What happens when you invite 2 Americans and a Syrian over to the house of a Turk and a Syrian for a French meal?
A whole lot of fun. A friend of Hary and his wife invited us all over to their house for raclette last night. Now if you don't know raclette (as I didn't) it is kind of like fondue meets a Japanese grill experience. There is a machine, which looks about like this:
You can grill little pieces of cut up meat on top (we had chicken, beef and little kebab/sausage patties) and then you place thick slices of the raclette cheese on the little paddles underneath. There is a boiler over the cheese that transforms it into melted goodness. After a few minutes you pull out the cheese and pour it over whatever else you are eating. We also had potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts (!), mushroom sauce, some kind of spiced up salad, and bulgur with vermicelli. And lots of it.
The couple was there, along with her father, two of her brothers, their two children and some random friend who stopped by. All of the family mixed with the overflowing food gave the evening a very Thanksgiving-ish feel. This also could be because I was sat next to the host who felt the need to dump cheese and potatoes on my plate at will. It's just a good thing that none of the food had tryptophan in it or I would have been out for days.
Between the 9 adults there were probably 10 languages...most of which I can only muster up a few phrases in. (A fun aside: even though they are from different countries the family (and Hary too) are all Syriac and speak Aramaic--you know, like Jesus!) Anyway, language wasn't a problem and one of the brothers made sure there was a translator so he could tell a bunch of slightly off color jokes...half of which he forgot the punch line to. He did bring me to tears on one that involved Michael Jackson and Barack Obama...but I think you just had to be there for that one.
And then, because no evening would be complete without it, one of the brothers, who was sitting across the table, was offered to me to marry. Awkward!
After dinner tea, brownies and Syrian cookies were brought out. And then, when we were quiet for a second she asked if we wanted ice cream. No!!
Overall it was a great evening.
And I am still full.