Monday, August 23, 2004

Dinner party

The weekend was mostly uneventful in our house. On Saturday, we hung out quite a bit. Shawn went and studied cookbooks. I watched the Olympics on Canadian television, read a little (Orhan Pamuk's The New Life: A Novel, and played on the computer. Late that afternoon, Shawn came to me a little frustrated by the fact that she was looking for ways to use up our garden produce and I didn't seem concerned about it. In fact, I had been using it up all week through canning and cooking. To give her credit: despite my best efforts, I was slipping behind.

We had several pounds of beans in the fridge. There were purple, green, and yellow wax beans. I had made a green bean casserole (making my own thyme infused roux instead of using canned mushroom soup) and a Persian Pilaf with Lime and Green Beans by Madhur Jaffrey. Both turned out very well. Wax beans being so hard to come by in stores, I saved them out. Shawn put them to goo use on Saturday by making a 4 bean salad (one of my favorites for using these summer beans).

For my part, I put together a green bean pate that came from Renee Shephard's Kitchen Garden book. Along with left overs, we ate these dishes, watched Julia Child on videos Shawn brought back from the library, and I enjoyed some 1998 Justin Cabernet Sauvignon (not an ideal pairing, I realize, but one I enjoyed).

Sunday, I woke to find that Shawn was not in bed with me. I'm the morning person and it was only 4:30, so I was surprised. Shawn was up at the computer organizing photos she had taken a while back. She had not been able to sleep and had been up since 3 AM. It's probably needless to point this out, but she went back to bed later in the morning (about 6:30) and didn't rise again until 9:30. By this time I had watched a little bit of Washington Journal on CSPAN and BookTV on CSPAN2. When she got up I was watching the Olympics and had read most of the paper.

Shawn made a simple, but tasty breakfast. WHile she was doing that, I got the distinct impression that she wanted me to assist with using up more of the garden produce. She swears she didn't say, "Why don't you get off your ass and help out", but that is what I heard. *smile*I made some refrigerator ginger-cinamon-basil pickles from Renee Shepard's book. Another 4 cucumbers done! Only 15 more to go...*sigh*

We went to one of Shawn's classmate's house for an early afternoon dinner. Another classmate and his wife were there, too. The hostess doesn't cook and she confided that this was only the third time since she had moved to the house 2.5 years ago that she had invited people over for dinner. Her husband and her son were away for the day - probably expecting disaster. As it turned out, she made a very nice dinner. Basically, she served some tortilla chips and all of the fixings for taco salads. The diners just assembled what they wanted on their plates. It was quite tasty and light. There was a great deal of good conversation that flowed easily and it wasn't all about their grad school courses. After about 4.5 hours (and a heavy chocolate melt dessert), the party broke up. Carl and Kris (the hostess) enjoyed our gift samplings of our green bean pate and we also unloaded 5 of the lemon cucumbers on them! Only 11 more to more to pick this week...*sigh*

When we got home, Shawn had a phone message from a former co-worker who is moving to back to Wisconsin. As I checked my email, I heard Shawn volunteer me to assist her friend in moving a futon, it's frame, plus a regular mattress frame this morning. I smiled while listening to the convo. We took a walk after the call was over and Shawn filled me in on the details. When we came home, we finished off the evening by watching FoodTV's tribute to Julia Child.

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