Monday, May 4, 2009

Party weekend...

Christy and me, looking fabulous.

It was a great weekend for a party person. (That would be me.) Friday night I went to a friend's law firm's party. It was at the Driskill Hotel, which was reason enough to go, since the Driskill is a fabulous place. It was a Casino Night themed party, with a buffet. The food was perfectly acceptable, with a lovely buffet up on the mezzanine, and gambling in the Ballroom.

Now I am NOT a gambler, at least not with cards and stuff, but I didn't let that stop me. That's how casinos make money, I am sure, on idiots like me. We were each given a $10,000 chip at the beginning of the evening and the object was to amass as much money as possible. MY object was to be able to keep gambling until it was over, with occasional short trips to the dance floor to rid myself of excess energy. I succeeded. My friend coached me on how to play blackjack. I didn't really get the hang of craps, but I like dice, so it was fun anyway. It just seemed like a lot of rules for throwing dice around, to me, BWTH.

Saturday I spent the whole day cooking. Some people might groan at that, but I love cooking. I put the stereo on LOUD and boogied away while making mole.

If you're going to make mole, you pretty much have to have some kind of a party. It has a ton of ingredients. There's not much of any one thing - except for a pound of chilies - but there are so many things that you end up with a pile of mole. So you have a party, put the excess mole in jars and spread the joy. Mole also takes hours to make. You have to de-seed the chilies, and roast the seeds until they are black. This releases the capsaicins into the air big time, and your eyes water as you, shake, shake, shake your griddle. You also have to roast your onions, garlic and tomatoes, slowly, as well as soften the chilies, grind the spices and the nuts and soften the dried fruits and then puree them. Hours, dear people, hours! This is one of the moles with chocolate, but that's just a little splash at the end, not the hard part. Anyway, the point is you end up with a dutch oven full of mole, and it's something you drizzle over stuff, so ya gots to give it away! (It does freeze, too.) While I was doing that I was slow cooking the shredded chicken, and soaking the black beans.

Yesterday morning, starting early, I cooked the beans, and made the cheesecake and cut up the strawberries and made the Cardinale sauce for its topping. Lots more music was required for all of this. After days of rainish, it cleared up and turned gorgeous in the afternoon.

People began arriving around three, beginning with my daughter, Sara, and newest grandbaby, Arlo. The whole famdamily showed up (ex, ex's ex and her husband, two daughters who live in town, grandkids), plus the most wonderful musicians.

These are guys I played with thirty years ago. They've veered off into bluegrass. Since putting my left hand thru the table saw last fall, I haven't been able to play even as badly as I used to, and I could not keep up with 'em, but I had fun trying, 'til I just sat back to listen.

Lots and lots of folks showed up, drank, ate and enjoyed the music. It's important to have an audience when musicians play on your porch.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I have been thinking a lot lately about people I admire and respect. Now I'd like to be one of those people who puts down that they admire, oh, say, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B Anthony, Hans and Sophie Scholl, and, goodness knows, I do. But I also know that they're not my role models. The people I really admire and aspire to emulate are Gerald and Sara Murphy.

And I think Gerald and Sara would've enjoyed the party.