Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Things that mash: music, people, and squash

Last Saturday we had a church event. It was a talent and variety show. It was so fun to see the variety of cultures represented. I wish I could share all the videos, but I didn't ask all those people and parents if I could post them on the internet. But there was Maori dance, salsa and flamenco dance, saxophone and guitar songs, Michael Jackson, Bobby Brown, the Nae Nae, BEA-U-TI-FUL Hawaiian dance and disco. And you know this Zumba instructor was so happy to hear familiar tunes. They played Bailando for everyone to dance to. I pulled Millie up with me and tried to keep it small even though I was ready to bust a move! The best part is that everyone was really having a good time. It wasn't a stiff sit and watch the stage and clap thing. The performances were right on the floor amongst us and everyone loved everyone else's performance. At least I was loving it so much that I didn't notice otherwise. They had formed "teams" in advance and each team was supposed to get together and create a performance. Many of them were lip syncs or dances to fun radio tunes. It was very fun and I loved seeing them all come together.

She just oozed beauty. Her face just lit up. I loved watching. 

And the food. SO MUCH. I didn't recognize half of it. I couldn't tell it if was noodles, or meat, or vegetable, or insects, or WHAT. And I was not brave and daring either. I didn't take pictures because I thought that would be weird to have me gawking and taking pictures of blue potatoes or "heaps" of meat (I just did an Aussie phrase there) or seriously some unknown items. But I think there were 4-5 banquet tables packed with food. None of it was dessert. That was in the kitchen and came out after the main meal.

I was wondering what to take for my contribution to the potluck. I wanted to take something a little bit U.S.ish (can't say "American" because that disregards all the other people that live in North and South America). I also wanted to take something that I was good at and could make well with my limited kitchen equipment and lack of familiar ingredients. I have seen a lot of banana bread in the stores and knew that wouldn't be too deviant for their tastes. So I decided to take pumpkin muffins. Some nice stranger answered my FB plea for muffin tins. Another kind Aussie soul.

In order to make pumpkin muffins, I had to buy a pumpkin. An actual pumpkin. It is a very common vegetable to see here, and they usually sell smaller wedges so you don't have to buy the entire thing. That's what I did. I peeled it, steamed it, and mashed it. It didn't have the exact same flavor as the pumpkin I am used to, and it wasn't as orange, but the muffins turned out great and I got some compliments on them. Phew!

At church, we have a chorister and pianist who typically choose what hymns we sing and then tell the bishopric what they are. They also post them on the wall in the back so we can all refer to it and know which page to turn to. So last week the man conducting the meeting inadvertently announces a different opening hymn than the one posted on the wall, which everyone had already turned to in their hymnbook. I looked to see what the chorister would do. What do you think she would do in your congregation?

Well, she and the pianist both just shrugged and turned to the hymn he announced. No hesitation. I thought it was a great sign of respect to the person conducting the meeting to honor what he announced. And then it happened again for each of the three remaining songs in the meeting. He obviously just had a different list and wasn't trying to throw them off. They just respected his wishes without saying, "Bro, you have the wrong list! Everybody disregard that last announcement!"

That, on top of seeing my bishop do the Nae Nae, just add to all the reasons why I'm really happy to be here among these people. 

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