Describe A Great Meal

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by The Ranger, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. The Ranger

    The Ranger Guest

    In another thread, in another message, Frogleg <[email protected]> asked:
    > Well. rfc is pretty chatty, and we all have stories of bad meals (and from the length of the
    > thread so far, many willing to share), but why concentrate on the negative? "What's the worst
    > thing you've ever eaten?" is thought-provoking, but what about 'good' meals? Perhaps not the best
    > in the sense of perfect wine/perfect dish, but maybe a memory of good company, or a great potato
    > salad at an otherwise unremarkable picnic, or the first time you tried some really good thing?

    I have experienced many good meals, and been very lucky to enjoy a number of excellent meals. Both
    my Sainted Mother(tm) and Father-unit were gifted cooks that could create magical moments from
    seemingly limited stock via a four-burner GE coil stove and a 14" cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven.

    I've posted recipes for many of those meals over time but the most memorable meal I've ever
    enjoyed was...

    SWMBO[1] and I did A Date[2]. (Gran'mah and Paw-puh were pullin' down prison duty at Castle Ranger,
    planning their own evening of partying, popcorn, and movies.) We took advantage of their generous
    offer of hospitality by going out to one of our favorite restaurants a mere 40 miles distant.

    The evening started off like most of Real Life's® hopeful evenings: one "disaster" after another but
    nothing a little patience (and two 800 mg Motrin[3]) couldn't fix.

    We arrived at the restaurant to find we had it to ourselves! [Bonus!] I'm one of those type of
    patrons that enjoys a good pampering and an empty restaurant means that the servers often hover like
    yellow jackets at a picnic table. I like this. As we were seated, the staff converged (as predicted)
    like we were magnetized and they were iron filings. We had bread, water, drinks, a running
    conversation (not with ourselves) with the owner/proprietor, and immediately started to relax. Ten
    minutes into this spa-like setting, a trio of silver foxes arrived. They were greeted like long-lost
    family and seated at the table next to us.

    At first, I felt a toddler-like Jealousy coursing through my entire being like poison. Here we had
    the ENTIRE restaurant (staff and floor) all to ourselves and now we had to share. During my private
    grousing, the similarity between what I was thinking and Spawn's philosophy as Center of the Known
    Universe surfaced. That revelation and comparison was unpleasant and almost enough to spoil the
    remaining portion of my evening. But SWMBO saw my sulk forming -- and being a mom to multiples --
    started to massage my smarting ego.

    Ibrahim, the owner, came out to tell us all about the food he was preparing that night. Duck with
    port sauce, Pork Marsala, Beef Wellington, Sautéed Salmon, and Pheasant were the specials. Stuffed
    Portabello, crab cakes, creme d'asperagus soup, and a salad with walnuts [<YEESH!> A more VILE-
    tasting nut there isn't! Yuck! Ick! Phooey!] were described in gory detail. I didn't remember
    anything after the Pork Marsala, though, because I tuned out. I'd made my choice and I was stickin'
    to it. This made remembering what I wanted with the rest of the meal sort of difficult but SWMBO is
    a more-attentive listener so she was able to (more-or-less) recite the specials I missed. Our server
    came back and we placed our order for food and wine.

    During this time, I happen to glance over at the trio. The lone male looked down quickly and turned
    an interesting shade of crimson. I didn't understand the reaction because all we'd done was talk
    about food, the menu, the difficulty that She was having deciding between Salmon, Beef, Pork, Duck,
    Pheasant, Pasta, wine, salad, soup, appetizer, and the kids... <Ding!> The proverbial light bulb
    clicked bright.

    I dropped my voice and Herself nodded. She'd witnessed a similar event with one of the women. We
    dropped our voices conspiratorially.

    It took a few minutes to get "back in the mood" but the restaurant's ambiance worked its magic;
    pretty soon we were back to joking and talking about every topic that was verboten around the daughter-
    units. As we talked, there were pauses between topics (normal for us) which seemed to get filled by
    noises coming from the trio's table. Our pauses lengthened -- usually in mid-thought... It was at
    one such point where I was talking about writing Da Book[4] and heard, "...it was the largest
    kielbasa I'd ever seen! And it just kept coming!" The two women of the trio were guffawing, SWMBO
    was shaking with laughter, and I was burning from my ears to my toes because I was definitely only
    half-listening when the punchline was delivered.

