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Again? Already thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight?  After last night’s Seafood Fest?

I have that wonderful post-bloat feeling of fantastic food at a fantastic party.  And I feel relieved that I don’t have to wear anything snug today.  Just another lazy Sunday, where the only thing on tap is making a run to Goodwill, read and pick up a few things for dinner.  No hockey tonight.  Summer season wrapped up with a disappointing shootout loss in our playoff game.  I had a major Silpada jewelry event that same night which trumped hockey (rare, because hockey is usually on Sunday nights), so I found out about the loss through my teammates.  Bummer.  Is it October yet??

Yes, Goodwill.  A purge here in the ol’ townhouse is very, very overdue.  Sometimes I struggle getting going on a home project.  I get overwhelmed and then end up procrastinating, doing nothing.  I look at the clutter building up here in the home office.  And the guest bedroom which is still crowned the Room of Crap and Good Luck Getting to the Ironing Board.  Hmmmm.  This is NOT OK!! 

So what do I do?  I play a mental game with myself, and break down an overwhelming task into smaller pieces.  Every time I need to go downstairs to the main living room/kitchen level here, I make myself take at least one thing out of the home office or the guest room that needs to go.  And I start a pile downstairs near the dining room.  Repeat as needed!  

Voila – in about 24 hours I had a couple large garbage bags full of old computer shit, knick knacks, books, jewelry, shoes and clothes that are ready for Goodwill! The cute, stuffed polar bear I won at the Puyallup Fair a couple years ago doing Skeeball?  Sorry, dude, you’ll make a kid happy in your next home.  Remember the Left Behind book series from the 1990s?  I’d purchased the entire set over time and never cracked open a single one of them, despite numerous raves from many of my friends – even my grandfather.  Le Sigh.  If I haven’t read them after 15 years sitting in my bookcase then it’s time for someone else to.  Also in the “outta here” pile: a set of 4 glass beer mugs I maybe used once in 20 years.  THAT feels good.  I looked at the hodge podge of a dozen mismatched wine glasses currently on the floor in the guest room and considered getting rid of them too but I decided to keep them.  THOSE are good to have for larger parties.  I just need to box them up and get them out of the guest room!

Larger parties…what a segue. I’ve been looking forward to my new consulting firm’s annual Seafood Fest.  The staff has been buzzing about it ever since I joined the group in July, and I’m sure they’ve been in planning mode far earlier than that. “Are you coming?”  “Can you make it?”  “Can’t wait to see you there!”  I probably heard this every time I sent in a timesheet or collected my pay stub.  The energy was contagious!

And the party was amazing, just as I expected.  Our CEO hosted it in her home as she does every year, and just about everything on the menu was made by her and her team from scratch.  Right down to the homemade ice cream, her signature dessert!  Her home is fantastic for entertaining.  She has a front yard with enough room for a large table and chairs plus a couple of grills and a drink stand, a large kitchen and great room on the main level inside, and a huge back deck with room for multiple round tables, mingling and the incredible view looking west toward Puget Sound and across the water to the Kitsap Peninsula (and I think some of Whidbey Island too).  

I soaked in the view with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoyed meeting other fellow consultants and chatting with our CEO, T, and her team!  What a great team.  This really didn’t feel like a work-related party…it felt like family.  Really and truly.  T LOVES to entertain…and it shows.  Party for 80 guests?  No problem, right? 

Seafood fest knocked it out of the park.  I’m kicking myself for not getting any pictures of the food with my phone but it was unbelievable.  This year the theme was Caribbean, so we had jerk chicken and beef on the grill, blackened halibut (our CEO caught the halibut herself off of Vancouver Island earlier this year – she had the video of it playing in the living room!), rice and bean side dishes, salads with papayas and mangoes, chips and wonderful salsas, and even a couple of pizzas!  Dessert was a choice of pineapple or lime-flavored cupcakes, and two kinds of homemade ice cream – pineapple and vanilla with a little cinnamon.  Simply incredible.

And the weather turned out decent too – it was a little cloudy during the day but thankfully burned off later in the evening.  This summer really hasn’t been a summer, so I was happily relieved we had a warm evening last night!

Great people and great food.  There simply is no better combination out there.  And so many reasons to celebrate!

Now it’s time to get started on dinner.  While I might not be super hungry after all that wonderful food last night, it DID inspire me to keep honing my cooking skills.  I’m pretty good at it, I must say!  Practice, practice, practice.

Tonight it’s another dish from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook I’ve posted about a few times before.  Chicken and fennel stew with, onions, garlic in a broth of beer and coconut milk, garnished with fresh parsley.  Can’t wait!