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12:35 p.m. - 2009-03-09
Dinner For Six

Last night we had Liz, Kyle and their sweet little four year old Zeia over for dinner. We like to entertain. We usually have a small gathering although I'm really in the mood to host a cocktail party.

When we were in Ras al Khaimah at that beach resort I received a call from Liz asking if we wanted to hang out. We were with the family who introduced us to Liz, et al and I felt badly that they themselves weren't there as our five girls get along so well.

They recently moved from the small villa they'd been renting and little Zeia had been pining for her old friends. So arranging a little dinner party with a play date for the girls seemed like a good idea.

They now live in a high rise and seem to enjoy their new place. It has a free gym and population density that feels more like a community. I think I'd like that too but the flats probably aren't big enough for the stuff we brought, the pets and our need for at least three bedrooms.

But back to our dinner preparations.

Lyra made the dressing and assembled a sweet and sour cucumber salad and helped me break apart a very nice head of cauliflower. We found two slugs on it and I was explaining to Lyra how that was a good thing as it probably meant that it wasn't sprayed with pesticide.

We made a couple of really great roasted chickens, something we have at least once a week. I did something a little different this time putting some mirepoix and butter (and eventually a splash of Vouvray) in the bottom of the roasting pan to flavour the juices that run off. I like to make pasta en brodo with the leftovers.

Lyra sprinkled what was going to be roasted cauliflower with olive oil and soy sauce and I ground some pepper over the top. Julie turned me onto that technique.

Kyle remarked that it was so cool to be in a house that was fully furnished and had a full bar set up. I guess he's been 'surviving' on cases of Heineken shuttled from duty free when his buddies fly in and out. He's so sick of it that he'll occasionally go out with his co-workers just to have something that isn't Heineken. He was able to enjoy a couple bottles of Leffe Brune, some pinot noir with dinner before going back to the beer route with some Fullers ESB before enjoying his double espresso.

I'll bet you'd like an invitation for dinner wouldn't you? Make your reservation in the comments section. There's almost always a floor show starring me, and tonight was no exception.

The girls played. Lyra was teaching Zeia piano and they did some art. Zeia came down once with various 'stamps' all over her face which made us all laugh. Lyra cleaned her up by herself. She was enjoying being the big girl and Zeia is such a patient little sweetie.

After some small talk, drinks and nibbles in the living room, we ate dinner in the pool area which had it's first major dusting and swabbing since the recent shamal have been blowing. It was turning into a very pleasant evening.

Lyra called me in to let me know that Basil had managed to get into the rubbish and proceeded to eat one and one half chicken skeletons. He looked like a bloated little pig carcass laying on the rug.

He needed a walk so I took him out and had to recall him as he began to bum rush Trompie, the neighbour cat. I guess I could have walked him a little longer but I grew frustrated and impatient after he found some raw chicken skin that for reasons unbeknownst to me, had been left, neatly, NEXT to the rubbish bin. Probably some idiot trying to make it easy for the feral cats who need no help at all, believe me.

I left my shoes outside and came back in to help finish clearing up the dishes and put away the leftovers. When walking on our nice wool rug, I felt a somewhat familiar gushie feeling between my toes.

It was dog shit, and lots of it, on both feet which caused me to do one of those silly 'heel walks' across another rug, this time silk, leaving a trail all the way to the powder room, cursing (as much as I could under my breath). I didn't know it was as bad as it was and I put one foot into the sink to rinse it off. Stupid!

The bathrooms here have wall mounted 'kitchen' sprayers or a bidet if one is lucky so I put, one foot at a time over the toilet and proceeded to hose off the BOTTOM of my feet and between my toes all of which didn't work that well. I used a whole roll of toilet paper.

Meanwhile, Julie, Liz and Kyle were pleasantly chatting outside, a closed patio door separating us. When Liz came in, she got some on HER sandals. Lucky her. I shagged them upstairs as I was making a wet mess in the powder room.

I went up to my studio / boys room and got into the shower so I could sit and rinse my feet with warm water and soap. Naturally, the shower had been left in the 'on' position so when I turned the water on, I doused my face and shirt. What a buzz kill!

I was so annoyed that when I put the rugs that COULD go into our washing machine, that had been fixed that very day, I didn't stop to think that I was using a super concentrated detergent. There must have been 40 compressed cubic yards of suds inside. The lights on front were blinking madly at us trying to get us to do something! There was so much air in those bubbles that a little water leaked out somehow.

Luckily, all kitchens and baths have handy little floor drains. Good thing they have these little creature comforts built into the houses here. All I can think of is that many fucked up emergencies like this happen all the time here in Arabia and they're prepared for it Insha'Allah!

I've found what appears to be a fly by night air conditioning outfit that are cleaning and tuning up the units for this villa. All SIX of them! I hope they know what they're doing. They sure are making a mess!


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