Monday, December 19, 2005

12 Gills Of Cider

Our string band Irrational Exuberance had 2 gigs over the weekend. One was a Ph.D. graduation party held at the rustic woodland home of the dissertation advisor. We played a lively selection of traditional Appalachian tune sets, a lovely Scottish strathspey called the Birks of Invermay (music notation here), and several Irish jigs and reels. We played waltzes and the folks danced. They clapped after every set of tunes and we were thrilled. It was a case of the band feeling like it was part of the party rather than a band of shady strangers to be shunted into a dark corner and ignored. We were plied with delectables at every turn by appreciative and smiling people.

Midway through the evening, the Columbian hostess produced a giant paella that she’d prepared for the festivities. I delighted on the authentic dish, especially the fresh mussels, shrimp, and squid. Who’d have known that a kid from Idaho would take to seafood like I have? It took a move to Florida.

We played the next day for a gathering of English country dancers, all friends and part of the larger traditional music and dance community we’re involved with. Prior to the dance we all traded holidays-happy banter over a home-cooked turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I think I consumed a dozen gills of hot-spiced cider during the evening. English country dance is slow and stately, and deliciously suited for after-dinner recreation.

I think I had the food pyramid covered this past weekend. As I’ve commented before, good food, good conversation, good homemade music – life doesn’t get much better than that.

No comments: