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Published: April 20th 2008
Today Ama and I spent from 10:30 am- 3pm cooking at the summer pizza kitchen at Kala-Trappi (my rotary restaurant). Ama had brought an ENTIRE suitcase full of tortillas, cans of whole green chilies, red chilie powder, green chili powder, guac, and lots of herbs. As she cooked I was her sue chef, running outside in the crazy blizzard to the main restaurant and getting whatever she needed! They provided us with all the meat, vegetables and cheese we needed! We had fabulous tunes blasting from my ipod all day and had a LOT of fun dancing and coooking, and testing things and tasteing things and laughing, and having a jolly good time. Ilkka, the chef at Kala-trappi was there to get us anything we needed, and I had a lot of fun discribing what I needed in finnish when I didnt know the exact name! Magnus, Ilkka's sue chef was also there. Ilkka got Heikki's (the restaurant owner) son, Eero to help us translate, and he spoke beautiful english so he helped us out a bunch! I cut all the green chilies, then Eero and this other sue chef taught me how to use a squash cutting and a tomato
cutting machine! (it made work a LOT faster!). We had refrietos boiling in a pot all day, pasole in another pot, and chilie con carne in ANOTHER pot...THEN we had a big bowl of onions (hanna aiti had cut the day before!), one of tomatoes, green chilies, cheese, guacomole, chicken (that ama had cooked on the huge stove thing, using what looked like a shovel), and sauteed zucchini, which we made into an assembly line and used the pizza trays form the kitchen as huge plates for the quesadillas! Eero was first putting the quac and chicken, then I did the onions and tomatos, then Ama did the zucchini, chilie and cheese! It was REALLY fast work, and within fifteen minutes we had over 25 HUGE quesidillas in three big stacks! After that Ilkka and Magnus came in and helped us taste test everything, saying we need more salt, or thats great the way it is! Ama and I hurried home then and got all showered and changed for the New Mexico Evening!!! We got back at 4:15ish (it started at 4:30) and when we walked in Leena, and Emma were already there! Ama and I found our seats (at
my usual table next to Heikki and the "rotary government"'s table), then Ama went around meeting everyone as they came in, and as I introduced all my host families! As she was doing fine by herself I ran down stairs and out back to the kitchen where I found Eero baking the quesidills in the pizza ovens! It was amazingly fast work, so as he got them out I cut them and ran them up the stairs to the main kitchen, then after half were up there Ilkka said I had to go back in and make some speeches so he would take over for me! As I walked back in I couldnt believe how many people were there! All my four of my host families were there (with the exception of Erkki who was sick, and Muppe who came later after practice), many of my rotary men, Jana and Eric (from germany) and Sylvia (from canada) then Maiju, Henri, Aikka, and Anssi came in and gave big hugs to Ama. It was the best! Ama gave a short speech while Ossi (my counsler) translated for the older rotarians who speak german not english, then I gave a speech, then
lappa our vice president gave a speech, then the food was served!!! As we were eating there was a slide show of "New Mexico Pictures" going on the display screen in the back, including anything from the balloon fiesta and the bosque, to my neighbors sheep and chili peeling parties in Elisa's back yard! What a night!
OK SO NOW THIS BELOW IS WHAT AMA WROTE ABOUT THE NIGHT! (woo hoo...now im featuring ama in my blog!😊 )
After Stephie arrived bearing her home made pulla, peanut butter, jam and tea from her Host Home and I had breakfasted, we left the B & B where I was staying till Wed. AM. We walked across the little park and over to "Kala Trappi" to go to work. I told her I thought I was gonna mostly point, but instead we did most of the work ourselves. It was GREAT FUN!!! Ilkka, the chef, had the beef, pork and chicken already prepared for cooking. I just made the beef smaller. We listend to music, sang, danced some jigs, got it all done in about 4 hours. We prepared posole, chili con carne, refritos and quesedillas with guacamole, chicken, green
chili, zucchini, onions and a local cheese. We had 60 guests and the dinner was a huge success.
I've met all her host families, including another couple named Tom and Hanna who she will be with in about a week and a half.
She also had about ten of her friends there. The VP honored us both (-gifts for me--a book, a Muumy doll and a bottle of wine from Heikki, the owner of this "best in Naantali" restaurant).
The gentleman (Lappa our VP) who did the presenting said, "We've had exchange students for 60 years and Stephanie is, without a doubt, the very, very best!" What a statement! How true it is! I was totally bursting with pride. She is so universally loved by young and old alike.
The men all stood and serenaded the two of us. Steph will translate for me, but she said they sang about how beautiful and wonbderful we are. It was rather heady stuff.
I made a short presentation describing the food, made several statements about the wonderful host families and Naantali. Stephanie spoke for a few minutes in a very confident assured and charming manner.
had a slide show set up--about Corrales.
Eero, Heikki's son, helped us assemble the 28-2 tortilla quesedillas. Ilkka took care of all the serving process and Eero baked the quesedillas.
Ossi, who picked me up at the airport, did the translating for the few men that don't speak English.
As far as I'm concerned,it was beyond a success. You would have been proud of us. 😊
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