    The male fox was grinning that pleased look of "Gotchya!" at our table and asked, "Have either of
    you been to Poland?"

    I'm sure I looked like both my daughter-units, Alpha and Beta, after I caught them filching Oreo's
    that afternoon. I could feel the heat pulsing through the neck of my Oxford white. I didn't,
    couldn't, answer.

    "Well?" he continued good-naturedly, "Have you?"

    SWMBO smiled, very sheepishly, and answered him, "No. Only Germany."

    "Ah... Germany's beautiful, too, but Poland's stunningly beautiful! You would both like it. By the
    way, I've been shamefully eaves-dropping on your conversation, too. How'd you like to 'join' us,
    since we're obviously wanting to hear each other's stories?"

    And that's how we got caught. We closed the restaurant and a local bar after... It was a stunningly
    successful date!

    [1] She Who Must Be Obeyed
    [2] This is becoming "regular" again -- we have a full corral of baby-sitters just chompin' at their
    bits -- which means that all those restaurants, plays, concerts, and movies that we've been
    meaning to see we're now able!
    [3] Better living through the US Pharmaceutical Industry!
    [4] SWMBO took it amazingly well, considering her viewpoints on my sharing family "secrets."

    The Ranger
    --
    "I've often wondered just how much you share... 'Da Book' needs some
    changing. You'll _start_ with my title."
    SWMBO, 7/28/03
     
    Tags:


