When it comes to food and eating for the full-time missionaries, it is either “Feast or Famine!” (pun intended). The topic of food comes up frequently in letters home from many missionaries. What follows are a few excerpts from Gretchen’s e-mails over the past few months wherein food and eating are referenced. As you will soon tell, Gretchen is not starving on her mission.
We have also posted a few of her “food pictures” as well!
“Have a great Thanksgiving this week! We do have a dinner appointment, but I doubt it will be anything too Thanksgiving-y. But at Zone Conference yesterday, they did make us a spectacular turkey dinner with all the fixin's, so that's good enough for me.” [A reminder that Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated earlier in the year]
“A church member took us out for an all-you-can-eat shrimp with his family. Phil, you would have been in heaven. There was lemon, garlic, Cajun, and battered and I think my total count ended up being 36 shrimp!”
“Thursday night we had a very enjoyable dinner with a couple from the ward. The husband absolutely loves to cook, so we had an amazing meal. (Pork Parmesan, vegetables with a dijon mustard sauce, fettuccine alfredo, and tapioca for dessert.) I taught a brief lesson on Elder Bednar's talk about consistency and then we chatted for a while.”
“On Tuesday we ate lunch with a couple that reminded me so much of Grandma Teedie and Granddaddy Vic that I had to remind myself I was in Canada and not in Utah. They're both French and completely delightful. He's a fantastic artist and she is very proper and an excellent cook. The husband tries to talk to me in French at church and even calls me ‘his little French Frog.’"
“We visited a ward member that wanted to give us some homemade apple juice.”
“We ate dinner with a family whose daughter is getting baptized in a river in Alberta this week. Her parents wanted to do a special presentation with the missionaries and we were happy to oblige, especially since we got food. Every Sunday they make nachos, which I think is an awesome tradition.”
“Tell Granddaddy Bob that if he wants real peaches, he's got to try some from the Okanogan Valley someday.”
“Everyone insists on serving us dessert, which we unfortunately can't decline without looking ungrateful. Ha!”
“Earlier today we ate brunch with some ward members. After an amazing breakfast (we never get real breakfast food), we taught them the 3rd lesson and it went pretty well--we're getting better at identifying what we need to improve on.”
“One church member had us over for dinner last Tuesday with one of her friends. The food was incredible--we had grilled shish-kabobs with sirloin and shrimp and vegetables. There was corn-on-the-cob and homemade chocolate cake and potato salad the way I like it. The absolute best part, though, was the grilled curry lamp chops--gourmet spices and the meat just melted in your mouth. Words can't describe it--probably one of the best things I have eaten in my entire life. So the upside of summer is that everyone does barbecue for dinner and the downside is that everyone else is out of town.”
“After emailing you last week, the elders were all going off to play soccer and my companion and I went to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. It wasn't very large, but had some great pieces there. There's a famous Canadian artist named Emily Carr, so they had a whole exhibit of her stuff. Dad, I think you'd really like her work. We ate dinner with a fun family in the area. We made individual vegetarian pizzas on tortillas and they were very good.”
"Today, however, isn't quite that interesting. We did take a walk down by Elk Lake and then after that, we came home and ate organic cereal with organic soy milk and I'm pretty sure that those two things make us official Islanders."
"Ah, poutine! I don't know why I've gone so long without trying this Canadian delicacy. For the uninformed, poutine is french fries with cheese curds and gravy poured on top, so the cheese curds get all melty and the gravy makes the fries all beautifully salty. Pretty much the most unhealthy thing ever, but that's Canadian junk food for ya. Also, it's AWESOME."