day 14: vino, cena, gaggia

Last night, Boomer, Aby and I accepted a dinner invitation.

My gorgeous cousin-with-the-heart-of-gold (“B”) and her supremely fascinating husband (“A”) hosted at their gigantic home, with entertainment provided by their shih-poo (“VH”) and two-month-old son (“F”). Aby and I usually clear our Sunday evenings, wanting to be well-rested for the inevitable drain of the soulless combination of an 0415 alarm and an apathy to our day jobs. But this night was not like the others: we three (kings) drove down foggy Birch Lane past houses alternately Christmas lit and dark, off to see (the wizard) a wondrous feast unfold before our eyes.

Let me rewind. Google “KT in social situations” and you will find this:


To cope with my extreme nerves at get-togethers of all sorts, I envision the worst possible scenarios beforehand and upon arriving thank the heavens that it is better than I thought it would be. Last night, the extreme fog and the rich houses lining Birch Lane nudged my thoughts to Hedeby Island, scene of various horrors in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Naturally my imaginings were quite creepy, as I envisioned the various traps that could be hidden in a house of such size and expanse. What if they had been blackmailed into trapping us for some serial rapist and killer in return for their baby’s life? I shared my scenario with Aby and we approached the house with trepidation mounting.

Our fears were duly dashed with a warm welcome and a friendly greeting from “A” and “VH”. Boomer immediately launched her hunt for the various bones and smoked pork shanks (PORK SHANKS) hidden about the house, while “A” poured Pinot and regaled us with descriptions of endive leaves, home-made pate, olive tapenade, goat cheese, farmer’s markets by a crackling fire. “B” joined us with the babe and conversation turned to my two favorite topics of conversation: CrossFit and Paleo.

The evening continued with a trek to the dining room whose table would soon be coloured by “A”s creations. The first course: an italian souffle of kobucha, eggs, cream, delicately spied and rested atop a pillow of greens. The second: fennel with its licorice hint, bright grapefruit and pomegranate seeds cleansed the palate for a brilliant main. A pork roast warm from the oven was served with juices steaming, root vegetables, cauliflower steaks, and an accent of Kale pesto. I was given the present of a heavenly piece of crackling, which arrested my attention upon the first bite. I am sure my rapture was plain upon my face. Of course, all of this was accompanied by vino (this time red) and fascinating conversation ranging from farms to regions to histories to goals to life to meaning to etymologies. As always when discussing etymologies, I picture Gus:

“Kimono, kimono, kimono. Ha! Of course! Kimono is come from the Greek word himona, is mean winter. So, what do you wear in the wintertime to stay warm? A robe. You see: robe, kimono. There you go! ” — Gus Portokalos

To close, we retired to the family room and the comfort of a 12-foot-tall Christmas tree ( I think there ought to be a special word for “12-feet’). Boomer fell asleep on Aby’s lap and softly snored puppy snores. We sipped espresso from a Gaggia while “A” and “B” opened the presents we bought for “F”; they loved them, especially the sky blue corduroy field jacket. I get a kick out of well-received presents. Yay! While “B” and I chatted and exchanged multiple hugs, “A” showed Aby the hydraulic lift they have for the nine bikes (two of which are tandem! That’s practically 11 bikes!) Finally, remembering the early alarm, we took our leave. I exited with a chip of homemade peppermint bark melting in my mouth: the perfect end to a lovely evening.


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