Friday, December 05, 2008

Today At Parroquia San Cristóbal

It's a busy time around here. I officiated at a funeral at 10:00 am, then met with the Choir director around 11:30 am to discuss everything coming up and Sunday's music (it's Mother's Day, a REALLY BIG DEAL. It's a national holiday and everything. Well Monday is Mother's Day but we celebrate it as a parish on Sunday with a single, bilingual service). Then I rehearsed the gradual I put together for Sunday with the Choir.

Those who have been paying attention over the years know that Parroquia San Cristóbal holds classes to teach folks in the neighborhood employable skills. We had a cake decoration class in October, and then a class entitled Cocina Gourmet Especial de Navidad, or Special Gourmet Cooking for Christmas. It started as a class on making special hors-devours for Christmas but got really fancy really fast. The instructor, Reynaldo Beckford, has been working with me and Dolores Scotland, Elfrida Beckford, and Keith Green on a new, bilingual cookbook. I like Reynaldo because he only uses fresh ingredients and insists on it with his students. But I digress. . . Both classes had their graduations today, which is always a lot of fun. I get to do the Invocation and bless the food, hand out a few certificates (I must of signed some twenty-five certificates yesterday!) and then eat.

One of my ideas and dreams has been to remodel the former rectory to make the space more useful for our classes. Reynaldo and I want to put in a serious teaching kitchen and we want to use the place for Special Events, such as all those dang Prayer Breakfasts that are always happening down the street at the Waikiki. I've always thought that our students could cater such affairs and put their education to good use. Well, today they all surprised me. Instead of the usual lunch of pollo y comida, the class served a four-course meal, and it was very impressive! Actually, I couldn't stay for the entire thing, but I got photos of the stuff I was able to taste. They did an excellent job, and I am really proud of them Yes, we CAN cater an event.

So, here are photos of the graduation and some of the food the graduates prepared and served us!

Orders from the Chef

Some of the cakes

The Graduates

Some Speakers (no graduations without blahblahblahblah, right?)
Marquel Jaén, on behalf of the students

Elfrida Beckford, an instructor and co-chair of the Coordinanción de Capacitación y Desarrollo de la Iglesia Episcopal San Cristóbal

Reynaldo Beckford, Instructor

Sarah Williams, instructor of the Cake Decorating class

Some folks receiving certificados
Flor de Monte Jaén (what a great name!)

Marilú Pinzón

Alfred (Tom) Lowe, who was also an instructor

Theresa Brathwaite, who helps instruct, too

Gloria Elana Vila

Elfrida, Sarah, and Theresa

Roberto Lou, who introduced each course

Students giving Reynaldo a gift

A little girl who came to watch her abuela

The Food

Sopa de Crema de Zapallo y Zanahoria (Cream of Pumpkin and Carrot Soup. It was delicious and had clams in it!)

Croqueta de Papa and a Buffalo Wing

Las Ensaladas: Curried Chicken salad, Carrots with Apples salad, and Tuna with Pears salad, plus some kind of pumpkin puree

Arroz con Betabel, Arroz con Pollo, Suprema de Pollo a la King Hasselback

Arroz con Pasas y Almendras (rice with raisins and almonds) Pechuga de Pollo con Salsa de Sidra (Chicken Breast with Cider Sauce)

Not Shown: Pescado con Salsa de Sirena, Niño Envuelto, Canelones y Pasta al Oleo con Eneldo, Tartaletas de Limón, Tarta de Zapallo, y Dulces

Working in the kitchen


Leonard said...

Oh good...wonderful stuff to eat...Juan Carlos was looking over my shoulder and said that some of it seemed ¨Arabian¨...who knew? I´ve been plotting a dinner for New Years Eve (I don´t want to go to a boring affair where all the local ¨think they are hotshots¨ attend and bore one another)...I want to use your catering service but the delivery problem may not work out...maybe I´ll just borrow a couple of recipe ideas instead.

Viva Panama! Viva Mama´s de Panama! Happy Everything and Congratulations on the Cooking Class!

Doorman-Priest said...

Wow! You guys really know how to party.

I See You!

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