Wednesday, December 28, 2005

In Espanol it's "nunca"

Finally, Allison is feeling better, although she hasn't much of an appetite. I think she lost a few pounds too, which is noticeable on her little frame. During her food poisoning ordeal I channeled my anger into cursing the evil turkey and to regaining her trust in me. My only power I decided was the power of future control: I promised her in Mexico, we'll never eat turkey.

Tonight we were guests for dinner at the home of a new acquaintance. We'd met her a previous evening at another get-together. Our hostess was a lovely woman, a former college professor, who's made Nopolo her home for quite a few years. She was born in Kansas so I'd like to think she feels protective of us displaced midwesterners.

To enter her house we walked through a large courtyard. Handsome pickled wooden front doors opened to a wide stairway laid with verde-colored tile. Large works of art hung from the stairwell. As we climbed the stairs toward the soft lights of the upper living area I knew I was going to like what lie at the top. Her home was beautiful in the modern Mexican design. Lots of arches and rounded edges in walls painted in the warm Mexican palette. A large iron chandelier hung from a circular vaulted brick ceiling (a boveda) over a huge round dining table. It's ladderback side chairs were painted in the traditional Mexican palette; the armchairs in a soft robin's egg blue that so immediately appealed to my senses that I mentally appointed one for myself, "That's the chair I will sit in." (silly, does anyone else do this?) Large wooden screens separated a kitchen I would have been tempted to show-off, from the rest of the area. The living room consisted of a huge seating area placed on an oversized oriental rug. In the center, an oversized Guatemalean coffee table, all before a terra-cotta painted stucco fireplace flanked by bookcases. Of course I snooped at the books, (probably as rude as spying in someone's medicine cabinet--she likes mysteries and best-sellers.)

A buffet counter ran the entire length of the living room. In its center our new friend had placed a large blue ceramic bowl filled with lit white candles and an unusual fruit that looked like lemons morphing into bananas. The food was laid out in beautiful serving pieces and utensils that I had to examine and admire. Her dishes were works of art, some sort of painted ceramic, not Talavera but something I know has a Mexican origin. In procession, the food: a bowl of mixed nuts, a bowl of olives, a tray of tortilla chips, a bowl of salsa, a platter of chili rellenos, a dark green salad, mashed potatoes, a tureen of mole-flavored gravy, stuffing, and--- TURKEY.

Allison and I conferred. We decided #1: we were hungry, and #2 what's a promise when you're hungry and everything looks so appealing? So we ate. I should know better than to put so much stock in promises made regarding food. I only know of one other human being and I'll name her--Debi McWilliams--who made good on a promise concerning food. She hasn't touched chocolate after once gorging herself into illness on it years ago, a vow I believed was inhumanly impossible. And truthfully, even Allison broke a recent promise to herself after a choking episode with a butterscotch. She was in near panic when it lodged in her esophogus and later vowed through tears, "I will never (sob, sob) eat hard candy (sob, sob) again!" She's had a few hard candies since then. So never say never, especially when you're only six for there's a lot of never ahead for you.

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