Although technically the SAF event is on this weekend coming up (6-8 May) I hosted one at my house a week early so that Sarah could come – a community friend of mine who will be helping to prepare and serve food to guests this Friday.

I saw Sarah Wednesday and she asked “ooh, is there any chance I could try hangi?”, hmm… once I explained about digging the pit, huge bonfire, volcanic rock etc. it quickly became clear that it wasn’t going to be viable to pull together on short notice but we went with the NZ theme and had NZ cheeses & chutney, kumara & camembert cakes for an entree and salmon for a main with chocolate brownie for dessert (made with Whittakers naturally) and yoghurt flavoured with fijoa and manuka honey to take the edge off… just a little bit fancy!  Complemented by thyme and chillies from our garden – I had been shamefully neglecting my lawn but on the flipside we have three chilli plants! I’m sure if I had known they were there and tried to tend or water them they would have died off early… so procrastination is sometimes rewarded!

Sarah’s daughter Bella had us all drawing and, I will confess, no one resisted terribly hard – it was fun to have an excuse to be creative whether by our own inspiration or Bella’s firm requests! 🙂  Although everyone had pretty much met before, it was great to bring everyone into the room together and have some intentional time to get to know one another better.  From Lyn and Lyds fighting it out over who could go more chillies (those babies are HOT!), to laughing over my serving two types of potatoes with Aly who is Irish and thinks you can never have too many – it was a really fun night.

I guess the aim of these events is about stretching ourselves beyond the circle of who we know and who is familiar and reaching out beyond that circle.  Someone told me yesterday that English is one of the only languages that has the word “perfect” and its surrounding definitions of being very difficult to achieve.  The next closest word in other languages is “whole” – I think there’s something in that… remember, strangers are fiction…