Post # 158 Dinner Last Night

August 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Okay, so most of you who might read this blog know that I’m a writer.  If I wasn’t, this blog wouldn’t exist.  That being said, writing is a lonely business, and I tend to sit at my computer looking at the screen wondering what the hell I’m doing.  I should be out in the “real world” earning a “real” living to help my partner/spouse pay bills, put food on the table, gas in the cars, etc.  That’s what I was raised to do.  Instead, I sit here at my desk for hours at a time, looking at the computer screen wondering what the hell I think I’m trying to accomplish.  Get’s very depressing sometimes.

Once in a while, a night like last night comes along.

Father in Law (FiL) loves baseball.  I like it a whole lot too.  I don’t want to go to a baseball game with him, though.  I spend all day, every day with him in the house with me.  I see more of him than I see of his son, my partner/spouse.  I’m not complaining.  I love my partner/spouse, and by extension, I love his father.  But I don’t want to go to a baseball game with him.  Even though I really like baseball.

So partner/spouse got greatly reduced tickets to a local baseball game through work.  He bought four ($20) so FiL would be able to take friends.  I have wonderful family and friends and I thank the gods daily that they brought us back here to reconnect with them.  FiL has a built in network of friends who don’t have to deal with him on a daily basis so are more than happy to take him to a baseball game.  That’s what happened last night.  FiL had four tickets to a baseball game.  That meant that my sister, my partner/spouse, and me got to have a rare evening for just us to bond.  MOVIE NIGHT!!!!!

Say it again, just to enjoy the sound of it.  MOVIE NIGHT!!!!!

You cannot have movie night without food.  Just goes without saying.  We started planning this two weeks ago.  We figured out the movies/shows, and the menu and bought all the proper ingredients and disks so when tonight happened, all would be perfect.

For the movies, we chose UP by Disney/Pixar.  If you haven’t seen it, watch it!!!!  Squirrel!  And we also chose Rick Steve’s Europe series for Ireland.  The menu could not have been simpler.  Since I was doing the cooking, we opted for things grilled or fresh.  Those are my favorites.  We had Steakhouse Style Steak Tips (Post #66), roasted garlic, homemade toasted bruschetta rounds, French onion dip, hummus, Dubliner cheese, fresh salsa, and tortilla chips.  My sis added fresh chopped vegetables, and olives cuz she really likes olives.  I think it’s the brine.

I started the steak tips at noon.  I put together the marinade as shown in Post 66, but added lime juice for an extra level of flavor.  I chopped the tips into their proper shapes and put it all in a large zip lock baggie and put it in the fridge to marinade all afternoon.  I started the bread toasting at 4, then put the garlic on at 5.  At 5:30, I turned on the grill, and put the steak tips on.  I pulled the garlic out at 6 and started it cooling.  By 6:15, all the steak tips were done.  Everyone in the world likes beef at medium rare except my sister’s mother in law (MiL).  So I made a few pieces very well done.  While things were cooling and resting, I took over the movies and foods that were room temp and let her start setting up.

Well!  Doncha just know that the best laid plans go astray!  FiL wasn’t feeling good, so he sat out the ball game.  Partner/spouse wasn’t feeling good, so he sat out the entire evening.  That left sister’s spouse and best friend alone for the game.  MiL was with us, but sort of ancillary to the whole thing.  Eventually, all things were cooked; all things were prepped; all things were delivered to the house two door down.

When I told my sister’s hubby and best friend what was on the menu, they were tempted to forego the ball game.  They went to game, but only after a taste of the steak tips.

Before I left my house, I had made a small plate for partner/spouse of roasted garlic (he LOVES garlic.  It’s a vampire fetish I think.) and steak tips.  FiL wasn’t interested in eating at all.

So, we got the table set up and all the food ready.  I turned to set up the movie only to realize that I had left my reading glasses at my house.  Just a word about those glasses.  I’ve had perfect vision my whole life, while everyone else in my family has needed glasses.  I struggled mightily against glasses for years, before finally yielding to the inevitable in 2009.  For some reason, it bothers me that I have to wear glasses to perform the one task that I enjoy most in life.  So anyway, when I returned to my house to grab a pair of reading glasses, I noted that partner/spouse wasn’t satisfied with what I’d prepared, and had taken the roasted garlic and spread it on bread rounds.  They were grilling in the oven.  Seems no matter what I do, he wants something different.  That’s okay.  He’s a chef, too and we don’t have the same tastes.  And it’s interesting to see what he comes up with using the same ingredients I do.

So, I went back to my sister’s house, set up the movie, double checked the food, felt like it was in control and turned to my sister.

“Where’s the wine?” I asked.

Her best friend answered.  “You don’t think she’d let you do all this without having some kind of libation for you, do you?”

They left for the ball game after sampling everything.  Sis and I prepared plates for ourselves and MiL, started the movie and sat back to enjoy a wonderful funny story about love, age, dogs, and flexibility.  Then we watched an entire disc of Rick Steves talking about Ireland.  We ate till we were full.  We killed two bottles of wine.

It was a fun evening.  It was a Thursday.  We shared stories about traveling.  We laughed.  We enjoyed good food prepared with love and care.  We wished everyone could have been with us.  We gloried in the fact that we were together.

It made a difference.

Evenings like last night are rare.  It’s what we should all be aspiring to.  In Europe, and in most parts of the world, the evening meal is an event to be cherished because you’re sharing it with those you truly love.  Last night, I felt European.

When was the last time you felt that way?

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