Thursday in Orlando

The party continues.

Getting a pleasantly slow start to the day, we trundled off to play bridge. Gail played with Susan, I played with Martha, a bridge teacher/director/club owner who is a good friend of Susan’s.

The game was small, 8 tables.  We came in 2nd by only 1 miserable point, which we never had any opportunity to pick up.  Yeah, that’s it.

The big deal was dinner. Peter Parker becomes Spiderman, Bruce Wayne is Batman and Clark Kent changes in phone booth to become Superman.    Karl decided some years ago to start cooking, and has become quite the gourmet chef. When Karl slips on his custom made chef’s coat, he becomes Julian, chef de cuisine at his own private palace of fine dining, 530 on the 18th.  Julian doesn’t just leaf through a cook book, he researches each recipe online, knowing the history and background and concepts behind it.  We spent the day playing cards; he spent the day cooking. All day.

We were 7 for dinner–Karl, Susan, me and Gail, Martha (you have to give people dinner to get them to play with me), another friend Jerry (a fiesty female type) and Frances.  Lovely, wonderful Frances.

Frances

Frances

The meal was a major Karl extravaganza.  We started with crackers and cheese and artichokes with the pre-prandial drinks, then moved to the table for the main event.

First off, an homage to Gail, her favorite starter, beef carpaccio:

Raw beef, sliced thin and pounded thinner.  Drizzled with a thin aioli.

Raw beef, sliced thin and pounded thinner. Drizzled with a thin aioli and topped with watercress

Next was a perfectly prepared composed guacamole salad:

Avocado chunks in a cucumber timbale

Avocado chunks in a cucumber timbale

To make a meal a feast, you just add frog’s legs:

Breaded and fried frog leg.

Breaded and fried frog leg.

Finally, the main course.  A sweet potato gratin, salmon with miso sauce and asparagus avec hollandaise.

Chef Julian's piece de resistance.

Chef Julian’s piece de resistance.

There was no dessert; we were left with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes as a perfect finish to the meal.

There was  another purpose to this dinner party: a large box had arrived at the Rowleys house, and needed to be dealt with:

A mystery to be unveiled.

A mystery to be unveiled.

Well, Gail was there, but she declined to open the box, because it was a present for Susan.  The box cutter was quickly applied:

If there was a union for carton openers, SR would qualify.

If there was a union for carton openers, SR would qualify.

Susan dug down in the packaging and figured out what was inside:

The moment of realization

The moment of realization

Then raced over to hug her best friend in the whole world:

Best friends forever

Best friends forever

Then had to go to her husband:

Still in tears.

Still in tears.

What was in the box, you wonder?  Art.  We have a piece of sculpture that Susan particularly admires, by Kevin Nierman.

The long ladder-like item next between the mirror and the window.  It is ceramic balls on a wire frame.

The long ladder-like item next between the mirror and the window. It is ceramic balls on a wire frame.

Gail asked Kevin to make a similar piece for Susan, and it came out beautifully.

So that was our dinner–the best company, fantastic food and some tears.  Life is good.

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5 thoughts on “Thursday in Orlando

  1. Thank you so much for being so good to my mother! She’s quite the woman, and you are wonderful friends to her!

    Thank you thank you!!
    Keli

  2. My favorite of all your great posts. I had tears in my eyes with Susan. Having met her in person helps.

    Hope you get this email.

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