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Impromptu Dinner Party

Pyrate Queen came to Venice last night, and we planned to gather some food and other essentials for her study session with a law school friend (hereafter referred to as Loni-Tamer - not a typo). Plans got changed at the last second, originally we were going to Loni-Tamer's house for dinner and for them to study together. But instead we had dinner at Tortuga-on-Venice.

It was actually our first trip to a supermarket together, and I found myself asking rhetorical questions that I already knew the answer to, a habit I loathe and will break. "Should I get some plain mugs, or wait for a cool mug?" I knew the answer. Why did I ask the question? Aargh.

I made teriyaki chicken on a cedar plank on the grill. The night of the masquerade ball, we made an accidental discovery at The Galley , where we had dinner. We'd ordered a side of spinach, and with our salmon entree came soy-sauce with wasabi. On an impulse I dumped the soy-wasabi into the spinach, and it was amazing! So last night I cooked some spinach with a little garlic, and then served it with soy-wasabi. I also steamed some artichokes (which are really just for Pyrate Queen, who hovers over artichoke like buzzards hover over dead cowboys) and made some bake-at-home whole wheat baguette. We had a nice "Giant Rooster" sauvignon blanc, too.

Alas, I left the cover on the grill down too long, and the skin of the chicken blackened quite dramatically. Everything else turned out quite well, I think. My neighbor was sitting on the stoop doin' biz on his cellphone (signal inside the building is terrible) and was singing along with some of the music I had playing - Jeffrey Gaines, who is a good but definitely local East Coast singer. We started chatting about Gaines and other music, and I invited him in for dinner.

So there we were, with my One True Love studying the law, and then a good dinner on the table with an impromptu dinner party. There was political smack-talk, ribald stories, and just that air of well-fed good humor that comes with a good night with good company.

And maybe the best part, the lion of contentment pressing its heavy paw on my chest - is that there's many more to come, and then many more again.

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