I can see this might be a daunting venture. Somehow, when I knew I was going to send a newsletter every three months or, later, every year, it was no problem to find new things to write about. I just kept a file of topics and half written essays to pull from, collected quotations I liked, filed recipes and craft ideas and sometime in November, pulled them together into a newsletter to be included with my holiday card mailing. But now I have this BLOG breathing down my neck demanding I come up with something clever and wonderful all the time.
I think the problem is its immediacy. With the newsletter I had time to write and edit, copy it, write out envelopes, fold, stuff and mail it. But with this blog thing, with a single keystroke it's out in the blogosphere for all to see RIGHT NOW!!!!! Oh, the pressure!
Saturday night was Louise's mom's 90th birthday party. The family planned a party at the Suparrosa restaurant in Woodridge. That's about a 40 minute drive (depending on traffic) and two toll booths (one on 294, one on 88) from our house in Chicago. You pay attention more when you are caravaning with two other cars. You notice crazy drivers more and wonder why in the world you willingly put yourself in a situation where you have to share the road with such people. Like calmly sitting in the dentist's chair and allowing him to put a hypodermic needle or a high speed drill in your mouth without protest. But I digress.
We had a private room closed off from the rest of the restaurant by a wall of French doors. The floor was uneven stone, the walls painted in that blotchy Tuscany style in shades of sunny peach, golden yellow and creamy beige. There were picture boards everywhere. The fun part was trying to remember in whose house you had seen some of the pictures before - - - that one is in a frame in Louise's mom's dining room. That one is on the bookshelf in Louise's living room next to the TV. I know I saw that one before, but where???
Dinner started with trays of bruschetta and antipasto - thin slices of salami, capicola and mortadella; mozzarella rolled into cones and stuffed with black olives; artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Then came a nice salad, pasta marinara, luscious green beans, Chicken Vesuvio and (what do you expect, this is Louise we're talking about) sausages cooked with peppers. And on each table was a plate of roasted garlic cloves drenched in olive oil with a mound of grated Parmesan cheese to dip the bread in. Yummmmm!!!!!
Before dessert, Louise's brother Chris asked if I would lead the guests in singing Happy Birthday. Being properly educated I felt equal to the task and graciously accepted the challenge (after first threatening to leave the room). If you can believe it, this was the first time I can remember when a group of 50 people, with no accompaniment, managed to sing Happy Birthday all together, in tune and on key. Either I'm a great leader or they all are fine musicians. You be the judge.
Louise's maiden name is Kardaras. In-laws with bakery connections brought the birthday cake and a whole tray of baklava cut in huge restaurant-size pieces. What goes better with an Italian dinner than Greek pastry? Good coffee!
Quotable Quotes: In the category And what will you be having?
"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people". Orson Welles