  2. I will never forget a lunch I had at the Parador in Merida, Spain about ten
    years ago. It's perfect simplicity contrasted beautifully with the grandeur
    of the medieval castle's cloister where it was served. It consisted of
    "setas" - local, black, flat mushrooms, char grilled with lashings of
    excellent olive oil, garlic, lemon and pepper. And fabulous crusty bread to
    mop up the copious juices. This with a bottle of excellent, crisp local
    white wine and green salad. Absolute bliss.
    Richard.
    "The Ranger" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In another thread, in another message, Frogleg <[email protected]>
    asked:
    > > Well. rfc is pretty chatty, and we all have stories of bad meals (and from the length of the
    > > thread so far, many willing to share), but why concentrate on the negative? "What's the worst
    > > thing you've ever eaten?" is thought-provoking, but what about 'good' meals? Perhaps not the
    > > best in the sense of perfect wine/perfect dish, but maybe a memory of good company, or a great
    > > potato salad at an otherwise unremarkable picnic, or the first time you tried some really good
    > > thing?
    >
    > I have experienced many good meals, and been very lucky to enjoy a number
    of
    > excellent meals. Both my Sainted Mother(tm) and Father-unit were gifted cooks that could create
    > magical moments from seemingly limited stock via a four-burner GE coil stove and a 14" cast-iron
    > skillet or Dutch oven.
    >
    > I've posted recipes for many of those meals over time but the most
    memorable
    > meal I've ever enjoyed was...
    >
    > SWMBO[1] and I did A Date[2]. (Gran'mah and Paw-puh were pullin' down
    prison
    > duty at Castle Ranger, planning their own evening of partying, popcorn,
    and
    > movies.) We took advantage of their generous offer of hospitality by going out to one of our
    > favorite restaurants a mere 40 miles distant.
    >
    > The evening started off like most of Real Life's® hopeful evenings: one "disaster" after another
    > but nothing a little patience (and two 800 mg Motrin[3]) couldn't fix.
    >
    > We arrived at the restaurant to find we had it to ourselves! [Bonus!] I'm one of those type of
    > patrons that enjoys a good pampering and an empty restaurant means that the servers often hover
    > like yellow jackets at a picnic table. I like this. As we were seated, the staff converged (as
    > predicted) like we were magnetized and they were iron filings. We had
    bread,
    > water, drinks, a running conversation (not with ourselves) with the owner/proprietor, and
    > immediately started to relax. Ten minutes into this spa-like setting, a trio of silver foxes
    > arrived. They were greeted like long-lost family and seated at the table next to us.
    >
    > At first, I felt a toddler-like Jealousy coursing through my entire being like poison. Here we had
    > the ENTIRE restaurant (staff and floor) all to ourselves and now we had to share. During my
    > private grousing, the similarity between what I was thinking and Spawn's philosophy as Center of
    > the Known Universe surfaced. That revelation and comparison was unpleasant and almost enough to
    > spoil the remaining portion of my evening. But SWMBO saw my sulk forming -- and being a mom to
    > multiples -- started to massage
    my
    > smarting ego.
    >
    > Ibrahim, the owner, came out to tell us all about the food he was
    preparing
    > that night. Duck with port sauce, Pork Marsala, Beef Wellington, Sautéed Salmon, and Pheasant were
    > the specials. Stuffed Portabello, crab cakes, creme d'asperagus soup, and a salad with walnuts
    > [<YEESH!> A more VILE-tasting nut there isn't! Yuck! Ick! Phooey!] were described in gory detail.
    > I didn't remember anything after the Pork Marsala, though, because
    I
    > tuned out. I'd made my choice and I was stickin' to it. This made remembering what I wanted with
    > the rest of the meal sort of difficult but SWMBO is a more-attentive listener so she was able to
    > (more-or-less)
    recite
    > the specials I missed. Our server came back and we placed our order for
    food
    > and wine.
    >
    > During this time, I happen to glance over at the trio. The lone male
    looked
    > down quickly and turned an interesting shade of crimson. I didn't
    understand
    > the reaction because all we'd done was talk about food, the menu, the difficulty that She was
    > having deciding between Salmon, Beef, Pork, Duck, Pheasant, Pasta, wine, salad, soup, appetizer,
    > and the kids... <Ding!> The proverbial light bulb clicked bright.
    >
    > I dropped my voice and Herself nodded. She'd witnessed a similar event
    with
    > one of the women. We dropped our voices conspiratorially.
    >
    > It took a few minutes to get "back in the mood" but the restaurant's ambiance worked its magic;
    > pretty soon we were back to joking and talking about every topic that was verboten around the daughter-
    > units. As we
    talked,
    > there were pauses between topics (normal for us) which seemed to get
    filled
    > by noises coming from the trio's table. Our pauses lengthened -- usually
    in
    > mid-thought... It was at one such point where I was talking about writing
    Da
    > Book[4] and heard, "...it was the largest kielbasa I'd ever seen! And it just kept coming!" The
    > two women of the trio were guffawing, SWMBO was shaking with laughter, and I was burning from my
    > ears to my toes because I was definitely only half-listening when the punchline was delivered.
    >
    > The male fox was grinning that pleased look of "Gotchya!" at our table and asked, "Have either of
    > you been to Poland?"
    >
    > I'm sure I looked like both my daughter-units, Alpha and Beta, after I caught them filching Oreo's
    > that afternoon. I could feel the heat pulsing through the neck of my Oxford white. I didn't,
    > couldn't, answer.
    >
    > "Well?" he continued good-naturedly, "Have you?"
    >
    > SWMBO smiled, very sheepishly, and answered him, "No. Only Germany."
    >
    > "Ah... Germany's beautiful, too, but Poland's stunningly beautiful! You would both like it. By the
    > way, I've been shamefully eaves-dropping on
    your
    > conversation, too. How'd you like to 'join' us, since we're obviously wanting to hear each other's
    > stories?"
    >
    > And that's how we got caught. We closed the restaurant and a local bar after... It was a
    > stunningly successful date!
    >
    > [1] She Who Must Be Obeyed
    > [2] This is becoming "regular" again -- we have a full corral of baby-sitters just chompin' at
    > their bits -- which means that all those restaurants, plays, concerts, and movies that we've
    > been meaning to see we're now able!
    > [3] Better living through the US Pharmaceutical Industry!
    > [4] SWMBO took it amazingly well, considering her viewpoints on my sharing family "secrets."
    >
    > The Ranger
    > --
    > "I've often wondered just how much you share... 'Da Book' needs some changing. You'll _start_ with
    > my title." SWMBO, 7/28/03
     
  3. Beth Thomas

    Beth Thomas Guest

    > And that's how we got caught. We closed the restaurant and a local bar after... It was a
    > stunningly successful date!
    >

