Dinner for Forty

One innocent thing leads to another and before you know it you are buying enough groceries to feed all the citizens of Liechtenstein with enough leftovers to give doggie bags. That is what Ron did this last week. First, he commented in Vriag’s blog, you know the one, A Sprinkle of Hungary. She was thrilled and offered to give him a cooking lesson, which he accepted.
Arrangements were made, but Ron could not leave well enough alone; he had to extend invitations.He invited our spring semester crowd, Karla Kelsey, Allison Layfield, and Jeff Frawley. This immediately expanded since Allison’s sister and her best friend were visiting. Sure, bring them along, but bring dishes too. We only have enough for 6. We were up to 8 and that was the extent of our chairs and room around the table, so the quota was max’ed out.
Virag insisted on coming over on Monday to take Ron grocery shopping. She did not trust that All American to get the right ingredients. Off they went to the grocery store and they came back with their arms full. Tuesday, she showed up at 1 pm for a 7 pm dinner. Just hearing that, I knew in my heart of hearts that Ron would never replicate this meal unless held hostage by starving Hungarian-Americans who had lost their ability to cook. Six hours of cooking for one meal is beyond Ron’s comprehension, not that I can say it is high on my priority list, but I have done it for holidays.
The best place for me was out of the kitchen and when I could find excuses, out of the apartment altogether. Guests arrived, excited to be party to this party of experimental behavior. That was closer to the truth than not. There were times when I heard Virag yelling at Ron like she was training a puppy. If you have ever watched Seinfeld and remember the episode of the Soup Nazi, Virag brought back memories.
Dinner was spectacular, but having vegetarians and carnivores both, there had to be two options. When the meat eaters dared to put the veggie dish on their plate, I though Virag would stroke out. HUNGARIANS never mix those two dishes. They should; it was delicious. Everything was wonderful and a good thing too. We have been eating it for days, lunch and dinner. Someday we will have worked through it all and then I will have to walk it off.
It was a joy having Dana and Clara here, Allison’s sister and her friend. They both just finished university giving Virag someone to share things with. They are both incredibly delightful young women. They easily charmed everyone, but their sincerity was apparent. It was an added bonus to have them as our guests.
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