Saturday, February 19, 2005

Soup-er Saturday

It's a little over an hour until designated Party Hour arrives. The house is clean, the dining room table has been swiveled around to act as a buffet, the wine glasses are out on the island and the bread is already on the cutting board. On the stove, the soups are 90% done, just awaiting the final touches before guests arrive.

This party was supposed to happen in August (and at that point, obviously, it didn't have a soup theme). We'd planned a cookout for a Saturday afternoon and invited all our friends. And then our wonderful pals D. and A., who used to live nearby but have abandoned us for Chapel Hill, invited us up to their camp for the weekend. ("Camp" is a good Maine vocabulary word for you -- I thought it literally meant a shanty or something very rustic when I moved here... But it turns out that camps are summer homes, usually on the ocean or a lake; it's just that Mainers don't like to boast about having a summer home in the first place, so they call it a camp.)

We jumped at the chance to spend a summer weekend kayaking, cooking out, running, playing tennis and eating and drinking. (My favorites are those last two.) And so we cancelled the party and snuck out of town with the kayaks. It was totally worth it.

Now, several months later, we rescheduled the party, although one of my coworkers insists that you can't replace a summer party with a winter party. We made two giant pots of soup -- one is potato chile, and the other is butternut squash and sausage -- I baked a loaf of rye bread and we're raring to go. I have no idea how many people will actually show up -- we made a list, and the fairly definite "Yes"s total more than 20; the "Maybe" list is nearly as long. I really don't know how we could fit 40 people in our house, but we'll see. I just hope enough people come that we are not eating these two soups three meals a day for the rest of our lives!

As for the neuroses I mentioned below, they're still there. Darren and I talked for a while, and there's really not much we can do. (We suspect that Rocky, our almost five-year-old spoiled little furball, is planting germs - or whatever - around the house in order to derail the baby plans... she LOVES being the center of attention.) I have so far resisted Googling "celiac" and "fertility," though I suspect that will happen before long. Until then, there's wine...