March 28, 1998

Dinner Party

John I now have dinner party responsibilities pretty well nailed down. I do the cooking, serving, most of the initial cleanup, and mop floors. John does most of the socializing and nearly all of the cleanup afterwards. It feels fairly equitable, folks love the food, and I get to relax afterwards without the problem or expectations unfulfilled.

Most of the morning was filled with getting the house clean, which included many sessions with the vacuum cleaner, which Fezzik just hated, so he went outside while I meandered all over the house with the roaring thing. Then I had fun going over all the bathrooms in detail, adding a couple of candles to the downstairs bathroom so that it wouldn't be nothing but a dark cave until someone turned on the lights. I also had gotten Madonna's Bedtime Stories and ray of light on Friday from CDNow, and so was playing them all day.

I really enjoyed both of them, though Bedtime Stories served to remind me a bit too much of Markleford, in some ways.

In the midst of the preparations, John got back after a Costco, garbage, recycle stuff, and grocery run to find the King County Animal Control lady in our driveway, with Fezzik in a box. Poor pup. He was picked up in the neighborhood across the street, and she brought him home for free, because he was wearing his license. After that, we just couldn't let him out, but when we did, he stuck really close to the house. I can only hope he learned something, and I know that we'll likely be keeping him closer to home, now, and doing walks with him instead of just letting him out to roam.

After the successful experiment the corned beef for the date after St. Patrick's Day I decided to do the full-pot rendition, which involved seven pounds of corned beef, about an equal weight in various vegetables including the traditional cabbages, and plenty of Irish Stout. The corned beef went in first at about 1 p.m.. Four and three-quarters hours later, as the first people walk in the door, the bulk of the vegetables, potatoes, carrots, and onions went in along with barely enough water to cover. When the water came back to a boil, the cabbage went in on top, to be steamed as everything else cooked thoroughly.

When pre-dinner drinks were done, out came to vegetables into a deep serving dish. The meat went onto a carving board and I sliced it into a lot of thick slices that went onto a serving platter, which then got carried around everyone at the table and folks served themselves. Since it was a rotational dinner, they brought the drinks, salad, and dessert, so from that point, I just sat back and enjoyed myself.

Everyone commented on the corned beef and it was all favorable, mostly because of how tender it was. It was pretty keen. I also really enjoyed the way the vegetables turned out.

All the other families had really young children, so after showing Wallace and Gromet in A Close Shave everyone went home. I helped John put some of the dishes into the kitchen and then went upstairs to light my candles around the bathtub.

I had about ten. John's mom had given be a bunch of candle holders and candles for my birthday. I'd added to the collection since, so the tub area almost looked like a shrine by the time everything was lit. I turned out the lights, filled the tub, added a handful of bath salts and half a squirt of baby oil, and then stepped in and let the whole thing work.

I nearly fell asleep in the tub, but managed to climb into bed before 10 p.m. and was dead asleep soon after

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© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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