Monday, September 5, 2011
I belong to a chapter of the Daughters of Isabella at my church. We are a group of ladies who meet monthly and participate in an assortment of activities to promote our faith by example, holding retreats and supporting pro-life activities like the local pregnancy center and supporting those in need in the community through collections and donations to the local food bank and women's shelter. One of our fundraisers is a quarterly bake sale held after each of the four masses. The ladies bake and donate their favorite treats and we sell them to support our work.
Kathy and I volunteer to "man" the table after the 12:30 Spanish mass. It has proved to be both challenging and rewarding as neither of us speak Spanish and many of the adult parishioners do not speak English. Cookies are the biggest seller at this mass and we have had no problems selling easily recognizable sugar or chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies with m&m's. But oatmeal raisin cookies were a challenge. The little ones didn't recognize what they were and the adults didn't appear to understand what oatmeal was. We eventually found a teenager willing to sample one and then explain it to the crowd and they all disappeared!
This weekend, however, Saturday evening I made M&M peanut butter cookies, packaged them up and went to sleep. However, in the middle of the night I realized my mistake. OMG!!! I made PEANUT BUTTER cookies that look like chocolate M&Ms! What if one of the little ones was allergic to peanut butter!
When my kids were little their school had "Peanut butter Days" and "NO Peanut butter Days". Because several kids in the school were highly allergic to peanut butter and couldn't even be in the room with it, we were only allowed to send PBJs or peanut butter cookies on certain days of the week.... the allergic kids would sit with a teacher in a separate room on "Peanut butter days" and be able to eat and socialize with everyone else on "NO Peanut butter Days". It was a great compromise to keep everyone healthy and happy.
With this in mind, I am now in a panic. I couldn't get in touch with either of the two bi-lingual people I know... and I didn't have time to bake an alternative... What to do? What to do?
I could hope that someone bi-lingual will come by and translate for me but I couldn't count on that.
I know... I'll bring my jar of peanut butter with me and point to it and the cookies and pray they understand.
Ok, I had a plan. So we set up our table and displayed our goods and waited for mass to end and the little ones to come. Luckily, while we were waiting an adult came by who spoke SOME English and although I don't think he got my concern over allergies, he did help us translate.
So here I sit at the table... peanut butter cookies... and my bottle of peanut butter just in case... and parents and little ones come up with their change to buy cookies.
I point to the cookies and say "Bo te ya de caca watay" in the closest phonetic approximation of what the gentleman told me.
I point to the jar of peanut butter and point to the cookies... shake my head ... not cocoa..not chocolate... bo te ya de caca watay... and point back and forth between the cookies and the jar of peanut butter.
The kids look at me and smile they look at mom or dad standing behind them who in turn look at me and smile then shake their head yes they understand and they buy the cookies.
I'm going through this routine what seems like a hundred times and I'm down to the last package or two of cookies when this young mom comes up with her little ones. Once more, I go through my routine... and they buy the cookies.
But before she turns away and leaves... the mom smiles and says to me ... in perfect English.. You know... you only have to say "caca watay" which is peanut butter.
The rest... what I've been telling everyone... is bottle of peanut butter.
LOL! No wonder they were all looking at me smiling... They must have thought I was loco telling them about my bottle of peanut butter!