18 November, 2006

dinner out, finally!


How long has it been, really? Since we had dinner out, the two of us? That's a rhetorical question to which the unnecessary answer is, "too long." Almost as long as it's been since I had a non-foody post. And so unexpected, which is almost the beauty of it. I feel as if all I've been doing lately is cooking, and writing about cooking, so when Avery had an impromptu invitation to play after skating yesterday, it was but the work of a moment to say yes, fling her into Becky's arms and make plans for dinner OUT.

But first, I must tell you about the mayhem at the skating rink. There we were, two innocent mums with Becky's three girls and my one, and suddenly there's a film crew on the ice. Avery was transfixed, certain that this was her moment to shine and start the ball rolling on her film career. But it turns out they were filming a very lame couple for a television show called "Date My Mom," a cultural (and I use the term loosely) phenomenon of which I had been heretofore unaware. The concept is that a series of young men date the mother of an eligible girl, and then the mother chooses the man she should end up with. I tried and failed to picture my own mother taking part in this merriment.

Around and around skated this ordinary-looking woman of motherly proportions and a diffident demeanor, with her escort whose teeth could light up a tube station, and some unsightly bling around his neck. Avery skated strategetically close to them, hoping to be included in some shot. Before long, however, the woman had fallen down, and in the time it took for us to pay attention, it was clear that she was truly injured. Ankle, something down low. Becky said, "Is it just me, or would the first thing you'd do be to get her to stop sitting down on the ice, where her bum will shortly lose all feeling?" Fully eight or ten strapping young men came and went, hovering over her, offering this sweater, that blanket, but no one offered to get her off the ice. At one point an official from Queensway Skating Rink loomed over her, holding a clipboard, onto which surface he took some notes. Probably along the lines of, "Nothing that happened here was anyone's fault who can be named." Young Lochinvar who was, presumably, the "date," spent a lot of time on his mobile phone, then bending down to speak to the "mom", and revealing parts of his anatomy that no one wanted to see. Wondering if he'd still be able to shag the girl if her mother died on the ice, one presumes.

Finally the victim was taken away on a stretcher, but the passage of time led both Becky and me to ponder our girls' chances should something of a more, say, bloody nature happen to one of them. They could easily bleed to death while the rink officials shut off the pizza machine and found the clipboard. Ah, well, all ended happily. Or at least we left, which was happy for me.

Avery went off with Becky and her girls, and I walked in to find John who happily said, "The pork chops look great, so I thought we could cook together, and be really cozy!" Pause. "Or not." "Not," I said, and we decided instantly to go to Deya, the nearby and completely delicious sort of fusion Indian. Except that all it's fusing with is lightness and good taste, so I guess it's nouvelle Indian. An amuse-guele of coconut cream of mushroom soup, in a tiny espresso cup, with a tempura-ish morsel of cauliflower suspended from a toothpick atop it. Completely perfect. Listen, I must run watch the last bits of "Tom's Midnight Garden" with Avery before she curls up with her hot water bottle and a book, so more on the menu later...

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