MERRY CHRISTMAS from the land of
Brazil. It's fun to be back after 5 years away. This is
a beautiful valley, lush and green, with a cool breeze
blowing through a 90 degree temperature. Rains are
falling, which help. Large trees are in bloom with
bright red-orange, yellow and white flowers. Nights are
the rain times.
I arrived November 28th. Left Miami,
November 26, 9:40 p.m., in a 747 (Pan Am) and arrived in
Rio the next morning. Six hours later I was on my way
north in a smaller plane, arriving 8:40 p.m. Darrel and
Joy met me and on to the Missionary Guest House for a
shower and the night. Then, in a small Piper cub (4
seats) we were home in 1-1/2 hours. So good to be here
with the family, even tho Darrel is not quite up to par
from having had hepatitis and then a relapse. Joy and
Jean do everything to make my stay pleasant and
interesting. We go through the markets and in all the
interesting little shops, etc.
Graduation from Seminary (Bible
School) was November 30th, so I was here in time to take
in a recital of Darrel and Jean's piano and voice
students and to hear the choir sing the cantata,
"So Send I You." guests came from every
direction and many hammocks were hung on hooks already
in the walls in front room, dining and bedrooms and
Can you imagine the noise from the
girl's dorm which adjoins Darrel's home? Laughing,
yelling, practicing and all the visiting little ones as
well as trucks and buses and a Pub 1-1/2 blocks away
with a good strong beat!? Oh yes - rain coming down inn
torrents. Every time I woke up I would laugh to myself,
just glad that I was in a nice comfortable bed. I could
always make up sleep -- and I have! Half of the first
night was in a hammock - for fun.
It is pineapple, mango, and cashew
time. I eat 'til my tummy aches - then I rest a day or
two. Mango trees are everywhere and in the States we pay
$1.00 for each mango! My granddaughter, Joy, has
marmoset monkeys that have twin babies. They live in a
tree in the back yard, and daddy monkey does most of the
caring for the twins. They love bananas, mangos,
Parasites abound - but the city has
many improvements. For example: Darrel and Jean are
calling for me to go for a banana split or a hot fudge
Sundae! That's new in the last 5 years! (She doesn't
know that the banana split will be made with candied
banana, prune sauce and ground peanuts; or that the hot
fudge sundae comes with prune sauce _ not hot fudge -
and a fermented cherry! typist)
My best wishes for a wonderful
Christmas and New Year!
in Juazeiro do Norte, 1974
mother, Elizabeth, has been to visit us at least eight
more times. The first time she came she arrived in time
for Christmas, 1974; and actively participated in all we
did. She studied Portuguese, helped with our choir and
music lessons, traveled our rough roads, sang solos in
the churches, played with Joy. She became adept at
sleeping all night in her hammock and always enjoyed a
cup of rich Brazilian coffee for breakfast! She was and
continues to be a vital part of the team.
As I prepared this special Christmas
edition with Mom's painting, I remembered my first
Christmas dinner with the Haworth family. It
was crowned with the ultimate Danish dessert - Red-berry
Pudding with Cream. Elizabeth's mother, Minnie Larsen,
was with us and knew just how to make this Danish
delicacy. She was an excellent cook, had
even cooked for a royal family in Denmark. I have
never had the courage to try it, but here is the recipe.
1 pound raspberries,
strawberries, or blackberries
(Grandma Larsen used
4 cups water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup almond slivers
1 cup whipping cream
Bring berries to boil in water. Simmer
for 5 minutes. Press through a sieve to remove pulp.
Discard seeds. Measure juice and pulp. Add water to make
5 cups. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 2/3 cup
juice from pulp, making thin paste. Pour remaining juice
and pulp into saucepan; boil, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sugar, salt, and cornstarch paste. Stir
vigorously to keep pudding smooth, cook until thickened.
Cool in covered pan 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle with almonds. Pour whipping cream into a small
pitcher. Serve pudding warm or cold, with cream.