After taking several weeks off from Family Dinner, Uncle Bud, Gilbert Hoss and I were more than ready to get back in the game. We decided to invite Dalton, a favorite restaurant coworker of the boys. Since everyone at the Restaurant is well aware of Family Dinner, we figured Dalton would be honored at the invite. And so I decided to ask him myself.
The next time Uncle Bud and I found ourselves at the Restaurant, Dalton found me in a booth, dancing to Ke$ha.
"Hey! Do you want to come to Family Dinner sometime?" I asked between his eye rolls and my own dramatic dance moves.
"Not if you're going to play THIS music!" He said, and promptly walked away.
Apparently he didn't realize I was serious.
Luckily, Kennebunkport is a small town, and word of my post-Ke$ha sulk-fest soon reached Dalton. The next week at the Restaurant he approached my booth with a changed tune.
"Bridget, can you ask me to Family Dinner again?" he asked.
"Dalton, it would make me and Uncle Bud so happy if you, your wife, and your lovely son would join us for Family Dinner," I told him.
"Well now that you've included my family, how can I refuse?"
And so we had three people, including our third Family Dinner guest under the age of four.
Of course we all know that the best Family Dinners usually border on having too many guests. So, we figured one more couldn't hurt. I had been meaning to invite my friend Sean over for the event for a while, and a night as epic as Week Fourteen seemed as good a time as any. Plus, he and Dalton are already friends. He's even referred to as "Uncle Sean" at the Dalton household.
So with a full guest list, I set to preparing.
I had the day off from work, which should have meant I started cooking early, but instead meant I had extra time to try and polish the barn. The meal got started on the late side as usual, but luckily, Gilbert Hoss had made a garlicky spinach artichoke dip to tide us all over.
Dalton had mentioned that his wife does not eat red meat but was quick to assure that she would be happy eating side dishes. I was quick to jump in that my favorite task is to serve Bud and Hoss meals they love that are red-meat free, and as a former vegetarian, I was more than up for the task. I prepared chicken baked with stuffing, roasted asparagus, and a cheesy corn casserole, with some chicken nuggets and carrot sticks for our table's junior member.
As for our guests, when Sean had asked what he and Dalton's family could contribute to the meal, I texted back, "Beer or wine would be great!"
"Who does she think I am, Nappi Distributors?" Dalton asked Sean.
Well, Dalton. I didn't before... but now I do.
Dalton showed up with his wife, son, a twelve pack of Bud Light, a bottle of wine, and a goody bag selection of five different 24 ounce beers. Sean also brought a bottle of wine. And I got trigger happy and of course opened both bottles, despite the plethora of beer, causing all the wine to eventually turn to vinegar before my little ol' self could finish it.
I still have so much to learn.
Dinner was full of home cooked goodness and fun conversation peppered by the certain wisdom only a three year old can bring. Uncle Bud shared his rule of no hats, no cell phones, and no bum shaking, and Dalton's son obliged by merely showing his bum, but not shaking it, in true rebel fashion.
When our pint-sized guest got frustrated a little later on in the meal, Dalton asked him if there was a problem.
"No problem!" he said. "No problems, no nothings!"
Then, after sucking down a quick dessert of chocolate milk, Dalton's kid was ready to hit the road. And the rest of us? Well, the abundant food and beverage left us without any room for dessert. Which was probably a good thing, as my sweet-avoiding self did not prepare one. As per usual.
Conclusion? No matter how many guests, only open one bottle of wine at a time.
Conclusion #2? Sometimes you can sneak some Ke$ha onto your Family Dinner mix CD and not only will Dalton not leave, he won't even notice.