Darleen Haff, Anjelique Mader, Chantell White, Cheryl Langton, Carlene Wright, and Debi Pauletto
You remember the plot of The Princess Bride? A lowly stable boy falls in love with the beautiful Buttercup, and when she is kidnapped by the evil prince and his band of thugs, the stable boy, Westley – now powerful and rich – pursues her to the ends of the earth, or rather, through fire swamps, sword fights, poison and torture.
Debi Pauletto, Director of Community Relations at the UGM Center for Women & Children, teaches a “Princess Bride” class, but rather than being pursued by a mere stable boy, Debi reveals to the women that they are sought after and treasured by a King. The King of the universe. Creator, Savior, Redeemer and Lord, He loves them and wants to be in relationship with them.
In this cross between a charm course and an in-depth study of our identity in Christ, Debi goes over etiquette, modesty and table manners and unveils the woman described in Proverbs 31. At first, Debi encountered resistance. Some of the women expressed a “who needs this?” attitude, but by the end of the class, they began to see themselves in a different light. They began to see themselves as valued and significant to a loving Father.
Hot and Sweet Shrimp with braised spinach in a rice paper cup
In her search for a way to mark the culmination of this special class, Debi connected with Frank Comito, executive chef at the Spokane Country Club. Debi wanted the women to feel special, and she found the right man for the job.
Frank grew up on welfare. His parents separated when he was 9. His mom raised him and his three younger sisters on her own. His dad did not provide regular support – financial or otherwise. Frank remembers his mom being really good at fixing up places– too good perhaps. The landlords would decide to sell or raise the rent. One summer,Frank's family was homeless – moving from friend’s house to friend’s house and ending with a month-long camping trip. To his mom’s credit, Frank doesn’t remember feeling “homeless.” He just thought they were on a grand adventure.
When Debi said she wanted these women from the Center to feel special, Frank was all in. A chef with over 30 years experience, he sees food as an expression of God’s grace, and he wanted to lavish that grace on these women in abundance.
Frisee & Mixed Greens dressed with vanilla-banyules vinaigrette
Raspberry Sorbet with balsamic vinegar and yellow beet syrup
Filet Mignon with Zinfandel-Shallot Butter, Parmesan-white pepper mashed potatoes and crispy parsnips
Black Magic Cake with huckleberry sauce and a scoop of black & white ice cream
Note: The author is married to the chef, so yes, I am a little biased, but isn't he terrific?
~Barbara Comito, staff writer