Concentrated Culture

Where to begin!  It’s been days since my last post, as I was actually too busy doing actual things to report.  Let’s see…

Thursday evening I went to Avdi’s to spend the night.  The green babies in the basement nursery had a close shave with death, but I managed to save their lives!  Now they’re back on track.

The next day, I got busy in the kitchen with Shabbat dinner, which was Peruvian-style chicken in the slow-cooker, a  green sauce to accompany it, Mexican-style rice, and some fresh greens.  And of course my now-famous Challah.  Avdi and Jess worked in the office.

Meanwhile, inches of rain were pouring into the yard, which turned into a lake.  It wasn’t quite as bad as the last time that happened, when the drainage culvert overflowed its banks and almost flooded the house.  Fortunately this time the veg garden was raised enough to be spared.  Still, it’s weird to see much of the yard become a water feature.  I was waiting for waterfowl to discover it.  I almost needed a boat to cross the yard to look at all the flowers coming up.

Avdi had another bad day with work, but eventually he tore himself away from the latest crisis, and Jess joined us for Shabbat dinner.  Later, I returned home.

Saturday I watched CRC’s streaming Shabbat service, while preparing to join Avdi and Jess for Eric’s birthday events.  There ended up being a herd of 13 of us!  We all met up at the Botanical Gardens and spent a couple of hours wandering around enjoying the Climatron rainforest, the Japanese gardens, the Linnean conservatory/orangery, and all the early spring plants coming up.  I knew many of their friends and family, and met some new ones.  I’m not used to that much concentrated socialization at one time, but it was fun.  I even got to talk “hort shop” with Eric’s brother’s wife, which was nice.

Then we all reassembled at a famous Italian restaurant, Mama’s on the Hill, in St. Louis’s old Italian neighborhood, where we had reservations.  It almost felt like back home in the Bronx.  We were seated at a very long table in a packed party room downstairs with low lights and appropriate “crooner” music.  The drinks, food, and conversation were excellent.  I had my first experience of that St. Louis tradition, toasted ravioli, or “T-rav”.  Not as bad as it sounds!  And of course lots of provel cheese on everything!  We even had some tiramisu and cannoli for dessert.  It was a fine birthday celebration.  Here’s what you might call before and after shots!

Later, Avdi dropped me at home, and we talked about my outfit for CRC’s drag Purim event on Monday evening, and related topics.  I was way too tired from all the festivities to write this all down, so now I’m doing it at 3AM Sunday morning for some reason.  Before I forget it all!  Now I’m going back to bed–to be continued…

Much later Sunday… that “after” shot is kind of the way I feel after having imbibed too much (for me) alcohol last night!  As soon as I feel better I’m going to attempt to make Hamantaschen for Purim.  One final unrelated note–just since the last time I posted, this is what happened–all the new salad seedlings came up!  You turn your back for a second…

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