A 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 States.

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 them.

The nearest restaurant was two miles walk and it was late afternoon.

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 a deal?”

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 could use.

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 meal.

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 days afterward.

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.


SHOPPING FOR NEW CUSTOMERS?
ADVERTISE HERE!
Call (209) 383-0433
or (209) 358-5311

© 2019 Merced County Times. All Rights Reserved. Powered by  Imedia West