Ethiopian Dinner

Here’s how great of a neighbor I am.  We’ve lived next door to our neighbors five years, and just over the last 6 months have I really even talked to them.  A few years ago, they had a party one night at their house where there were a ton of people outside and they were singing in a different language.  At that point, I had no clue what was going on and was peeking through my windows spying on the party.  I tell you, great neighbor!

They had a baby 6 months ago, so I took them a meal when they got home from the hospital.  That day, I went into their house twice, went in their bedroom to see the baby, and was invited to stay to eat the meal with them.  They are pretty much the nicest people you’ll ever meet!

And then I haven’t really seen them over the last 6 months.  I get it.  They have a new baby and have been busy.  I have a nutso life and have been busy.  Our paths haven’t crossed much.

But earlier this week, the kids and I had just come home at the end of the day, and the neighbor lady was out front.  She immediately started talking to my kids and remembered their names.  (Oh, by the way!  She also came over a few months ago to give Caleb a skateboard.  I tell you, they are great!)  We said hi and she invited us to dinner on Saturday night.  Being an introvert, I immediately wanted to make up an excuse of why we couldn’t come so I could stay home and wouldn’t have to make small talk.  (I’m horrible!)  But I resisted that urge and said we’d be there!

This morning, I texted her to see if I could bring anything, but she said she had it all taken care of!  So then I wrestled with what I could take to my sweet neighbors who were making dinner for us.  I finally just decided I would take her flowers.

So, at 5:00, the Carroll’s walked next door for dinner with our neighbors!  All five of us with our flowers in tow!  When we went in the door, we exchanged hugs and handshakes.  And I even got a hug from the mother of my friend who is staying with them for a while!

These neighbors are from Ethiopia, and when I talked to the husband months ago, he said they would have to have us over for an authentic Ethiopian meal.  Dinner was awesome!

photo 1


There were two kinds of bread (I’m sorry I can’t remember the names of everything!), a chicken and egg dish that they make in Ethiopia all the time, salad, collared greens, a beef dish and cabbage that had yellow mustard in it.    Everything was absolutely delicious!

During dinner, they showed us items they had on display in their dining room from Ethiopia.  Pots used to make coffee, dishes used to cook food, bowls hanging on the wall that you would eat snacks out of.  It was great!  Their dining room table was a round piece of glass, and in the middle part were rocks and coins from all of the world.  We found out that our neighbor was in the US military, traveled all over the world, and the items in the dining room table were from all of his trips!  Very cool!

After dinner, we were served coffee in an authentic Ethiopian coffee pot and in small cups (they drink coffee in tiny cups) that had a picture of the Ethiopian flag on the side.

photo 2


At one point, I got brave enough to ask them what the party was for that they had a few years ago with all the singing.  He said it was a practice for their wedding.  He said Ethiopian weddings take a ton of time to plan and involve a ton of people.  So that night, they had a bunch of people over to practice, and that’s what I had been spying on.  I didn’t tell him about my spying.  We can laugh about that some other time!

It was such a neat night, and I’m so glad we got to spend some time with our neighbors and learn more about them!

I sure won’t be letting another 5 years go by without talking to them!  Or even another 6 months!

Now I’m planning on when we can have them over for dinner and thinking about what in the world we could possibly serve them that would be as cool as tonight’s dinner was!

All ideas are welcomed!

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