Friday, September 11, 2009
Global Tastes in a Small Town
Last night I had a seat with a view at a cute little community dinner that benefitted the Galilee Centre. This "Global Taste Tour" celebrated diversity and was complete with passports, cultural decor, music and opportunities to learn.
With passport in hand, I visited each table to sample food from: Atlantic Canada, USA, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Scotland, England, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, India, Cambodia, Taiwan and Japan!
This diverse buffet was prepared by local cooks, and the evening was hosted and served by lively volunteers. Culinary highlights for me included the Nicaraguan beans, rice & cilantro dish, Peruvian sangria and British "Eccles" cakes for dessert.
Galilee has always hosted events, but this worldly evening was most likely the influence of the new coordinator of spiritual services, Father Jack Lau. Previous to joining Galilee, Father Jack attended the Culinary Institute of America, worked as a Yoga Teacher and lived in an ashram in India for nine months. Father Jack also shared his recipe for Sooji ka Halwa, an Indian birthday cake made from sugar, nuts, raisins and spice. He is seen here with my pal Yesim who represented Turkish cuisine.
In my global tour that night, I learned that the secret to a good sangria is cream soda, you can make jello from coconut milk, and that there will be more interesting events like this at Galilee in the future.
After some tea, I walked around the grounds of the centre, and I noticed that there is a community gardening project going on there, where everything from cucumbers to peas, sunflowers,zinnias and herbs grow.
It was a beautiful night and I marked it in my memory as a great place to pull up a chair and enjoy the sunset and beautiful, natural surroundings.
It was all very....spiritual. I will leave you with a quote from a Somali proverb that was on the literature of the evening:
"War iyo la cuno, baa lagu nool yahay"
Communication and food are things that one lives by.