Friday, July 20, 2012

Birthday dinner

Portland, Oregon, July 20, 2012—
SEVENTEEN OF US, I think, at table, all but eight of them descendents of ours, children and grandchildren, gathered at the table of an uncommonly generous and patient inlaw-of-sorts, our son's wife's mother's husband, who, with his daughter and son-in-law put on a wonderful spread.

We began in the front yard, with dips and crackers and cheese and guacamole and tomatoes and such, while Philippe was manning the grills where dozens of sausages, bell peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants were being readied for the next course.

Then à table! We moved inside for the Sausage Dance, Pavel's perennial rite, in which all join hands and dance counterclockwise around the table, then clockwise, chanting
Sau-sage! Sau-sage! We are going to Eat… You!
And then the corn on the cob, the sausages, the potato salad…

Then the green salad, of course; and finally the birthday cakes, two of them, one lemon, the other chocolate… it always takes me by surprise, how well lemon and chocolate marry…
Rosé, red…

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