16 August 2009

Ever Have That Foie Gras Feeling?

This weekend was chock full of rowing and food, with connections twixt the two.

I met some friends of my friend Jain from LUC for dinner and travel/picture discussion on Friday night. They lived in Namibia for two years and Tanzania for two years, and they've recently come back to settle down (to whatever extent possible for them) in Seattle. After a delightful meal on the balcony overlooking Lake Union, talking about their African experiences and projecting some expected experiences of my own, I got to see some of their pictures from their stint in Namibia. Now I need to see if I can push back the Zimbabwe portion of my travels so that I can see some of these sights first hand. Incredible!

Saturday morning's row was a good one, as is usually the case for morning rows on Lake Union & environs. Happy-hour boaters aren't usually cruising around the lake from 7:30-9:30 on a Saturday morning, and we don't need to dodge sailboats. It was a focused practice with Aina that made for a nice change of pace. Following practice I got a Zipcar and met Margaret for a tasty light brunch -- peppered with calls to the East Coast to confirm details about making kubbeh -- at Oddfellows. It turns out that drinking caipirinhas while making kubbeh helps a lot, as does each episode of reheating the kubbeh. This isn't a recipe resource, so I'm not posting the recipe. Epicurious has one if you're interested, but this isn't what we used. It was more of a family recipe.

Despite having to be at the LUC boathouse by 5:00 Sunday morning, I stayed up until about 11pm making hummus to go along with the kubbeh the next day. Who knew that increasing the garlic in a hummus recipe by 50% would be too much? The real problem, imho, is that I used a recipe rather than just making it the way I normally do.

Marathon Row!
Rainier Valley Rowing, now in its second year, held a marathon rowing fund raiser. LUC managed to get four boatloads of rowers involved. It seems as if we had the largest representation of the boathouses that participated: 36 people and a coach. Go figure. At $50 donation per person, LUC did a lot to help out RVR this year. Go us. But really, go RVR! My friend Rick volunteered hours and hours of his time coordinating the effort from LUC's side. How can some people be as generous as they are with their time? Really.

The row itself was a lot of fun. Our coxswain was jockeying tunes through the cox box, so we certainly win the party barge prize ... if there were one to win. Unfortunately, we were in the saddest eight of the four we launched. The seats were hard as rocks and felt as if they were rolling over pebbles as they "glided" back and forth on their tracks. Oh well. It was all for the children.

View RVR Marathon Row in a larger map

After rowing about 20 miles and eventually stretching, I realized I had to make tabbouleh still. To the cutting board! It's incredible how finely chopping several bunches of Italian parsley will make you realize how exhausted you are. At least twice I was tempted to put down the knife and take just a few minutes' rest: a power nap. Eventually, after the tabbouleh was finished, I opted for the 1.5 hour sleep instead.

Dinner for four; Food for a dozen
Almost as much as the marathon row this weekend, I have for some weeks been looking forward to getting together with a couple of friends for dinner. We knew we would have more food than necessary for one dinner, but it's better to have too much than too little. Leftovers of this sort are entirely acceptable. Once the food was on the table, it was apparent that we had MUCH more than four people could eat at one sitting. Fortunately, this means no cooking will be necessary for a few nights this week. Margaret doubts I'll make it more than 48 hours without cooking. Sounds like a challenge! Can I hold out?

The company was comforting, conversation stimulating, and cornucopia impressive:

  • Spanish cured meats: chorizo, lomo, jamón serrano
  • fresh figs
  • variety of olives
  • γιαχνί (Greek potato and green bean stew) and feta
  • dolmadakia
  • tabbouleh
  • hummus
  • kubbeh
  • lebneh (yogurt)
...eating just one more bite of kubbeh with yogurt, you might find yourself empathizing with other animaux gavés.

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