We've seen lots of family and friends in the past three days, have successfully avoided Wal-Mart, and have played with and exercised our poor dog so much that she could barely walk last night. Oops.
To make amends for our 5-month absence and our subsequent over zealous play time, we ventured into our first super-store. The excess of Wal-Mart was just too much to handle quite yet, so we went to PetSmart. What?? Oh well. Reyah loved it, and we managed to avoid overwhelming distress while viewing the aisles of gourmet cookies (for dogs) and other unnecessary retail goodies and were thankful to be in an environment that over all promoted a love for animals.
Reyah behaved well and didn't even throw a tantrum when we told her she couldn't have the brand new toy ball with legs she selected. She'll have to suffer through with the one she already has. What a good all American pup.
Geoff and I decided to prepare our traditional Sabbath meal of lentil soup, bread and wine to share with my folks tonight. About the time I had the ingredients gathered, I realized that this was a pretty basic meal to serve to guests in this Stateside context. In Ecuador, we looked forward to this meal as our finest meal of the week. As I stood in my parents kitchen preparing the soup a few moments ago, I realized just how sparse it appeared in this land of endless ingredients. Nonetheless - it's what's for dinner! My dad is consoled by the knowledge of Bluebell waiting for him in the freezer.
To add a little flair, Geoff and I decided to make our very own Challah bread for the meal tonight! Challah bread is the traditional bread eaten on the Sabbath. Two of these braided loaves are served at each meal of Shabbat, with 6 strands braided in each loaf representing the total 12 tribes of Israel. These double loaves also commemorate the manna that fell from heaven, especially the "double portion" that fell the day before Shabbat.
I just learned all that. All I knew before was that Challah bread smells incredible, looks beautiful, and was widely available on Friday afternoons in areas of Jewish population. We also had no idea how to make it, so had an interesting time trying to figure all that out.