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Published on October 5, 2021

We cruised the sea, learned about people

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

We had not been on a cruise since October 2019, which was our 30th anniversary. The ensuing years have taken their toll - on us, not the ship.

Frankly, we were blissfully unaware of that fact until trying to complete all the steps for boarding the cruise ship in Galveston.

We stood there huddled in the stalls like cattle waiting to go into the shoot. To say we looked like befuddled pilgrims who just missed the bus of life would be a compliment.

It’s not that the directions weren’t printed for easy access, so the sign said, they were printed with letters the size of bacteria.

Through trial and error, we finally made it on board.

Since we were out “suffering” on the crystal blue water and having our sheets changed daily (which I feel certain will be a perk in heaven), we tried to keep one foot firmly in the preacher boat and looked for someone with whom to share the gospel.

A good place is the Karaoke room. The master of ceremonies likes to ask where people are from and what they do. I love to answer this question. In my best “preacher” voice, I say, “I am from West Columbia, Texas, and I am a pastor.” I usually get a loud response.

We have met the full spectrum of characters on this trip, but not so pleasant as our lead waiter in the Horizon Dining Room. His name was Yasa, and he hails from Indonesia.

Most of the crew was from outside the grand old USA. Yasa told us most did not speak English prior to coming to work for Carnival. The exception is the crew who hail from England.

We looked forward to seeing Yasa’s smiling face every evening at 5:15. Yes, old people really do eat that early. It’s consideration for our stomach to give them a chance to see what’s coming down the pike and deal with it.

One evening he had the time to share his story with us. We found this soft-spoken server of people was someone who didn’t turn off his servant heart when he stepped off the Vista.

He said the pandemic that shut down cruising also shut down his country. He eventually made his way home, thinking it would be a few weeks until normal activity would resume. It was a long 16 months of no work to be found, anywhere.

Thankfully, he had a little money saved and made it through. His neighbors were not so fortunate. Now that cruising has resumed, he’s back on board the Vista and trying to rebuild his livelihood.

Pork Schnitzel

This is a traditional German recipe that’s crispy, flavorful, and perfect for any night of the week.
Ingredients

4 Boneless Pork Chops (you can use cubed beef steaks, too)
¼ Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Large Eggs
2 Tablespoons Milk or half and half
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

Instructions

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a 10 or 12” heavy bottom pan and heat to medium-high heat. Trim the pork chops of any fat and then place between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a heavy rolling pin or meat tenderizer, pound pork chops to about ¼” thickness.

In a shallow bowl mix the flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper.

In another small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs with the milk or half and half.

In a third bowl, mix together the Panko Breadcrumbs and nutmeg.

One at a time, dip the pork chops into the flour, coating on all sides and shaking off any excess. Then dip the pork chops into the egg mixture, flipping to coat both sides. Next, dip both sides of the chops in the breadcrumbs, pressing firmly to coat.

Place the coated pork chops into the pan of hot oil and cook about 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and drain on a paper towel. Lemons are the German accompaniment, but I prefer white gravy.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)