Last week, my landlord's wife and I made plans that their family would come to our house for dinner. That day arrived yesterday, and husband and I were very anxious. The people in our area tend to be quite ethnocentric about their food. The most adventurous food the average South Asian eats is food from the other side of the country. Sometimes they enjoy Chinese food, but since China is a neighboring country, that's like an American calling Mexican food "exotic". Now, their food is very tasty, so I don't blame them, but it is humorous to watch their faces grow tense when we ask them over to dinner. We've been here over a year now, and although people show up at all times of the day except meal time, this is the first family to agree to come to our house for dinner. We have seen many times firsthand how word gets around about us white folks. For example, I've met people on the road who already know my husband's name, know where I live, and know how much I pay for rent. Husband and I realized if this dinner was a failure, everyone in town would know it, and we could forget having any future guests over. This is why we were a bit nervous.
Since my landlord's wife is strictly vegetarian, meaning she doesn't eat meat nor eggs, we decided to make vegetable fajitas, rice, refried beans, and ranch potatoes. In the middle of making the tortilla dough, I asked husband if he could call and make sure they remembered they were coming for dinner. I'm glad he called, because the wife had apparently never told our landlord, and they probably wouldn't have shown up! The wife was probably hoping I would forget I ever invited them over. Luckily they did arrive, albeit very apprehensive. We told them this was our own homestate's variation on Mexican food, and we taught them how to roll the food up in the tortillas. Surprise was etched on all of their faces at how much they liked the food. They exclaimed over and over again how delicious it was, and even my landlord's wife, who speaks little English, told me it was "very tasty." I think part of why they liked it so much was because their expectations had been so low that Chini's mutton and oatmeal would've tasted good.
We forgot to take any pictures of our time with them, but since last night was a success, I'm hoping we'll have more opportunities. Do you think they're ready for fried okra yet??