It wasn’t great day for it — I’d hoped to be out in the back
yard with the grill going. If we’d been fanatical outdoor
cooks, we could have done that; I don’t think the rain ever
exceeded a heavy drizzle. But we all decided there was nothing
wrong with cooking on a stove and staying dry.
So it was good that in spite of having invited the whole
attendance of the Boston Early Music Festival, the people who actually
showed up fit comfortably in my living room.
One thing I mean by a successful party is one I’m excited
enough about to get housecleaning done in advance, and this one
worked quite well for that. While little
roomba vacuumed the living room, I sorted music from the
stack that had accumulated on the sideboard where I leave music
when I’m running a rehearsal, but put drinks on when there’s a
party. There’s still lots more music to put away, but it isn’t
getting in my way as much as it was yesterday morning.
I said in the invitation that if poeple told me what they were
bringing, I could coordinate. Of course, this is true only if
people tell you what they’re thinking about bringing before they
actually cook it, or do the shopping for it. One guest asked me
whether I’d prefer a green salad or sweet potatoes, and since
one point of this party was to use up the greens that Picadilly Farm has
been sending me, I told her sweet potatoes. Then the next email
I get is from another guest who has just made a sweet potato
salad. So I decided we were just going to tell everybody that
sweet potatoes were this summer’s trendy health food, and
suggested that the next person who emailed me might want to get
in on the fun, too. She said she’d done her shopping the day
before and already had the cookies in the oven. In the end, one
sweet potato dish was mashed with pecans and maple syrup and the
other was a salad with peppers and scallions, so it wasn’t a
I have my friends pretty well trained to bring stuff when they
come to parties, so all I did was provide beverages, a large
green salad, and sausages and veggie burgers. I’d planned to
make the veggie burgers, but I decided more cleaning was more
useful than more cooking, so I bought them.
The less successful aspect of the party was that nobody new
came, but the flip side of that was that everybody liked each
other, and the conversation was pretty good. My sister was
there, so we did singalong around the piano (with serpent and
fiddle) instead of playing Renaissance or West Gallery
Another good thing that happened was that one of my friends
borrowed my xaphoon.
I forget why I wanted to buy it a few years ago, but I did learn
to play Never on Sunday on it at the time, and
concluded that getting saxaphone chops was going to be too much
work. I couldn’t demonstrate it at the party. Anyway, he might
end up buying it, or even if not, it will clutter up his apartment
instead of mine.