Monday, April 12, 2010

dinner and dates

We hosted a dinner party for Kt’s work pals on Saturday night and everything worked out well. The original plan was for 10 or so but it ended up being more like 17 after the RSVPs were mailed and settled. We decided to skip the formal sitting portion (can’t manage that at our tables) and went with something along the lines of a buffet situation that, interestingly enough, ended up with everyone in a big circle sitting around our living room coffee table – you can’t do anything with guests.

I was worried about having enough food, and how to distribute the chow, so we ended up with huge dishes of golden, mushroom lasagna; Spanakopita; corn-and-goat cheese enchiladas with a mole sauce; a massive Greek salad, a green goddess salad, about a gallon of tzatziki, bread (brought by a guest), two huge sheets pans of roasted vegetables (parsnips, new potatoes, red and gold beets, red onions, turnips, garlic and freshly grated ginger), and two cheesecakes (also baked by a guest: one plain and one peanut butter). We had enough food – but not by a ton. I think the invitees were selected from Kt’s group of comrades based on their abilities to survive without huge hunks of meat…or any meat. As I pulled everyone over to the table / buffet to fire out a quick description I offered up the “there’s no meat, so don’t look for it” preamble. Truth be told, no one cared much and all the mains were absolutely destroyed before the evening was over. I think between the food, wine, and beer, everyone left sated. X and the boys were all over the housecleaning as I spent my day in the kitchen; they were a battalion (company?) of dedicated worker bees.

Did I pass along that we have something like 6 cubic metres of horse shit in our drive? Wait, call it compost. X has a great plan for two new shade gardens and we’re about ready to get the vegetable garden planted and on task – I don’t know if I can wait a few months for all my kitchen product to grow, bloom, blossom, or whatever else growing stuff does in dirt.

Along food lines, here’s a wonderful article in the NYTimes about the Ballymaloe Cooking School in Ireland, and its founder, that a good friend attended a few years ago after retiring from the Air Forces. He’s currently working at a great place in Omaha and working to master garde manger techniques. Well, garde manger and/or aging meats…

My latest selections for quality reading these days, at least in the periodical arena, are Steven Strogatz at the NYTimes, who writes great pieces on math; and, Matt Taibbi who primarily writes for Rolling Stone (which I haven’t read in years) and has been amazingly aggressive in covering the financial meltdown. You can get to Strogatz’s main page here and Taibbi’s main page here; and his latest RS piece here (I go printer friendly versions of Matt’s stuff and then read it in hardcopy.) From that RS page you can dig back deeper and read his other half-dozen stories on the financial world.

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