Yesterday was election day in Jordan, and it was a national holiday.
Bart had some visitors in town, so we planned a dinner party for some of his colleagues.
First, though, he had to go to work for a few hours, to catch up on some outstanding projects. So, while he worked, I cooked. Shay had a sleepover pal, so the boys were happily engaged all morning, freeing me to get a lot accomplished.
My first clue that something was amiss: I got a call from the sleepover mom, asking if her son could stay awhile longer. It seems an election-related riot had broken out just down the street from her house, a few minutes' drive from us, so she'd been instructed to shut the windows and stay inside. Just when I was talking to her, I got a text message through the Embassy's emergency system, warning about the riot.
Was I worried about rioters down the street? No, I wasn't. Instead, I was worried that my husband wouldn't make it home in time to help with the party. I'm a Big Picture Thinker like that.
He did make it home eventually, and he was able to help out. Of course, not two minutes before the first guests walked in, he was called about some more rioting, this time near the kids' school, so he spent the first half hour of the party tucked away in the kitchen, working the phone.
A new emergency message went out, advising people to stay home for the evening. Too late: we already had about 30 guests, plus their kids, in our house.
I know my mom is going to ask, so here's the menu: salsa, chips and guacamole. Sherise's bean and cheese enchiladas. Jen's "Best Damn Chicken Enchiladas East of (insert your country here)", shredded beef, Mexican rice, black beans, whole wheat tortillas and salad.
There were almost no leftovers. On to dessert, during which we plowed through a double batch of brownies, a dozen cupcakes baked by one of the child guests, a box of fig candies and homemade caramel. Yes, Shannon over at Cyberbones, already well-known for her ability to make ricotta cheese from scratch, shared her caramel recipe with me, and dang if it isn't so good. It all disappeared as well (except for maybe just a couple of pieces I set aside for my breakfast).
So there you have it. As far as I know, all of our guests made it home without running into any rioters. And I've no idea who won the election. But at least soon they'll take down the 30 million-ish election posters that are currently lining the streets of Amman. And caramels are really, really good for breakfast.