I can’t believe it’s already a year since our family visited India as urban homestead ambassadors.  It was truly an amazing trip, made even more special by the fact that we got to stay with wonderful families. (read our India adventures)

On Sunday, one of the families we stayed with in Udaipur was visiting relatives here in So Cal and we were able to return the hospitality.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t give them the wonderful Cal sunshine as  it was dreary and rainy all day.

We were surprised by Manish Jain’s phone call informing us that his family and in-laws were in town and would like to visit us.  Not expecting visitors ( and SEVEN to be exact) and, with such short notice, I panicked!  Oh dear, there’s no food in the house!  Well, there is food, just not prepared.

Lucky for us, we had some fresh food and fruit on hand.  Farmer Sergio had brought us boxes of jujubes and so we whipped up a jujube rice pudding that was delicious and received good reviews from our visitors.   Pulling from the pantry, I brought out some of the jalapeno jelly to slather on crackers. That jalapeno jelly knocked their socks off!

I was worried, knowing how much food and hospitality mean (aka Monsoon Wedding) in their culture.   Happy to report, we pulled off a pretty decent spread in the nick of time.

Over food, the conversation was lively and sometimes serious.  We caught up on the latest Bollywood movies,especially the one  (Peepli Live)  which deals with the horrific epidemic “farmer suicides” (thanks to the likes of Monsanto) and the anti GMO protests.  Also, brought up was the new  “Feed the Future Initiative” – a partnership between the US Government, Monsanto and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Have you ever been surprised by drop-in visitors?

What’s your favorite “go-to” dish or food?


  1. Jerusha says:

    “No food in the house” made me laugh! The jalapeno jelly sounds good. I’ll have to try that next year. Is it better than red pepper jelly?
    And I have to say I love the skirts you girls are wearing the picture!
    A little off topic, but I was wondering if you have a list of the edible flowers you grow. I live on half an acre and am currently designing all the flowers to be edible.

  2. mama lieveheersbeestje says:

    Hi Anais! I have to say that I sometimes can feel the same way when suddenly people come over and stay for dinner! But I make than an indonesian dish, something that everybody likes to eat; nasi goreng. You can find the recepy on the internet. Overhere in the Netherlands we eat a lot of indonesian food as a long time ago Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands and lots of people from overthere came to live overhere. So, nasi goreng is as normal to us as dutch food (wich is not so spectacular..).
    Nasi is originaly made from the leftover rice and meat or chicken from the day before and in Indonesia eaten as breakfast. But I make it as dinner and we all love it. It is easy and does not take long, as only you have the right ingredients stored. In fact you can make your own twits on it. You can serve it with all kind of things, salads, banana, saté, kroepoek, fried unions…see what you can find on the internet, here are some recepy-sites;

    • Anais says:

      @mama lieveheersbeestje: Thanks for sharing, sounds YUMMY!

  3. Jogesh Yogi says:

    Anais, much kudos to you and your family to have pulled off entertaining these spontaneous guests in a short notice. Allow me to give you a background about the Indian culture relevant to the topic of your blog. In India, people almost always dropped by unannounced at a friend or relative’s place. Usually such unannounced dropping by guests are treated with light culinary hospitality such as crackers and/or fried snacks and tea and if possible some sweets from a nearby store. However, these days things have changed quite a bit as Indian people are heavily getting used to the telephone culture in India. They give you a whole couple of hours of notice before dropping by. LOL. What I am surprised is that someone who has lived here for quite sometime would not let you know at least a week in advance before dropping by with seven people. In any case, you guys seem to have done a commendable job hosting!

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