First, you have to find a place to put everyone!! :)
Sixteen here around our long dining table with all the leaves in place!
Eight people around the breakfast table with "Lazy Susan" (which just happens to be the style of table the Chinese people are accustomed to!)
Six people here . .
And six people here . . .
Then you decide on a menu. I wanted to serve a combination of food I thought the Chinese might like plus regional dishes that would give them a good taste of the South! I also needed food that was filling and would stretch to feed a crowd!!
My main dish of choice was a huge pot of Brunswick Stew, which is a regional dish that proved to be a very good choice! I also served Grilled Teriyaki chicken thighs, Boiled Shrimp, Sauteed Green Beans, Cabbage sauteed in bacon drippings, Honey-glazed carrots, and good ole southern macaroni and cheese (cooked in crock pots, since my oven was still out of order!). They seemed to like everything but the macaroni and cheese! ;)
Alan had warned me that they like hot and spicy food, so I had bought two bottles of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, which they all sprinkled liberally on everything -- including the macaroni and cheese! ;)
You might enjoy this video of Alan describing the Brunswick Stew and being translated into Chinese!
After giving details and directions about the unfamiliar food, Alan asked everyone to form a big circle and join hands, and then he proceeded to ask God's blessing on our food, on our family, and on our guests. :)
Then, it was time to eat! For the most part, I think our guests enjoyed their American meal . . .
They must have enjoyed the Brunswick Stew, as almost all of it was eaten! Also, the cabbage was a favorite, and one man told me that it tasted just like his mother used to make for him! :)
During the meal, there was plenty of lively dinner conversation at all of the tables! Alan's "brother" saved a seat for me by him, and as soon as I could finish up in the kitchen, I took my seat! He then proceeded to make a speech (all of which was translated) telling us what an honor it was to be sharing a meal with us around our table and how privileged he felt to be included as a "member" of our warm and loving family! It makes me tear up to recall his kind and gracious words!! (I wish I had them on video!!)
Meanwhile, in the other room, our guests were playing a game with the children, teaching them "their number" (based on their place in the family) in Chinese! They also taught them other Chinese words and asked them questions about their life. I think everyone really began to "bond" over dinner! It was a special time!
But the real fun came after dinner!! I can't wait to finish up this series tomorrow, by sharing some neat pictures and awesome videos that were taken later in the evening!! You will surely be blessed!! So, make sure to check back!