My friend Shawn said "tell me every nutty detail about your holiday", in an e-mail.
There weren't a lot of nutty details, truth be told.
It went rather smoothly and sanely.
My friend Aunt Karen came by train Tuesday and we cooked- A LOT.
Before we cooked with went out to Mi Mero Mole, which I happen to love (despite the fact that the owner is a little bit of a pompous ass, and the food is much to spicy, often, which my friend Tony says is not possible, but it is totally possible. HA!) Mark hates it, and was annoyed that I chose to go there, but I wanted Karen to check it out, as she loves unique hole in the wall places, plus it's close to our house. Win/win. We split a margarita and plotted our cooking strategy for Wednesday.
On Wednesday we got up hella early with Miss Freyja and picked up my mom and headed to the Pearl Bakery, to fortify ourselves for the heavy cleaning and cooking that would surely come over the next 24 hours.
Freyja and I had made name tags ahead of time, and I had moved the kitchen table into the dining-room, so most of the really heavy lifting was done by the time Karen and I got started, which meant we got to laugh a lot and drink too much coffee.
We did arrange the table settings and think long and hard about pedestal vs taper candles.
We dispensed with the tapers, they have too much risk of dripping. We decided to go with ease and casual, which is not usually my style.
When I pulled out two white tablecloths Karen frowned; we typically use this loooooong homemade cover that I made from yards and yards of expensive Provincial French fabric, purchased in the mid 90's from Daisy Kingdom, when they still had a giant store in NW Portland (Karen is a sucker for nostalgia and fine linens), but once I reminded her of all the ironing that usually goes into the table, she was game to try something new.
We did white, with a lot of autumnal color from festive decorations, quinces and acorns and it looked fantastic.
We had 16 people total, with three 13 year old boys and one rather rowdy 3 year old, who nearly gave me a heart attack by squeezing a handful of pomegranate seeds onto the while tablecloth. My friend Pam laughed out loud. She said she loved seeing my uptight boundaries pushed. The parent of the three year old told her "Heidi has different rules, lots of rules..." I don't know who in the world would not have a rule against fruit squeezing, but there you go. Different strokes I suppose.
In the end it was a fine evening and we went off to bed knowing that we were heading off to Beaverton bright and early the next morning for a family birthday party for Mark's niece.