Blog Master G

Word. And photos, too.

Blog Master G random header image

Stewed Prunes

Monday, July 31st, 2006 · 1 Comment

Thursday: Dan and Shira arrive and the fun begins. Seth and Niki join us as we BBQ up a storm and talk wedding planning for our NYC friends. Dan and I end the night with two daring shots of the Listerine-like Dr. McGillicutty’s.

View more Thursday photos.

Friday: Johnny arrives from Buffalo and the fun gets even funner. We enjoy some snacks and drinks around the house, (until 9pm or so), then take to the bustling streets of downtown Saratoga Springs in the summertime (street party every night). By this point, Shira’s friend and a fellow Vassar alum (and boyfriend) have joined us. We decide to high-tail it to Bailey’s (great food for the value and we somehow managed to get a table for 7… outside… in Saratoga… in the summer). Shira’s friends take off and we decide to check out the crazy scene on the roof of the City Tavern. We fight our way to the bar for drinks, snap some rooftop photos, then retreat to the third floor where we secure seating and enjoy another round before moving on to the next bar on the list: The Parting Glass. Irish band Greenwich Mean Time is rockin’ the house and we take to the floors, Guinness in hand, and dance a little jig. An energizing and really fun end to the evening.

View more Friday photos.

Saturday: Dan and Shira take off. Jen, Johnny, and I cruise to the track for our inaugural day of the season. We load the car with chairs and tablecloth (on the off-chance we could secure a picnic table) and head to the track around 11am to drop off the goods and claim a spot (Saratoga Race Course has a highly developed system of trust and respect wherein no one sits in your chairs or raids your beer cooler). We hit Hannaford to load up on beer for the track and BBQ food to be enjoyed later that evening (when Alex and Cati were due to join us). It rains. And rains. Really hard. Just as we’re about to wheel our rolly cooler in our journey to the track.

We wait out the rain a bit. Then we start walking. We arrive at track. No more rain. We meet up with Justin and the fun begins. We place bets. We drink beer. We bask in the sunshine. We take photos of Sen. Hillary Clinton. We lose money. I lose $30 across all races on which I bet (5, 6, 8, and 9), and Jen loses $15 on the day. We see Preakness winner Bernardini smoke the field in the Jim Dandy. Unless there’s an upset, I’m sure he’s a shoe-in for the Travers. But with 3/5 odds like he had on Saturday, there’s no point in betting on him unless it’s part of an exacta or trifecta.

View more Saturday photos.

We head home and take a brief breather before round 2 of the day begins. Alex and Cati arrive, and the funner fun gets even funner. It’s the first we’ve seen them since their rockin’ wedding in Spain, so we greet each other with an enthusiastic driveway photo shoot. More beer, more Pimm’s No. 1, more wine, more snacks. We roll the grill around to the front of the house — a strikingly fine idea — and Alex helps me grill up a storm of chicken sausages and broccoli. Jen busts out the Kinder Surprise Eggs from Spain and we laugh into the surprise-filled night. Jen loses her voice (and it still hasn’t come back in that oh so sexy raspy way).

At 1am Saturday night/Sunday morning, we decide we haven’t quite partied enough, so we decide to leave our porch patio and walk into town (it’s Saratoga in the summer after all, so it’s a party every night and downtown, as expected, is hoppin’). We grab a round at DA’s before making our way up to Broadway. The newlyweds feel like dancing (it’s now 2am), so we scope out the new dance club, the Grotto. We don’t want to pay the $5 a head cover, so we hit Brindisi’s, where there’s a funk band and a dance floor. We dance.

3am. Late-night diner Compton’s on Broadway is about to open, so we walk across Broadway and are the third party to arrive for breakfast. We order the standard fare of omlettes and the like, but then we’re intrigued by something on the menu: stewed prunes. Yes, prunes. Stewed. “How are the stewed prunes tonight?” I ask the nice waitress. With a straight face, she says, “They’re really good.” Then she busts out laughing. I order them anyway. They arrive and look like a cross between turds from a small breed of dog and shriveled testicles (from what mammal I dare not guess). Despite Jen’s and Cati’s attempts to hide their respective stewed prunes (Cati in her bowl of oatmeal and Jen beneath her onion rings), we cleaned up the dish of stewed prunes with some heroic effort — Alex fed his new bride… who was then merciful enough to hold Jen’s nose for her when it was Jen’s turn to taste the sweet nectar of this glorious underrated fruit (nut? vegetable? nay! manna from the gods!) — and discussed the market for the prunetini. Imagine it: a martini with prune juice and stewed prunes on a toothpick rather than olives.

We call it a night at 4am and are in bed by 5am.

View more Saturday photos.

Sunday: Though little can top the previous evening’s stewed prune extravaganza, the fun’s not over yet. We have a lazy morning on Johnny’s last day in Saratoga, enjoying a brunch of leftover chicken sausage and coffee on the porch, for which Justin joins us. We play with the Kinder Surprise toys who held down the fort for the night, and have cookies for dessert.

Then it’s time to party some more. It’s Anne’s birthday, so we high-tail it across town to celebrate with her, Tom, friends and family. We enjoy a delicious BBQ and some backyard sunshine while watching the kiddies tear it up on the slip ‘n slide. We sing happy birthday to Anne and we enjoy Tom’s most excellent homemade chocolate cake — the best chocolate cake I’ve had in as long as I can remember. That man is a baking machine. We call it an early night and head home to head.

View more Sunday photos.

Monday: (Yes, still going.) Back to work, but the party’s still raging, though it’s pretty tame by tonight. Jen’s parents and my Dad join us for yet another night of grilling. The front-yard BBQ action is so successful, we do it again tonight — more chicken sausages and broccoli (leftovers since the crowd Saturday night was smaller than expected).

View more Monday photos.

And done. Now I feel like I need to sleep for the next few days to get rested from the non-stop excitement of Summer 2006.

Tags: photos

1 response so far ↓