Saturday, October 20, 2012
The rain started a few minutes after we arrived at Carosel last night and fortunately we had opted for an indoor table lest we had to get up and move our feast indoors. Jaime and his wife and Jim and his wife, Yun, had already arrived so we distributed our selves around the table and studied Jordi’s evening menu.
Jim or James J Butler, Jr., if you prefer, is a professor of hydrogeology at the University of Kansas in Lawrenceville. He is currently a visiting professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, where he will be presenting a seminar later this year. Jim met Jaime when both were studying at Stanford and Jim is here through Jaime’s good graces. Jim was born in Houston and has traveled widely in both Europe and Asia. When The People’s Republic of China was opened up to American scholars during the Carter years, Jim was one of the first Americans to go there and it was there that he met his wife. Jim has dabbled in magic and is very familiar with both Genii magazine and The Magic Castle.
Our conversation was very animated and while we chatted we managed to consume a plate of grilled vegetables, some pulpo a la brasa, huevos rotos con patatas y morcilla, secreto ibérico, longaniza, chuletitas de cordero and some slices of vaca gallega, which is reputed to be the best beef in Spain. The two bottles of Sierra Cantabria went down very nicely and were the perfect accompaniment to our meat-heavy menu. Susan and Jim had flan for dessert and I had coffee. We did a chupito experiment after the meal and we sampled mistela, orujo de hierbas and orujo blanco. Orujo blanco is not my cup of tea. It is similar to grappa and I am convinced that it will take the paint off of a car, but what do I know. The party continued as I did some magic for the group. I did three effects and that was just enough to put the finishing touch on a lovely evening. We left a little after midnight and headed straight home. We were in bed by 12:30.