Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sometimes It Pays to Eat Out

In a spontaneous moment Gary suggested we go out to dinner. Having just returned from a pumpkin "reforming" session over at my pal Becky's, I jumped at the chance to hoist myself out of the chair which enveloped my exhausted body (did she say pumpkin "wrangling"?) and into a fine dining establishment. The kids salivated wildly over the expectation of Amy's pizza while I went upstairs to powder my nose.

We waltzed into The Swiss House to see our friends/restauranteurs Karl and Lily. Lily greeted us with the sad news that her brother-in-law had just passed away and she would be flying out to Hawaii the very next day. Amidst hugs, promises of prayer, and some reminiscing we settled in for a typically Swiss episode in fine dining -- excellent in every way. The warm rolls and butter arrived, followed by the most flavorful split-pea soup, and then onto a crisp salad of mixed greens gently draped with green-goddess dressing. As the entrees arrived (Gary chose sauerbraten; I opted for cannelloni) we settled down to some serious gastronomic enjoyment.

According to custom, Karl visits us tableside, greeting us in the old world style. Typically he inquires as to our dining pleasure and the status of the food, but this particular night he changed the game and offered to send me home with some surplus ratatouille and spaetzle owing to the abrupt closure of the restaurant the next day. Of course I was inclined to jump up clapping and hugging him -- his ratatouille is unmatched in deliciousity (I know it's not a word -- but it SHOULD be!) and the diminuitive dumplings that magically roll off the fingers of this chef cannot compare with any I have ever attempted -- BUT, I maintained my composure. After all, I sit in the midst of other diners who haven't the good fortune of hitting the "Stuff 'n Nonsense" jackpot. Good manners kept me composed while he relayed instructions regarding the care of spaetzle to avoid spoilage. (Who knew spaetzle could spoil?) Then he proceeded to describe the layering of ratatouille, the piling of cheese . . . my stomach rumbled, despite having already taken in 4 courses. (I ate enough bread to count as a full course.) Fortunately the kahlua-laced chocolate mousse arrived and we dove in as Karl headed over to the next table (poor souls -- no leftovers, only greetings).

When we arrived home Matthew popped his head out of his "computer office" (also known as my laundry/sewing room). He eyed Gary's hands, looking for the usual clamshell containing the balance of my dinner destined to become his evening snack. His eyes grew saucer-like as Gary hefted a grocery sack onto the kitchen counter! I promptly fixed him a diversionary snack whilst Gary loaded the goods into the refrigerator.

The next day I layered the spaetzle, then added ratatouille, sliced in some chicken/apple sausages I found hanging out in the meat drawer, and topped it all with some good cheddar cheese (being fresh out of provolone). I popped the pan into the oven and went about my business. Once the aroma of this meal carried throughout the house everyone came running with their appetite. We feasted like kings. The meager remains from lunch allowed Matthew to dine, but no one else.

Today Gary returned the empty containers to Karl. He just returned home smiling as he reported that Karl has more leftovers to send my way. My stomach growled. It sure does pay to eat out in this town. ; )


Becky said...

I am drooling... and jellus ;-) I love spaetzle.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

drool.... I am so hungry now... and its just 7 am LOL

Ruth MacC said...

Hello there,
I like the scripture you have on the previous post, 'be of good cheer'. A great one to just stop y ou in your tracks.

All that lovely food, I am very glad for you! Pity it comes through sad associations though.

There is no way I am sending Sean away to boarding school! Another blogger asked me tha same question. I dont know what I wrote on my post that gives that impression, must be something that means one thing here in Ireland and another thing in the US,
like vest,
(US=waist coat Ir=underwear)

(US=crisps Ir=frys)

The list goes on!

Anyway, love your blog, keep up the good work!

God bless,

Virginia said...

Oh, now I’m really hungry....must go now and fix myself breakfast. Always enjoy reading all your stories.
Have a lovely and Bless Tuesday, Virginia

Flea said...

THAT'S what I was going to do with the ham hocks in the freezer! Split pea soup! Thank you.

Your evening out sounds very satisfying, though I'm sorry to hear of Lily's BIL passing. Hugs to them both, and prayers for safe flights.

Mim said...

What a nice surprise for all of you and that food you made from leftovers looks mighty fine too.
This Carl sound amazing!
And things for visiting me with your very kind and sweet comments.
I enjoy reading about your life too.

LadiesoftheHouse said...


I want a friend that owns a restaurant too.

Sharon said...

Oh my my my...drool drool LOL Love~Sharon

Anonymous said...

Thank you Debbie I just like the way you wrote about the food. Thank you for taking care of Karl while I am away. Gary and you are our best friends. You guys are so thoughtful to us. It was nice to see you in my first day back. Thank you for your prayer and even plan to stimulate Susan's mind and games for her. I am very touched. I will print out this page for Karl. Lily