Please Pass The…What Do You Call Those…Collards?

Tomato Aspic
(above: my tomato aspic)

Remember the other day when the LDS missionaries came to our house? Well, I really thought that was it, but Saturday night when we came in, I had no more than walked in from the garage when there was a knock on the door, and the same two boys were there.

I said something like that it was nice to see them, but that we weren’t interested in converting…but just before I was going to wish them a good night, I noticed that they were just dripping wet from all the heat and humidity (it’s been something like 95*+ here the last few days).

Well, I couldn’t let them go looking like that. I offered them in to get out of the heat for a while, to come on in, sit on the couch, and I’d serve them some ice water (and I made them some of those chocolate chip cookies too, which they gobbled down). They didn’t want milk, and I knew they couldn’t have ice tea because of the caffeine.

Av walked in – and gosh they were here for the next hour or so. Av’s degree from UVA is in Religious Studies so he can talk to anybody about any religion, and they remembered that we were Jewish so they had a zillion questions and it just kept going & going & going.

And going, until I reminded everybody that it was Shug’s bedtime…

Welllll…..I think the three of them could have talked all night, so I offered them to come back this week and have supper with us.

Y’all, I just tickle myself sometimes. One boy is from Utah and the other is from Washington state, so I thought I would show them how Southern Jews eat.

This is what I served:
Matzoh ball soup
Tomato aspic

Main course–
Sage chicken and sausage
Mashed rutabagas
Collard greens
Deviled eggs
Potato salad
Watermelon pickles
Fried green tomatoes

White chocolate bread pudding

You should have seen their faces!! They had never seen such in all their lives, and I sent them home with great-big plates too.

We all had a good time. I think it’s just a good-natured cultural exchange. They are interested in our religion in the nicest way, and we asked them some questions that were really interesting too (like – what tenets/policies/etc of the LDS church does a person signify that they agree with to become baptized? One of the missionaries had a little book and read probably 12 or 15 questions that they ask someone before they can become a member of the church. Most of them were pretty obvious, but one of them was something like “are you now on probation or parole?” and if you are, you have to wait until you are out of trouble and a community member in good standing before you can join.).

One funny part was when they were telling us that they were at the church today talking to an “investigator” about joining. I said something like “oh, you had a policeman come by? I bet he has some interesting stories to tell.”…and they had to explain to me that an “investigator” was just someone who was “investigating” the church and its beliefs. Not a policeman. Oops!!

Well, anyway! It was nice. The boys spend two years being missionaries, and they send one letter home a week and can only call home twice a year. It has to be terribly lonely being so far away from family but they also expect it to be among the best two years of their lives. I can’t imagine how interesting it must be, just ringing doorbells and meeting people (although I didn’t ask but I’m sure they get a lot of slammed and unanswered doors too).

It was raining tonight and we drove them home. They talked the whole way about supper and how it was the best they had in ages.

Oh – and they just couldn’t figure out what watermelon pickles were! So funny.

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