Dinner with Friends, Take 2

We hosted another dinner party as part of our donation to our school’s auction to raise money for financial aid.  During the time between our first school auction dinner party and this one, we bought a new dining room table and chairs, so this is what the new setup looks like (we’re quite pleased with it):

new dining room table & chairs

new dining room table & chairs

We started off dinner with an amuse-bouche, consisting of “breakfast”–a miniature Spanish omelet, lobster over miniature pancakes served with vanilla-infused maple syrup, and a gougere with country ham and quail egg served with a miniature mimosa.  (The photo is from back to front.)

"breakfast" amuse-bouche

“breakfast” amuse-bouche

Next up was Thai pumpkin soup served in an acorn squash bowl served with the 1998 Pol Roger Winston Churchill champagne.

Thai pumpkin soup

Thai pumpkin soup

After that was crab served on top of an un-crab cake, which was made with hearts of palm to resemble the consistency of crabcakes.  It was served with miniature spicy peppers and a 2009 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne (a white burgundy).

crab on top of an un-crab cake

crab on top of an un-crab cake

Then came the obligatory (for us) foie gras dish served with pomegranate seeds, black cherry compote, and Parmesan tulles.  The accompanying wine was a 2006 Edge Hill Mixed Blacks.

foie gras with parmesan tulles

foie gras with parmesan tulles

The main course was an Asian duck cassoulet (with edamame instead of beans).  This was served along with a citrus cardamom salad, sautéed mushrooms with sesame seeds, and Japanese pickles.  The wine was a 2007 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red.

Asian duck cassoulet

Asian duck cassoulet

Then came the palate cleansing course, the trio of sorbets (pomegranate, blood orange, and tangerine).

trio of sorbets

trio of sorbets

Dessert was chocolate pot de crème served with Dean & Deluca chocolates.  Served with it was a 1990 Rayne Vigneau.

chocolate pot de creme

chocolate pot de creme

It was a lovely evening, and I think great fun was had by all!

Teaching at Stanford Law School

For the months of April and May, I have been teaching a class at Stanford Law School called “Internet Torts and Crimes.”  This means I’ve been flying out once a week to Palo Alto to teach the class.

Teaching the class has been a blast!  The students have all been great, and I have learned something every week from them.  (One of the reasons I like teaching so much is that you can always learn something from your students.)  However, teaching did make our already logistically difficult lives even more challenging.  There have been a few days where both parents were in the air or in different geographical locations while the kids have been here.  Not ideal, but for nine weeks, manageable.

I love teaching the class, not least because I promise my students that every fact situation we discuss in class comes from real life.  This is not as difficult as one might think.  Let’s just say that between AOL and Ruckus (the digital music company I used to work for), it wasn’t difficult to find examples about Internet-based torts and crimes.  And let’s just say that one of the most animated classes was the discussion on pornography.  🙂

But as much as I loved teaching the class, I am glad that the class is over.  The travel was a bit of a grind, although I really have no cause for complaint, since I was upgraded on every single segment.  (And the new Continental planes are much nicer than the old United planes.)  But it’s nice to be home for an extended period and hanging out with Jim and the kids, rather than rushing off various places and being at the mercy of United, the weather, and the FAA.

Of course, it’s time for paper grading as well.  🙂

Jig of Joy (aka The First Day of School)

One of my favorite commercials is the Staples commercial where a family is buying school supplies.  The kids are moping and depressed and the dad is dancing with glee while the song “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is playing in the background.

And that is where we are.  I danced a jig of joy on September 4 as the kids went off to school.  (Not that I don’t love them or anything.)  They both reacted in accordance with their personalities.  The angst-ridden child managed to stretch the angst across two days, instead of resolving it on the first day of school.  She had only two new teachers this year, but neither were on her schedule until the second day of school so, of course, it made perfect sense to stretch her angst another twenty-four hours. (Unfortunately, I know perfectly well where she inherited this trait.)  <sigh>

The non-angst-ridden child had a good first day of school and an even better second day of school and an even better third day of school.  This is in keeping with his joyful personality, which he inherited from his father.  I now understand why God created boys.  It’s to keep the blood pressure of mothers low(er)!  (At least, during the pre-teen years.)