A Saturday Night Cookout

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It was Fajita Friday at the Kaplans the other day.  I picked up some tortillas at the local corner store and Susan cut up onions, tomatoes, and two kinds of peppers and cooked them up along with pieces of sliced steak and the addition of Spanish paprika that gave the dish a bit of a kick.  Salas and guacamole are available locally, but I had neglected to pick them up. Even without those two additional ingredients the dish was superb.

Later that afternoon we walked to the Cines Yelmo to see Wes Anderson’s latest film, “Moonrise Kingdom”, with Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand.  It is a quirky little film that follows the adventures of a twelve-year old boy and girl who run away together because they just don’t seem to fit in anywhere.  We enjoyed it very much and the two young leads were superb.  Here is a link to the trailer in case you are interested.

After the movie we walked back home and ended up at Cervecería Las Torres, which has undergone a total transformation in terms of the design of the space, as well as the menu.  They have hired a chef and now are offering some high quality dishes at very reasonable prices.  We were there for a drink and a nibble and we sated our hunger with a plate of puntillas that were cooked to perfection.  From there we walked back home and spent the evening reading and working on the computer.

We had lunch at home yesterday and it was a salad.  We ate light because in the evening we had been invited to the Oberles to meet Brian’s parents and to join them for a barbecue.  We brought a couple of bottle of champagne with us to celebrate Olivia’s upcoming graduation from St Andrews and Susan brought along her laptop to share the picture she took of Jordi at work last Wednesday.

We had an enjoyable time meeting and chatting with Angela and Paul.  They are both retired teachers.  Her field was music, although for a time she taught kindergarten.  Paul was a professor of education who taught at the college level.  They are both retired and they split their year between Michigan and Florida.  Interestingly enough they both have pilot’s licenses and have flown extensively.  Paul was the youngest licensed pilot in Michigan and interestingly enough he got to his high school classes via plane.  He took off from the improvised runway on the farm where he and his family lived and set down the plane in a field that was adjacent to the high school.

We chatted on the terrace for a while and when Brian lit the barbecue it was time to retire indoors.  Thirty minutes later we were called to the table to enjoy a sumptuous meal of grilled shrimp and salmon, along with a saffron rice, cole slaw, and corn on the cob.  Brian had also prepared a fruit salsa to accompany the salmon. Dessert was a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with fresh strawberries.  We finished off the meal with a champagne toast.

In the course of the meal Brian and Ofelia shared with us some of their unique dining experiences when Brian was stationed in Sri Lanka.  Their host at a dinner party had charged his help with setting the table clearly indicating the plates with which the table was to be set, as well as the silverware that was needed for the meal.  He stressed that a napkin should be placed to the left of each plate.  When the guest sat down to the meal the plates and silverware had been placed correctly and the napkin was placed to the left of the plates.  However, the problem was that the help had placed sanitary napkins to the left of each plate.

At another dinner party where a whole roasted fish was to be served, the lady of the house had instructed the cook that when the fish was brought to the table she was to place sprigs of parsley in the gills.  The hostess clarified the word gills by indicating they were like the fish’s ears.  When it was time for the fish course the cook ceremoniously brought in the whole roasted fish and there was the parsley carefully tucked behind the cook’s ears!

The last story involved a dinner party where there was a pass through from the kitchen to the dining room.  The lady of the house had instructed the cook that when she rang the bell at the table she was to serve the meal by using the pass through to get the plates from the kitchen to the dining room.  The bell was rung and nothing happened.  The bell was rung a second time and nothing happened.  The hostess made her way to the pass through to see what the problem was and there was the cook trying to fit herself through the pass through so that she could serve the meal.

When we had finally composed ourselves I brought out my magic and did seven effects in total.  They all played well, although there was a slight hiccup when I did the last effect.  I gave it another try and this time the outcome was successful.  After the magic we retired to the terrace to enjoy the cool breeze and while seated we were treated to a brief fireworks display.  We chatted a while longer and as 1:00 o’clock approached we asked Brian if he would be so kind as to drive us home.  It was a little after 1:30 when we walked through the door and it was close to 2:00 when we finally shut off the light

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