I hope everyone had nice celebrations to ring in the New Year! We enjoyed a roaring bonfire and watched fireworks around the lake at our friends' place we are staying. Some of us prayed together as it drew nearer to midnight, and then we all went in to watch the ball drop. It was a very sweet time together. I tried to get some pictures with Tim's phone because Nicole's camera needed to be charged, but most of them didn't come out so well. Here are a few half-way decent ones:
Today we trekked over to Tampa to spend time with the 2 couples we went to Switzerland with this past summer, along with their families and 2 of the young women we met over in Switzerland. The young women have been here in the states for a couple of weeks and will be heading home on Monday. It was really great to see them again and spend time with them. They are LOVING the Florida weather, which I heartily agree with!! The Swiss have a traditional meal using a special type of cheese called Raclette cooked on a special grill called a Raclette grill. You take cooked small yellow or white potatoes and smash them on your plate, and then each person takes a piece of Raclette cheese and puts in on their own personal pan, sprinkles Raclette spice on it (which we think is mostly Paprika) and places it on the first level of the grill. On the 2nd level which is the top of the grill you place bacon, and once the cheese is bubbly and the bacon is cooked, you put it over the potatoes. They also serve canned pears and then usually pickled things (like olives and pickles and onions) are also served. One of the couples purchased a Raclette grill when we arrived back in the states this summer, so we used it today. The only difference is that we didn't use Raclette cheese because it is SO expensive here. We used Mozarella, Jalsburg, Monterey Jack, Baby Swiss, and I think one other type. The ladies said they had never had any other cheese with their Raclette grills in Switzerland other than Raclette, so I guess you could say we did it American style (those silly Americans!). :-) It was a lot of fun! Here is a picture of the 2 Swiss girls and myself getting ready to enjoy the Raclette party:
After the Raclette party, the 2 couples and Tim and I were able to sit down for a little bit and enjoy just being together again. They are the kind of people who ask the probing questions because they really want to know you and be with you. It was so great experiencing community with them. My soul felt so satisfied as we left there. It's just the thing we want to offer other families, and confirmed once again in my heart that longing and desire and need! I like New Years' days, because they represent fresh starts and hold promise and hope. Speaking of hope, I hope everyone is enjoying hope in this New Year. :-) Blessings to all!
Tim & Jodie