“We’re not going down that, are we?” Carolyn asked.
The slope of the street was quite severe
and the black ice potential was quite high:
the snow could be hiding nearly anything.
“Yes, here we go!” and like a bobsled run
the vehicle began its descent down Columbia.
There were few other vehicles out on the roads today
and we made it down to the Viaduct safely.
The snow was enough to discourage the locals,
but for us mountain state dwellers it was easy.
The trick was not to go too crazy with turning
and to be light-footed on the brake and the pedal.
Another half hour found us at the house I had a room in
with dinner preparations going ahead at full tilt:
the kitchen had four cooks in contention to use
all the available space in a flavorful symphony of scents.
Two of my housemates were in the Chef programs at South Seattle
so we were in essence a household of Cooks Versus Chefs here.
PJ put his efforts into the mashed potatoes and I assembled an oyster stuffing
for a Northwest twist and we left the rest to the almost Pros of the household.
I also made my first try at a chocolate blackberry pie on the dining room table
for want of prep space. Meanwhile, the other three cooks took turns chopping,
adding, stirring, and checking on their dishes in the kitchen. While PJ did his hosting
duties for a dinner that was estimated at twenty eight celebrants.
Thus the food preparations were truly on the order of a huge feast
and from just what we were preparing a whole platoon could be fed.
As the hour approached, so too our guests. The food cooking reached
its peak and the whole house was full of people and an super abundance
of anything one could want in a Horn of Plenty-themed Thanksgiving dinner:
two types of Turkey, Ham, Salmon, 3 types of stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, steamed
vegetables, a relish tray, cranberry sauce, rolls, bread, two types of gravy, beer and wine.
A loud and merry time was held by all:
Chefs, Drag Queens, Bears, Leather-Men and Leather-Women, People in Transition,
Carolyn who had moved here after me from Montana and myself
in my very early color changes and purple lightning bolt Cellophaned hair.
It was quite the crowd that had assembled for this Harvest Feasting
and all twenty eight had made it here despite the winter weather.
Toasts were made and soon our bellies were filled to bursting
with a dinner that afterwards people were moaning in appreciation of
if not a little overindulgence laying on all available horizontal surfaces
as all that gluttony made itself felt: the carbs plus the tryptophan kicked in,
but that wasn’t the end of our grand feast. No, we had still more to eat.
To Carolyn, I said, “I hope that you saved room for the desserts.”
She and others groaned, because even though they had been present
everyone had forgotten about them. There was a brief siesta and after
naps and other diversions, it was finally time for our just desserts.
There were three other pies besides mine: Pumpkin, Pecan and Apple, Gianduja,
a Tort, something else delicious and then there was the Coffee Diablo:
Brandy-laced coffee ran along a clove-studded orange peel into coffee cups below
in a magic show of orange and blue flames as the cloves caught.
The whole feast had pushed people into areas of uncomfortableness
which hadn’t been thought possible before this, even if was all so divine.
There was a second resting up and then a gradual departing of celebrants
though some were still there when I returned from taking Carolyn home.
It had been a feast to remember and still remains the feast from which
I can compare all the others to and find them not quite in the running.