Meal Fit For A King
By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
January 10, 2019
It was a night like when the wise men came to visit Jesus
when two young ladies approached our beach house.
Just by chance, they were walking down the beach and a
conversation started with a polite “Ola” and
“How are you?” Their answer made it obvious
they were not from Mexico, nor were they from the United
It turned out they were from Spain here on a holiday traveling
down the length of Baja and over to the mainland. They were
friendly and wanted to know more about us and our life in
California. In turn, we were curious about their life on
the road, and what they did when they were in Spain.
They had arrived at Posada Conception by bus, and they
were staying at the Hostel, however, being just after Christmas,
the restaurant was closed and they hadn’t eaten for
a couple of days other than snacks they had brought with
The nearest restaurant was two miles walk and it was late
In their home town of Valencia, Spain, the women ran a
restaurant which closed during the winter because it mainly
catered to tourists and the season was over. One of the
women was the owner but they both were cooks as well as
waited on the customers at the restaurant.
The subject turned to food and we asked what their favorite
dish was. One of them said “Pia” or a fish and
rice dish with vegetables like potatoes and onions —
all of which we had at our house only 25 feet away.
We had planned to have dinner guests that evening, however,
they had canceled because of sickness and our plans for
the evening were flexible.
Before we knew it, we asked: “Do you want to make
And the deal was, we could provide all the provisions they
needed, if they made dinner. They jumped at the chance and
within minutes were in our kitchen looking at what they
Since fish is a staple in our house, and we had just been
shopping for potatoes and onions, the rest was simple. Add
garlic and mix in some paprika, salt, pepper to make a rue.
A bottle of California wine was opened and now the kitchen
was filled with the wonderful fragrance of a home-cooked
Nothing was right without music, and it turned out one
of the women was a member of a band which played in her
home town and she had a beautiful voice. She played and
sang like an angel as the flavors mingled on the stove.
When we asked how they celebrate Christmas in Spain, it
was quite different than the version in the United States.
Gifts were not only given on Christmas Day, but several
The biggest giving day is actually Jan. 5 which marks when
the three wisemen came to see Jesus.
That night the wise men visited our house with a blessing
of the greatest dinner possible, provided by people we just
happened to meet on the beach.