Thursday, July 22, 2010

You CAN Teach Two Old Dogs New Tricks

Oh, what a difference a year makes.  Remember about 20 blogs ago when Mr. Big called me from work around 14:00 and wanted to bring some colleagues to dinner THAT NIGHT and I totally freaked out?  I didn’t have any ice ready, I was anticipating a nightmarish 3 or 4 trips to the Manor to buy ingredients, I didn’t even own enough pots and pans to cook for a dinner party.  Remember that?  Remember when I told him no bleepin’ way and durned near lost my Trailing Spouse of the Year status?

  Ha!  We have both learned our lesson.  Today he calls at noon, (note the two extra hours), and wants to know if he can A) bring some people over just for drinks, B) bring some people over for a LIGHT dinner or, C) come pick me up and take me to dinner with these people.  Last year, I was all about the restaurant.  This year, I have got my act together.  Mr. Big, bring ‘em on.  I will start making the ice right now.

What is with the ice?  Some of you were not in on the very, very first emails I made back home lamenting the lack of bagged ice.  It does not exist.  To amass enough ice for A)the beer/wine cooler, B) the ice bucket for the mixed drinks and cokes and C) the water pitcher, you have to make it in ice trays.  One by one by one.  Into a giant Ziploc baggie.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

Now I have five industrial size ice trays.  (In the beginning, I had two itty-bitty ones).  I can crank out some serious ice with my five ice trays.  I will have 3 Ziplocs full by the time the guests arrive tonight at 20:00.

Also, this is the biggest hint regarding spur-of-the-moment entertaining that I can give you.  It is THE DRINKS that make you have to go to the store more than two times.  DRINKS ARE HEAVY!!  Whenever you have the opportunity to use a vehicle, take advantage and buy plenty of bottled water, cokes, vodka, wine, etc.  Store it in your cave or nuclear fallout shelter for just such an occasion.  You will be able to carry the ingredients for a dinner party in one trip, maybe two, if you don’t have to deal with the drinks.  Trust me.  I did it in one trip today.  Here is what you can carry in one trip:

6 packs of chicken parts for Fried Chicken
2 sticks of butter
1 liter of milk
6 potatoes
2 packs of smoked salmon
1 pack of smoked trout
1 pack of jambon cru
½ of a wheel of tete de moins cheese  (I had to ask the cheese guy for this ½ wheel in French.  I am so proud.)
1 container of raspberries
1 container of blackberries
2 peaches
3 red tomatoes
2 yellow tomatoes
1 head of lettuce
7 dinner rolls
1 large bottle of vegetable oil to fry the chicken
1 bottle of grapefruit juice
1 bottle of cranberry juice
1 lemon
1 lime
1 red onion
1 pack of fresh mint
2 boxes of crackers
1 container of mixed olives
7 ears of corn on the cob

I carried this on my back and in my two hands, people!  Again, I repeat, if I would have had to carry all of the drinks as well, I would still be lying in the middle of a charming cobblestoned street somewhere in downtown Lausanne having an anxiety attack.   Passerby would have been throwing centimes into my satchel, assuming I was an epileptic beggar.  No, move along, sir.  I am just a random Trailing Spouse trying to prepare a dinner party without a vehicle.  Nothing to see here, madame, move along.  Merci.

See how I am adapting?  I even have time to write in the blog before I have to get into the shower and magically transform in to Corporate Wife Extraordinaire.  I think this calls for a glass of wine.  Au revoir!

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