Thursday, December 13, 2012

Learning to make Pancit

I ran over to one of my Filipino neighbors the other day to ask her for her lumpia recipe.  They are the best!  She sent me home with her cookbook and I was happy with the conversation we had had.  I've looked on line for hours trying to find the right recipes, customs, and decor for a "Christmas in the Philippines" party I'll be going to.  Today she called me and said that she would be making Pancit at noon and I could go over and she would show me how to make it.  I was thrilled!  I ran over and she had all the veggies cut up and it was just like I was watching a show on the cooking channel.  We giggled about that as she showed me every step and all the ingredients that she used.  She asked me what dessert I would be making.  I told her, then she and her husband starting laughing and told me it was easier said than done.  That's when I asked her for any suggestions.  She was so cute pulling things out of her pantry, telling me what I needed to buy and where the Filipino markets were, getting her steamer down for me and handing me a platter of fresh shrimp Pancit.

I thanked her and her husband and really expressed my gratitude for being so good to me.  Her husband helped me home walking across the culd-de-sac where I was greeted with lots of huge eyes wondering what in the world mom brought home.

I was giddy at the thought of my Filipino Spread I'd be able to make now.

I thought back to almost fifteen years ago when I became friends to Jasminka, a Bosnian refugee in Kentucky.  Although we really couldn't communicate with each other, we shared our food with each other and I could express my love for her.  It was hard, like sobbing hard, leaving her.  Worrying about her and wondering how she would do without me.  That's when I realized that I needed her.  I had needed what she taught me.  I had grown a lot by knowing her.  I had been exposed to a different culture, I gained a greater appreciation for what I had as an American, I had learned not to be judgmental and accepting of others that weren't just like myself.

Over the years I've learned how to make some wonderful and yummy things, but even greater than that, are the things I've been exposed to and learned from my friends around the world.  I consider myself very grateful and blessed today. Can't wait to report how my cooking goes.  :)

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