Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Case of You

Admittedly this Joni Mitchell song prompted me to post for the first time in months.

"You're in my blood like holy wine. You taste so bitter and so sweet. Oh, I could drink a case of you, and I'd still be on my feet, I'd still be on my feet."

Don't know why it affects me with nostalgia whenever I listen to it. When it was popular in its day, I don't think that I was even born. But there's something familiar, something makes me smile.

That's how I felt last night while enjoying our potluck-turned-quasi-Easter dinner for those orphans among us (there are quite a few). Our spread was a veritable feast of sorts. We started with two types of tapenade, olive and artichoke, and four kinds of cheese, with a basket of assorted crackers, pita chips, and chunks of soda bread. Someone made delicious cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms. Our gracious host made stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. The main courses were even heartier and full of classics. There was a crunchy onion-topped green bean casserole, a spinach dish with bacon and onions, a squash souffle, and I made the baked ham with a whole grain mustard glaze and mashed potatoes with celery root and garlic. Our host made a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. And everything was accompanied by wine, a buttery chard, a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, two California cabernets, and some microbrews.

Our conversations flowed with a familiar ease. I could have closed my eyes and transported myself back ten years, having the same experience with my family. I wore a permanent smile all night. The evening was as comforting to me as my glass of cab.

As I left the dinner party with my packaged leftovers (thanks again to the host), I couldn't help but be reflective, almost the perfectly sappy and sentimental sense.

It feels good to be back. It feels really good.

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