The idea of hosting a valentine couple’s dinner did not only present an opportunity for us to have the honor of being surrounded by some incredible couples but I had the joy of experiencing the heart-warming gesture from the love of my life in celebration of the season of love.
Well hear me out, this man has gone out of his way to prove his love to me however; what makes the valentine dinner special was the fact that that I had the pleasure to return the favor of giving my support to a man who stands by me daily in my pursuit of living a purposeful life.
Now, lest I get carried away into the mode of showering accolades to my sweet heart, let me get back to the subject of the dinner because there is just too much to share. We invited three couples to join us in this celebration of love and it was so fascinating.
These are couples with great marriage testimonies. They are regular people walking this journey of marriage with God in the center of their lives. They give us strength when we see them plowing through the challenges life and marriages presents but still focusing on the big picture – the reason God brought them together!
I have to admit that planning out the menu was not a simple task because we were caught between the decisions to select recipes from the current cookbook “West African Perspective – Volume 1” and the desire to give a sneak peak of recipes in the upcoming volume 2 cookbook. Decisions can be hard especially if it involves other people but for us, we made it possible by agreeing on a menu that is different from our current collection.
What better way to feature some of the upcoming recipes in volume 2 cookbook and get our viewers, followers and supporters waiting in anticipation for the publication and launching of it. Settling with “Tropical” theme made it much easier for us because we are very comfortable with seafood recipes and have a good eye for fresh tropical fruits and vegetables.
The menu indeed left our guests speechless and for you reader, get ready to drool and crave - here we go: For the appetizer, we featured our ‘all-time favorite’ – seafood soup. This soup is a popular recipe in our home menu however; for this special occasion, we added an international flare with the addition of some oriental spices and vegetables.
Then came the main course – baked Salmon seasoned to taste and complimented with Mango salsa, cabbage veggie side and Quinoa salad. The dessert – Tropical Fruit Salad is a featured recipe in the volume 1 cookbook however; the addition of three new tropical fruits (jack fruit, soursop and star fruit) gave it a lift. And finally, the refreshing Tropical Fresh Fruit Juice - a blend of mandarins, oranges and pineapples home made without any additions.
We had a memorable night of fellowship and ambiance but the highlight of the evening was the “talk time” when we got to hear about each couple’s account of God’s grace in their marriage. There was definitely a lot of take- aways but the most ‘handy-dandy’ tips were those on the subjects of handling conflict, managing cultural differences, effective communication, emotional support and much more.
The evening ended with new knowledge to add to our tool kits. The greatest benefit of surrounding ourselves with other couples who are walking the journey of marriage was the encouragement each of us received. We were once again reminded that marriage is an institution which requires the continuous quest for God’s wisdom, faith, knowledge and balance in order to experience victory.