Upon arriving, I learned that Shiru had spent the entire day cooking, starting with soaking beans the previous night. She presented us with a gorgeous spread of fresh githeri, a traditional Kenyan dish of corn, beans, vegetables, and bacon, served with jasmine rice and cooked kale.
After her husband blessed the meal, we served ourselves and sat together around their living room. As everyone went back for seconds and exclaimed over how much food (and how delicious) it was, Shiru explained, “My mother taught me that if the food runs out, I was a bad hostess. That means I let someone go hungry.”
I loved gaining this particular insight into her background. I, on the other hand, grew up with the notion that if there are no leftovers, your event was a success because it meant that everyone loved the food. I realize that both philosophies are equally acceptable, but in fact, leftovers can be an additional bonus for both the hosts and guests, which proved true that very night: she sent Mr. O&O home with leftovers for his lunch the next day, which he greatly appreciated, and she still had leftovers for her own lunch!