    I'd have to say that one of the most memorable meals I have ever had was a *real* Southern breakfast
    at a little restaurant near Table Rock, SC. Friends and I had been camping for the weekend and
    rations had gotten thin, so on the way back to campus we stopped and had breakfast......fluffy
    scrambled eggs, crisp bacon and salty country ham, hash browns, fluffy like Granny's biscuits, and
    of course grits with redeye gravy, the elixir of the gods (here in Dixie!). It was a combination of
    the friends, the wonderful meal in a cozy place, with homemade jelly and fresh coffee on the table,
    and of course a budding romance ...often an essential element in a memorable occasion....which made
    it a morning I will always remember. Well, that AND the grits! ;-)
     
  4. The Ranger

    The Ranger Guest

    Beth Thomas <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'd have to say that one of the most memorable meals I have ever had was a *real* Southern
    > breakfast at a little restaurant near Table Rock, SC. Friends and I had been camping for the
    > weekend and rations had gotten thin, so on the way back to campus we stopped and had
    > breakfast......fluffy scrambled eggs, crisp bacon and salty country ham, hash browns, fluffy like
    > Granny's biscuits, and of course grits with redeye gravy, the elixir of the gods (here in Dixie!).

    Which explains y'alls soured attitudes towards the rest of the world.

    > It was a combination of the friends, the wonderful meal in a cozy place, with homemade jelly
    > and fresh coffee on the table, and of course a budding romance ...often an essential element in
    > a memorable occasion....which made it a morning I will always remember. Well, that AND the
    > grits! ;-)

    Shoosh now or there'll be another Can O' Whoop opened up on y'all...

    The Ranger
     
  5. Frogleg

    Frogleg Guest

    When I received a last-minute invitation to a last-minute New Year's Eve dinner, I opted out of
    going to a large, probably raucous party. I *think* the main dish was leg of lamb and white beans. A
    zucchini timbale, salad, good soup, 8 people consumed 5 bottles of wine over about 5 hours, the last
    being a Château d'Yquem with trifle made from flash-frozen, home-grown raspberries. The dinner was a
    long succession of courses served by relaxed and experienced host and hostess. The conversation was
    lively, and the mix of people just about perfect. A golden glow surrounds the memory.
     
  6. Okay, here's mine. One of thousands but it's one I made myself just recently. I had friends over for
    dinner on the Sat. after Xmas. Here's what I made.

    For appetizers we had: Spanish Romescu Dip with toasted pita triangles (made of pureed toasted red
    and yellow bell peppers, roasted garlic, basalmic vinegar, olive oil, ground almonds, and cayenne;
    pita bread split and brushed with olive oil and toasted until crisp)

    Sweet Spiced Toasted Almonds (almonds tossed with beaten egg white and cinnamon, allspice, cloves,
    sugar and baked until dried)

    Savory Spiced Toasted Cashews (cashews tossed with beaten egg white and curry powder, allspice,
    cayenne, cumin, garlic powder and baked until dried)

    Red Rooster cocktails (vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and orange juice frozen and then frapped in
    a blender)

    The soup course was: Moroccan Tomato Soup with puff pastry reindeer croutons (I used canned crushed
    tomatoes, orange juice, cinnamon, garlic, onion, grated orange peel, chicken broth - not sure if
    that's all - don't have the recipe at hand right now; I used my reindeer cookie cutter to cut
    reindeer shapes out of puff pastry dough and then brushed them with an egg wash and baked until
    puffed and golden brown, floating one in each bowl.)

    The main course was: Pork Sauerbraten (This was my first time making sauerbraten with pork and it
    was awesome. I made it in my slow cooker, too, and that was the first time for that method. Took
    about 5 hours and it was perfect. I had a 5-6 lb. pork butt. I marinate for 48 hours in buttermilk
    and a little lemon juice. Then rinse and cook with red wine, peppercorns, bay leaves. A gravy is
    made from the cooking juices by thickening with ground ginger snaps.)

    Himmel und Erde (A regional specialty - mashed potatoes with apples. Just mash up a mess of potatoes
    and add applesauce. I cooked McIntosh apples in the microwave until they turned to mush and then
    mashed in with the potatoes and lots of butter. About 1/4 apples to 3/4 potatoes.)

