Saturday, January 16, 2016

Graduate Guests

Rebecca’s graduate class had to be switched to this evening, from their regular 9 to noon spot. She offered to have them come to her house and feed them pizza. On finding a couple of vegetarians in the class she switched the menu to Indian food, leaving a piece of paper on the counter for me in the morning, telling me what she wanted added to the dahl to make it perfect.

I was onside. We had shopped the night before at Save-On Foods. I was reminded again of how many steps it is to prepare food, starting with the menu planning, then the trip to the grocery store and in the case of vegetarians, there is a lot of chopping just to make a few dishes. For some reason every cut I took on an item seemed like a joy: a warm house, good knives, fresh vegetables, warm water coming from a tap, a gas stove, and a rice cooker. Joy.

I did laugh when I came to put the apples in the fennel salad and found that there were only three left.  I am sure she bought loads.  That is what comes of having two teen-age boys in the house.  Who knows which of the groceries that are planned for one meal will end up as a snack long before that meal comes to pass.

As an aside, everyt ime Rebecca or I use the apple cutter, we think of Anita Johnson.  She is the one who introduced us to the tool that cuts out the core of the apple and yields 8 perfect wedges.  I treated the tool with suspicion that summer, but was won over.  Today I broke the one I was using, which is only a recent replacement of the one before that got broken.  Are we using that tool that much?

I did a sweep of the top of the table on which we have our computers, books and papers. Stash that stuff somewhere … anywhere and make the top of the table into the food buffet.

The table is well loved. It has lost its varnish on some spots, a distressed table, useful for many projects over the years and still it keeps giving. Rebecca calls it her French provincial table. A black table cloth to cover the top of the table and one could imagine there is a French provincial table underneath.

I know to do the surface sweep of the house before the guests arrive. That means at least getting the toilet paper role replaced and maybe a few backups out in view. In my closet I hide the blankets and pillows that usually dot the couch for people who like to stretch out and have a nap. I do the mighty touch-up on my bedroom where people will lay their coats on my bed – hard to have it both picture perfect and useful to me when everyone leaves. Is this how everyone prepares for a party?

Rebecca explains to her students why we are using paper plates.

"We took a look at our dinnerware and discovered we don't have enough unchipped plates to serve everyone. I may be a law professor but we are still living like we are grad students. My mom told me to get some plates yesterday, but it just didn't work for me."

 She is right. I like to eat on glass. I wish there were good left-overs tonight and there is some food left. Just not enough to make a complete meal again.

And a good time was had by all.


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