Saturday, May 26, 2007

Analog days.

Staying wired is a little bit of an addiction, as it turns out, but I'm getting there. As evidence, let me just cite: yesterday.

Yesterday was another episode in the continually unfolding story of the visitors, the enormous family, the babies. Through a frenzy of inviting and coordinating, we managed to have so many people were over for dinner, it boggled the mind: all my kids, except soccer coach son, and their significant others, where relevant; all the historian's kids and their significant others, except his oldest daughter and her partner, who live in Washington; all the grandkids, an aunt, and a niece. I think it came to 18 adults and a batch of kids.

The historian and I know how to throw these parties by now. We can do it unconscious, practically. Usually, I make a menu, a shopping list, and a flow chart. The historian gets the house together and I cook. So yesterday, I got up, started a batch of bread, set some butter out to soften (for shortbread), took running son to school and threatened him and college daughter with their lives if they didn't clean up the basement to a level at which I wouldn't feel humiliated if people went down there. Then I was off to do the food shopping.

I was back by 10. Without checking e-mail or participating in any other computer related activity, I got to work. I roasted fingerling potatoes with rosemary and garlic. I marinated a flank steak. I made an orzo salad with sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, radicchio, toasted pinenuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. I made croutons and a dressing for a green salad. I made a custard to chill and be frozen into ice cream. I baked two kinds of shortbread--pecan and cacao nib.

That was all before noon. Also, Miriam, Evie, and their mom came over midmorning to hang out and keep me company. We had some lunch and chilled for a little while--I read Miriam a couple of stories, The Cut-Ups and The Cut-Ups Cut Loose. My daughter set up a little tipi in the backyard for the grandkids to play in. Miriam gave the dogs what-for.

In the afternoon, the historian came home from some morning writing and transformed the house into an elegant vibrant party locale (which is its true soul, always lurking somewhere under my slovenly housekeeping, but never mind). I made a mango-blueberry crisp and cut up two pineapples and sprinkled them with just a little mint sugar (that's just sugar pulverized with mint leaves--it's fantastic on pineapple). I baked the bread. We started a fire to grill the steak; we got the ice cream maker ready to go (this is the hand-cranked one). I dressed the salad and laid all the food, dishes, utensils and glasses on the table.

It was a wonderful day, and when people came around it was even more wonderful. Miriam and Carter played a vigorous game of Peter and the Wolf that somehow involved a dragon. Dogs raced round and round the kids. Everyone got reacquainted and we ate almost all the food. People lingered.

I admit I checked my e-mail once during the day, but I feel find about that. Mainly it was a beautiful day and evening. At the end of the day, the historian and I laid around and congratulated ourselves on another great party. All day long the doors stayed open; animals and kids wandered in and out freely. It was convivial and lively. I felt connected to my world--not so worried about any other world. As the party wore on, the historian and his son spotted a big hawk flying over the field in the back (no doubt looking for some of the mice I released last winter). It's going to be a great summer, I can already tell.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that reading these posts exhausted me. How do you do it?
    When you get a spare moment (when will that be??) we need to do some music exchanging.



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