And by “bad” times I mean “ok” times.
We’ll get the ok stuff out of the way first. I went to an event yesterday that I helped organize. It was part of my alma mater’s reunion festivities – a combined live and silent auction (I didn’t “win” anything, I’m sorry to say). It was a lot of fun! There was a beer ambassador table set up by Anheuser Busch (read more about their outreach programs here: http://www.anheuser-busch.com/Stock/2005AR_DomesticBeerOperations.pdf). Bully Hill, a Finger Lakes winery, also sent a rep and had a table set up (included in the offering was a very surprising Cab Franc – from a winery that focuses on sweet wines). Finally, there was a pop/food table set up as well. Of course, that’s all in addition to the tables practically groaning under the weight of the items up for auction. The event, at Rock City Park, was definitely a success for the school, and the alums that attended clearly had a good time! The problem, for me (and potentially only me), was that the main food options all had meat in them. There were finger-food sized wraps (with meat), pasta with meat sauce (on it), sausages (c’mon), and an assortment of cheese and veggies for dipping. While Bob chowed on an Italian sausage sandwich with a side of pasta, and god knows what else, I just sort of stared at my couple of cubes of swiss and my dinner roll. And the thing is, I remember discussing with the group that vegetarian options were a necessity. Was this really what they had in mind? I was really disappointed and as the evening wore on, increasingly hungry. Everything turned out fine. We made blueberry pancakes when we got home and had a late night breakfast feast. I don’t think we give dedicated vegans and true vegetarians enough credit for how tricky eating at events can be.
Now for the good times! Over the weekend a few of my girlfriends were in town (to reunite with our friend in the Peace Corps). One evening us girls went out for dinner at a local restaurant, the Bistro. This place is, like, Olean’s biggest secret. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is “tailored jeans” elegant. We happened to be there on a night when they were featuring a singer with acoustic guitar (who totally reminded me of Seu Jorge, but American – if that makes any sense), which really added to the experience in a positive way. I ended up ordering a special, seafood stuffed tilapia with mashed potatoes. Besides being absolutely excellent (succulent, lightly breaded, not greasy, flavorful…I could go on), the main course came with a small side of blanched veggies which were clearly very fresh. Oh it was so good. We also ordered their hummus for a starter, and got their fresh-made bread to dip as well. The meal reinforced my growing appreciation for fish dishes being robust as well as not-too-filling (a fine line that fish-and-chips crosses far too regularly). In fact, tonight we’re planning on having some steamed fish – a thought that I am looking forward to with relish.