Half of my colleagues are men, the other half are women. From time to time we women decide that we want to meet after work to have some fun together (we also meet with the men, but that´s another tale), and several times we have ended up in The House in the Woods, cooking together, eating together. Long time readers of my blog might remember that some years ago we met to make spaghetti vongole, then a couple of years ago we made Cuban food using recipes from a cookbook by Cecilia Samartin. Yesterday it was time to meet again.
For the moment a young woman from Ethiopia works in our office, and we invited her to teach us to make Ethiopian food.
There were seven of us last night, and for two full hours we cut vagatables, we cut meat and grinded ut, we cooked, we braised, we made our own cottace cheese from milk, we laughted, we talked and we became more and more hungry.
7 women working for two hours.
That´s 14 hours!
"I am so sorry" our Ethiopian friend said, "that we don´t have more time. This is Ethiopian fast food!"
When the food was ready, before we sat down to eat, our friend changed clothes. "My mother made me this for Christmas. It is all handmade. She also made similar outfits from my husband and for our two year old daughter"
After the meal it was time for the traditional coffee seremony. You remember the traditional Ethiopian coffee seremony from my visit to Ethiopia, don´t you.
Our friend spread a green cover on the wall, to resemble fress grass. On a small table she put out 12 tiny coffee cups, she filled a clay pot with strong Ethipian coffee, she sat down on a low stool, invited us to sit around her in a circle and served us coffee. And popcorn. Ethiopians always eat popcorn with their coffee.
"We are only seven women here, so why do you have 12 cups?"
"A good question. From old times the coffee seremony is a religious riual. The 12 cups are the 12 diciples. The pot is Jesus. The coffee poured from the pot is the tales Jesus told the diciples. When we drink the coffee it is the gospel spread throughout the world"
Coffee will never be the same again.
From now on it will be a word from Jesus.