    Medieval Spinach Saute (Fresh spinach wilted in a little olive oil and seasoned with small amounts
    of ground ginger and allspice and salt and pepper)

    Hungarian Fresh Cucumber Pickles (Paper-thin slices of cucumber in a dressing of apple cider
    vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper - simple but delicious)

    Whole Wheat Apple Sour Dough Bread (Homemade from scratch)

    Oregon Hill Blueberry Wine (The only disappointing thing at dinner - a little too sweet
    for my taste)

    Dessert was: Tarte Tatin served with homemade cinnamon ice cream (My first ever made with McIntosh
    apples and using puff pastry. Scrumptious. The ice cream was made from Monica Adamski's recipe from
    the 2002 CT Cook-In)

    Kate, who will never make beef sauerbraten again

    --
    Kate Connally “If I were as old as I feel, I’d be dead already.” Goldfish: “The wholesome snack that
    smiles back, Until you bite their heads off.” What if the hokey pokey really *is* what it's all
    about? mailto:[email protected]
     
  7. Kate Connally <[email protected]> wrote in news:4033C33A.7BF9A407
    @pitt.edu:

    > Okay, here's mine. One of thousands but it's one I made myself just recently. I had friends over
    > for dinner on the Sat. after Xmas. Here's what I made.
    >
    > For appetizers we had: Spanish Romescu Dip with toasted pita triangles (made of pureed toasted red
    > and yellow bell peppers, roasted garlic, basalmic vinegar, olive oil, ground almonds, and cayenne;
    > pita bread split and brushed with olive oil and toasted until crisp)
    >
    > Sweet Spiced Toasted Almonds (almonds tossed with beaten egg white and cinnamon, allspice, cloves,
    > sugar and baked until dried)
    >
    > Savory Spiced Toasted Cashews (cashews tossed with beaten egg white and curry powder, allspice,
    > cayenne, cumin, garlic powder and baked until dried)
    >
    > Red Rooster cocktails (vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and orange juice frozen and then frapped
    > in a blender)
    >
    > The soup course was: Moroccan Tomato Soup with puff pastry reindeer croutons (I used canned
    > crushed tomatoes, orange juice, cinnamon, garlic, onion, grated orange peel, chicken broth - not
    > sure if that's all - don't have the recipe at hand right now; I used my reindeer cookie cutter to
    > cut reindeer shapes out of puff pastry dough and then brushed them with an egg wash and baked
    > until puffed and golden brown, floating one in each bowl.)
    >
    > The main course was: Pork Sauerbraten (This was my first time making sauerbraten with pork and it
    > was awesome. I made it in my slow cooker, too, and that was the first time for that method. Took
    > about 5 hours and it was perfect. I had a 5-6 lb. pork butt. I marinate for 48 hours in buttermilk
    > and a little lemon juice. Then rinse and cook with red wine, peppercorns, bay leaves. A gravy is
    > made from the cooking juices by thickening with ground ginger snaps.)
    >
    > Himmel und Erde (A regional specialty - mashed potatoes with apples. Just mash up a mess of
    > potatoes and add applesauce. I cooked McIntosh apples in the microwave until they turned to mush
    > and then mashed in with the potatoes and lots of butter. About 1/4 apples to 3/4 potatoes.)
    >
    > Medieval Spinach Saute (Fresh spinach wilted in a little olive oil and seasoned with small amounts
    > of ground ginger and allspice and salt and pepper)
    >
    > Hungarian Fresh Cucumber Pickles (Paper-thin slices of cucumber in a dressing of apple cider
    > vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper - simple but delicious)
    >
    > Whole Wheat Apple Sour Dough Bread (Homemade from scratch)
    >
    > Oregon Hill Blueberry Wine (The only disappointing thing at dinner - a little too sweet for
    > my taste)
    >
    > Dessert was: Tarte Tatin served with homemade cinnamon ice cream (My first ever made with McIntosh
    > apples and using puff pastry. Scrumptious. The ice cream was made from Monica Adamski's recipe
    > from the 2002 CT Cook-In)
    >
    > Kate, who will never make beef sauerbraten again

    Kate, that's a marvelous, ambitious, delicious-sounding menu!!!

    I would love to make all of these things, and will definitely keep a copy of your post.

