Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

It's Always About the Food

I went to Washington DC last weekend to attend the wedding of my old friend Liz. I stayed for two nights with my geek friends Ryan and Hot-Swappable Ryan in Ashburn VA, then I stayed for a night with my brother and sister-in-law in Gaithersburg MD. All weekend long people kept feeding me glorious delicious food in great quantity. What a fine time.

Of late, Hot-Swappable Ryan has become a devotee of Alton Brown, so he wanted to begin my weekend by cooking up a nice fancy dinner. Who am I to argue such a proposition, although when I noted that I had originally hoped to meet up with my friend Brian and his boyfriend Kent he graciously and happily invited them as well.

I was a bit late for the dinner, as my flight out had made an "emergency landing" in Detroit. I tell you, there is a very specific sort of heart-sinking feeling that results from an unexpected plane announcement of this nature ("...and we will be landing in Detroit in about 40 minutes.") As we learned later, the plane's instrument panel was indicating that the landing gear was not retracted. The pilot did not believe this was actually the case, but if indeed this were true then we did not have enough gas to get us to DC. So we landed in Detroit where, to the credit of Northwest Airlines, there was another plane right there waiting for us at a nearby gate. Total time lost: Two hours from the flight, two years from our lives.

Brian and Kent and Ryan and Ryan were happily being social without me when I arrived, demanding beer. We stood around the kitchen and watched HSR demonstrate his skills. There was fish and salad and rice and vegetables in complicated presentations accompanied by fancy dressings. Ryan-1 and I polished off a couple of bottles of Riesling. We talked about townhouses in Virginia and we talked about Northern Ontario (where Brian is from) and it was a happy time.

Saturday I went off to visit Mary Ann and Bobby, who were very close friends of mine in college. They were not going to Liz's wedding, but Julie and Randy had flown into town from New Hampshire for the wedding and they joined us at Mary Ann and Bobby's as well. Bobby, it seems, has taken up cooking as a serious hobby over the last twenty years. I've seen Bobby over the years, but not at his home, so I hadn't known of this skill. Mary Ann showed me his special large kitchen drawer given over entirely to Penzey's spices and spice mixes, so I knew this was serious. We had cold cucumber-yogurt-dill soup, and salad, and bread, and lentils, and delicious grilled salmon, and fruit, all eaten on the backyard deck on a beautiful sunny dry day.

After a brief stopover at the Hotel Ryan I went into town for the wedding, which was held at the Clarendon Ballroom. We were served delicious appetizers. There was a short heartfelt ceremony, then the curtains parted to reveal tables set for dinner and a swing band. The band played for several hours while we all made many trips to the food tables. We ate delicious baby lamb chops and a chicken-pastry dish and sushi (!) and asparagus and salmon and good bread and pasta and more things than I can recount. Dessert was simple: warm chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. It was a good party, yes.

Sunday morning I left the sleeping Ryans to meet up with my brother and his wife in Maryland. They treated me to excellent dim sum at a Chinese restaurant. I ate great quantities of food and drank pots of tea and pitchers of water.

Sunday I went to antique malls with my brother and then we all went to Glen Echo Park for the contra dance that my sister-in-law organizes. There was, unfortunately, no grand buffet waiting for me (by this point I had come to expect such a thing as my due), but at the park there was a snack bar that served good gelato and the dance was fun. Monday my sister-in-law and I went out for breakfast at a good Jewish deli, where I picked up snacks for the plane, and then I headed back to Dulles for a pleasant flight home.

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