Monday, August 18, 2008

Wasn’t that a party?

My beloved Tanya hit the big 5-0 on Friday along with Vladimir Putin. Madonna and Ahnold the Gubernator turned 50 on Saturday the day of Tanya’s party.
Galina , a friend from Moscow, arrived on Friday morning. Lena came after work on Friday night. Roman had been here since Tuesday. Saturday morning Sveta Romanenko, Tanya’s niece, arrived. Friday was spent cooking; Saturday morning relaxing until about noon.

The party began at 3:00 pm as we crowded 15 people into our living room around our big table and our patio table. Zhenia and Lucia, Katya and Yuri, two neighbour couples, Valya and Volodya, Tanya’s long time friends from P’yatikhatki, Andrei and Tanya and Tanya’s mom, Natasha filled out the crowd. Five people who previously were coming had sent regrets. Two had to work and three were still at the Black Sea on holidays. If they had showed up, I have no idea where we’d have sat them. Masha and Maxim were too anxious to play to eat anything so we let them run off. And it was hot. It has been in the mid 30º’s all month and the house was about 30º with so many people.

Everyone brought flowers, of course. Tanya loved the live plants that came in pots. She now has five new plants. The sweetest was from Maxim who gave her a tiny pot with a tiny African Violet which he himself had slipped and grown “for his friend Tanya”. The boy is a natural gardener.
There was twice enough food, of course. Two salads (including Olivier, my favourite), roast chicken, shashlik, battered and fried fish, battered and fried cauliflower, cold cuts, bliny stuffed with mushrooms, smoked fish, raw veggies and more. I made sure everyone took too much so the puppies ate well afterwards too.

Shashlik for the uninitiated is shish kabob pork. We cut 5 kgs of pork into 1.5 to 2” cubes which were marinated for 24 hours in mayonnaise and lemon juice, then skewered and BBQ’d on natural coals. That was Roman’s contribution. He is a first class shashlik chef.

Lucia brought the cake and is contracted for my birthday. It was sooo good!!!

Everyone took turns toasting Tanya. Galina translated all the wonderful wishes and complements for me. Dinner lasted until 7:00 pm and by 8:00 pm everyone who was going home had gone. The rest of us sat around and visited until 1:00 am (except me, I grabbed a 3 hour nap in between). Galina and Sveta left at 11:00 Sunday morning and Lena and Roman at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Sunday evening I took my sadly neglected puppies for a long walk.

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