. and usually it is off until 5 p.m. It was a miracle. God was on my side again.

We totally bucked the machismo system. El Jefe made the men cook the pinchos (kabobs) on the grill, my Salvadoran brother-in-law helped me assemble the pinchos − I called it construyendo (constructing) so no one would laugh at him for doing women's work − AND (are you sitting down?) we served the women guests first while the men continued to cook! Of course, I guess that isn't 'cooking,' it is 'grilling' which is a manly thing to do.

El Jefe supervised the grilling and basting on the first batch and then left the guys to do the rest. At one point I asked El Jefe's brothers if the second batch of pinchos was done and they both got a panicky look in their eyes. "How are we supposed to know???!! I took pity and said, "Pull off a piece of meat, eat it, and see if it is done." Ooooh, they liked that. "This gringa is a genius," I'm sure they were thinking.

The food? − completely fabulous, if I do say so myself. They ate, among other things, 54 deviled eggs (see, I told you so). Everyone ate so much we had to wait a couple of hours between appetizers and the main course and another couple of hours before dessert.

El Jefe's brother J kept asking how I made this or that so his wife B could make it for him. El Jefe said that hurt B's feelings, because I gave her my recipe for deviled eggs a long time ago. She said, "But don't you remember when I made them?" I felt bad for her so even though I had been mysterious about my wonderful basting sauce for the pinchos, I privately showed her the bottle that I poured it straight from into a bowl.

Proudest moment: Chatting with my sisters-in-laws in Spanish and not only having them understand my Texas-accented, gibberish Spanish but also laugh at my maid stories.

Most frustrating moment: Hearing the guys talking politics in the sala while I was stuck in the kitchen washing dishes. You know that I wanted to get into that conversation!

Most interesting moment: El Jefe mentioned something on my blog, and sister-in-law M (from Dallas) said, "Oh, yes, I saw that." A little later he mentioned something else and she had seen that, too. Later she said how she enjoyed seeing the different houses and sights around La Ceiba. Now, I knew that she knew about my blog, but I didn't know that she read it regularly. Hmmm, I think I had better do a review of what I've written about to see how much trouble I'm in! (Hola, M!)

Most surprising moment: Afterward, El Jefe said that I really surprised him. He thought that I was going to freak out about the electricity/water snafu. Oh ye of so little faith.

High point of la fiesta: El Jefe's brother M said, "¡Muy, muy rica y muy tipica, (gringa)!" (Very, very delicious and typical (food); typical might not sound like a compliment but it is a high compliment.) After which, everyone was saying "¡Si! ¡Si! ¡Muy rica!" I wouldn't have called it tipica, but they liked it so that is what counts.

Low point of la fiesta: We were having dessert. The kids and I, at the breakfast room table, and all the adults, in the sala familiar (family room), were enjoying our brownie sundaes when Blackie walks into the room, looks around at all the people, and takes a crap right in the middle of the room!
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