Dinner at Susie’s

I had dinner at my friend Susie’s last week.  What is the significance of this, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you.

Sometimes I feel like I was meant to make this film.  There have been many, many magical moments when things fly out of the universe towards me in a way that make me stand back in awe.  An example of this would be my friend Susie’s latest revelation.

The film, as you may know, is based on a Galician poem.  So I’ve been trying to incorporate Galician elements, here and there.   Until reading the poems from the book Little Theatres I had never even heard of Galicia before.  So I don’t know much about the culture, other than the brief glimpses given in Little Theatres.  Susie heard about this important aspect of the film — its language — and suddenly came out with the fact that she herself is Galician, even though all along she has been saying that she’s Spanish.  As far as I had always known, she spoke Spanish, and grew up there… but all this time she had sneakily been born in Galicia and not told me.  Or “Galithia,” as she pronounces it.

So, we were both thrilled at this discovery — she at the fact that I’m making a film in her parents’ native tongue, and I at the fact that she still visits there, and brings back beautiful Galician ceramic artwork and craftspieces.  Last week she offered to cook me a (semi-)traditional meal, introduce me to her kids (whom I’d never met before) and show me her lovely ceramics.

The relevance of this dinner, and the ceramic pottery, to the film will become apparent soon.  I will (later this week) show pictures of my dining room set, which is looking smashing, if I do say so myself.  More pictures from Dinner at Susie’s behind the cut…

This is Ben, Susie’s husband, in his TFC shirt.  (TFC is Toronto’s new and not-so-great soccer team…)  He’d be a fan no matter how bad they sucked.  He likes his footie.

This shot was taken by Molly, who’s Ben and Susie’s youngest.  She wanted so badly to take some pictures, and I was hesitant as I’m taking all the photos on this blog with the camera I’m going to shoot my film with — my precious Canon EOS Mark III.  Molly is 6 and very insistent, so we compromised — I held the camera while she directed it and pressed the button.  I think this shot is just brilliant!  She managed to squeeze in her mom and sister Annie, plus our mutual friend Alli (who’s been sewing all the puppet costumes!) along with some fridge portraits and artwork.

Here are 3 of their 4 kids — Molly, who doesn’t like wearing clothes, Annie the artist, and Jack, who stayed up late with his Dad watching the US presidential debate, and gave me a big hug when it was bedtime.  And that’s Snowball in the background.  Emily is the oldest, and stayed in her room doing teenagery things.  The kids were all extremely friendly and sweet.

Here’s a before and after of the delicious empanada Susie made.  This dish is 3/4 onions, so there was a little crying as we chopped.  Susie doesn’t even like onions, so it was nice of her to make this.  She even made it with “veggie beef,”  to suit the vegetarians… which is why it’s not 100% traditional to how her mom makes it.

Here’s the before and after of the tortilla…

The secret ingredient?  Um, chips.  Apparently you need to fry up potatoes for these, so using chips makes it easier to make.  Definitely not how her mom used to make them, either, I’m guessing…  but sooo yummy.

And here are the masks from Galicia!  She’s been meaning to put them on the wall, but they recently painted their place… so she unwrapped them all from their storage spaces to show me.

The human faced masks…

And 3 hands.  She’s not sure what order these should be displayed in, but they (especially the “rock on” gesture) are meant to ward off the evil eye.

More beautiful pottery… this one looks Scandinavian to me…

And a flowery plate.

Here were some of the shoes at the door.   A set of Molly’s Barbie ballet shoes, and the girls’ Spanish (or Galician?) dancin’ shoes.

0 thoughts on “Dinner at Susie’s

  1. Melvyn Erville

    What a great coincidence…I really love the look and graphic appeal of those ceramics, that blue…lapis-ultramarine? A that food looks delicious! I never even heard of Galicia before but my ancestors may be from there according to recent findings…uncanny!

  2. Susana Martinez


    I love the blog, I was so surprised to hear about it when Alli told me. The pictures look fantastic, and your set looks soooo good!!!! My mom is now over and is going to be making some Caldo (Cabbage soup)and I can’t wait!!! It really is incredible how things just fit together so perfectly. You are amazing Ms. Steph, and you should be very proud!!!


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