and my work life are NOT synched. Last night was the fifth night in a row I went out socially, and now I have to stay at work tonight until 8:30 observing adjuncts. (I got here at 8 this morning!)
It all started last Wednesday night with Halloween. I didn't actually drive anywhere, but the kids and I left the house and went trick-or-treating with our neighbors. Then when we got home I had to limit the amount of candy they consumed and get them off to bed.
On Thursday I went to the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture to hear Fredrick Turner read a series of sonnets entitled "The Wayfarer." That was fun- very cerebral and inspiring and cultured. We drank wine and ate tasty snacks and then sat and listened to literature being read by the author, with his British accent that gives a special flavor to it all. I was home in time to put two freshly washed (thanks H) kids to bed.
Then on Friday was Stone Soup at the Thames. I took the kids and my friend and neighbor came along with her two boys. Our boys were more interested in running around outside, but Leila was happy to sit and listen to stories after we had eaten yummy food- lasagna, soups, and munchies. I debuted "The Hungry Moon," which was received very well. Maybe you all will get to read it soon, too. It was home early to put the tired kids to bed. (Leila was exhausted, having had no nap. We put Ali in the back with B, who is 4, and they whooped it up all the way home, much to her disfavor. The baby, J, just took it all in.)
On Saturday I headed back to Stone Soup, grownup version, sans kids. It was great to be able to enjoy more good food- about 10 different soups were there, but I only sampled three- and then sit and listen to people read and sing, both original works and those of others. I had nothing to share on the theme of sleeping and dreaming, so I brought in the photo of Leila sleeping entitled "She Makes Me Lie Down" that I created as a part of a series on Psalm 23. I didn't stay late as I wanted to tuck the children in. And so I did.
Last night was the big event- the Stephan Pyles Eighth Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner. Of course, I didn't fork out the $175 ticket fee. No, I was lucky enough to be invited along with my friends S, his brother, J, and J's wife, J. It was so fun. When we walked into the restaurant we were served champagne. We didn't get far- clustered by the door to chat and consume the tasty mouthfuls being brought around by waiters. After posing for some group photos (look for us in D magazine! (ha)) we were escorted to our table. The first course was Stephan's Lobster-Butternut Squash Chowder with white truffle foam, served with a sweet Gewurztraminer from Alsace. This was followed by Pacific Diver Scallop with preserved lemon, huile d'olive, White Corn Sorbet, Smoked Butter Gelee and White Soy. This was by Tyson Cole, from UCHI, in Austin. We had a Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. My least favorite dish was the Foie Gras Brulee, Celery Root Puree, Green Apple Salad. Actually, I liked everything but the foie gras- it tasted okay, but it's too rich for consumption, and mine was a strange texture. Stephan usually serves his foie gras with a sweet white wine, like the Gewurztraminer, but this one was served with Piont Noir from Sonoma. David Bull from the Stoneleigh made this dish. The entree was The Mansion's Free Range Texas Guinea Hen with Smoked Bacon and Green Lentil Stew, Red Wine Shallot Puree and Black Truffle Emulsion. It mostly tasted of bacon, but it was very good. Apparently, the guinea hen are given 6 feet of feeding area and fed fine foods like tofu. We had a Etienne Guigal Gigondas 2003 from Rhone, France to accompany it. (Disclaimer- while I sipped at the wines, I only finished the champagne and the Gewurztraminer, and that was only about 1/2 a glass.) John Tesar, from the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek made that. One of my favorite courses was the desert. A tall, woolly headed, bearded chef named Shannon Swindle from Craft, Dallas contributed this. It was Forelle Pear Turnovers with Organic Ennis Hazelnuts, Tupelo Honey and Juniper. This was served with icecream, and a Domaine des baumard Coteaux u Layon Carte D'Or from Loire, France. I was doing really well here, just about popping point, and I thought- I made it through. Then the waiter brought some caramal corn and a plate of mini cookies. I had to taste them! He also brought us some coffee, which another waiter than spilled, and then brought me more.
It was a fun evening. Our waiter made the mistake of telling us about a customer that kept putting his bread plate on the wrong side so the waiter kept having to switch it back. J and I surreptiously switched our knives and forks. He caught hers, but didn't catch mine until I switched my desert fork and spoon and he replaced them. Then we started laughing and confessed- poor guy- but he was sweet.
I got home late- both kids were deep into their slumber- Ali half off the bed. And now, I'm stumbling through a 12 + hour day. I need a cup of tea, but it was a good weekend. (I even graded papers.)