Thursday, June 07, 2012

We Love Al Fresco Dining.

We were invited to a good friend’s 70th Birthday party.  You know when you give a garden party in Oregon before mid-July or after mid-September, you need outdoor patio heaters to guard against icicles hanging off your guests noses. You may need more than two in our state.

We will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary on July 25th.  We were married in an orchard on a 90-degree day.  I still can remember the beautiful sight of Bev walking out of the trees on her father’s arm. A year after we were wed, one of Bev’s best friends married on the same date at Black Butte by the lake and it was unseasonably cold for that time of the year.  A wedding can be spoiled if your guests are uncomfortably cold.

We love al fresco dining.  It’s a causal way of dining in a garden atmosphere where we can hear the birds, feel the breeze and the sun and smell the fresh air as we savor the delightful flavors.  In Mexico, when we dine outside, we get the added bonus of the stars and the sounds of the surf.  Very few times has it been cold enough for heaters, but the waiters assured us one cold evening that this was unusual for March. They are trained to say that.

Speaking of casual dining, I love buffets.  I love to go down the event server line before the tops are lifted imagining what’s been cooked inside.  Then, I grab my plate as I balance my drink while holding my napkin and silver ware.  Next I put down my drink to dish some of the many salads on to my plate. I grab a roll and butter.  Then pick up my drink and move on, all the time chatting with those I’m with about how great everything looks.  There are usually rice or potatoes fixed one of many ways, so I put down my drink and dish up the carbs, pick up my drink and move on.  I’m running out of room before I get to the prime rib. 

I remember being in Dallas at a buffet hosted by my friend John May of May Petroleum.  He was ahead of me in line and when we came to the Baron of Beef.  The chef was slicing off thin pieces to make it last, I suspect.  John said he would like a piece this thick, holding he thumb and forefinger about a half inch apart. When it was my turn, I said to the chef, “I’ll have what he had!” 

When I sat down at the table I realized I forgot to pick up my drink again. Buffets are great.  The best part is going back for dessert.  There are usually more than a dozen offerings and the trick is to eat as many as possible without people getting wise.

On January 15th of 2014, I will be 70.  I’m going to have a party outside…in Mexico.
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