    Wayne
     
  8. Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    >
    > Kate, that's a marvelous, ambitious, delicious-sounding menu!!!
    >
    > I would love to make all of these things, and will definitely keep a copy of your post.
    >
    > Wayne

    Let me know if you want the actual recipes. Kate
    --
    Kate Connally “If I were as old as I feel, I’d be dead already.” Goldfish: “The wholesome snack that
    smiles back, Until you bite their heads off.” What if the hokey pokey really *is* what it's all
    about? mailto:[email protected]
     
  9. Kate Connally <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    >>
    >> Kate, that's a marvelous, ambitious, delicious-sounding menu!!!
    >>
    >> I would love to make all of these things, and will definitely keep a copy of your post.
    >>
    >> Wayne
    >
    > Let me know if you want the actual recipes. Kate

    Kate, if it isn't too much trouble, I would sincerely like to have all of the actual recipes. I'm
    not sure I would have the ambition to make all of them for one fabulous dinner as you did, but I
    definitely would like to make them all at one time or another. They all sound wonderful!

    Thank you, Wayne
     
  10. Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    >
    > Kate Connally <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Kate, that's a marvelous, ambitious, delicious-sounding menu!!!
    > >>
    > >> I would love to make all of these things, and will definitely keep a copy of your post.
    > >>
    > >> Wayne
    > >
    > > Let me know if you want the actual recipes. Kate
    >
    > Kate, if it isn't too much trouble, I would sincerely like to have all of the actual recipes. I'm
    > not sure I would have the ambition to make all of them for one fabulous dinner as you did, but I
    > definitely would like to make them all at one time or another. They all sound wonderful!
    >
    > Thank you, Wayne

    Wayne, Some of them I have here at work on the computer but others are at home in books so it may
    take a while to get them all. I don't mind at all. BTW, I had 2 weeks off at Xmas time so I had
    lots of free time to make everything and made as much of it ahead as possible, like the ice cream,
    the soup, the dip, the nuts, the bread, etc. I like to have a "fancy" dinner a couple of times a
    year and I usually take a couple of vacation days, say on Thur. and Fri., to get things done ahead
    of time as well as do my housecleaning, and then I don't have that much to do on Sat. I always
    have my dinners on Sat. if possible so I can spend Sun. resting up and doing all the dishes at a
    relaxed pace.

    Kate
    --
    Kate Connally “If I were as old as I feel, I’d be dead already.” Goldfish: “The wholesome snack that
    smiles back, Until you bite their heads off.” What if the hokey pokey really *is* what it's all
    about? mailto:[email protected]
     
  11. Kate Connally <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    >>
    >> Kate Connally <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >>
    >> > Wayne Boatwright wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >> Kate, that's a marvelous, ambitious, delicious-sounding menu!!!
    >> >>
    >> >> I would love to make all of these things, and will definitely keep a copy of your post.
    >> >>
    >> >> Wayne
    >> >
    >> > Let me know if you want the actual recipes. Kate
    >>
    >> Kate, if it isn't too much trouble, I would sincerely like to have all of the actual recipes. I'm
    >> not sure I would have the ambition to make all of them for one fabulous dinner as you did, but I
    >> definitely would like to make them all at one time or another. They all sound wonderful!
    >>
    >> Thank you, Wayne
    >
    > Wayne, Some of them I have here at work on the computer but others are at home in books so it may
    > take a while to get them all. I don't mind at all. BTW, I had 2 weeks off at Xmas time so I had
    > lots of free time to make everything and made as much of it ahead as possible, like the ice cream,
    > the soup, the dip, the nuts, the bread, etc. I like to have a "fancy" dinner a couple of times a
    > year and I usually take a couple of vacation days, say on Thur. and Fri., to get things done ahead
    > of time as well as do my housecleaning, and then I don't have that much to do on Sat. I always
    > have my dinners on Sat. if possible so I can spend Sun. resting up and doing all the dishes at a
    > relaxed pace.
    >
    > Kate

    Thanks, Kate. You're being so generous, please take all the time you need. For a really special meal
    I do almost the same thing as you do. As much pre-paration as possible, and I almost always take off
    at least on Friday. Luckily, when I plan a dinner party like this, my SO will take care of the
    housecleaning, setting the table, etc., so I can usually accomplish everything with just the Friday
    and whatever time is needed on Saturday. As far as I'm concerned, when you work, Sunday is
    definitely not a day to putting on a meal like this. Sounds as though you plan very well for these
    occasions.

    Wayne
     
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