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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Movie Night Becomes Garden Party

The Chalmerses had a party in our front yard the other night at which we'd intended to screen The Super Cops on an old 16 mm projector I'd been repairing piece by piece for the last year or so—finding and buying and replacing random parts, super-gluing broken pieces, replacing lamps, getting the sound to work with the Mr.'s amplifier, et cetera, ad nauseum. We hung up the screen (slipcover material) early in the evening . . .

And tested out the setup: all systems go: it looked and sounded fantastic. When it got dark, however, the projector suddenly would not work. At all. Not one frame of The Super Cops made it to the big screen that night, but that just meant we got to have a normal party, with conversation and drinking and food and music, and we were spared having to watch a probably not-so-great film in less-than-perfect (cinematically) conditions. I wasn't too disappointed, but I do want to know what the hell is wrong with that goddamned machine.

Moving on . . .

I hung battery-powered paper lanterns from the magnolia tree, and put citronella candles all around. We had smoked chicken wings that Mr. Chalmers made, potato salad with lovage, deviled eggs (our neighbor had just given us about four dozen eggs from her hens), a big apple crisp and banana bread, vodka sours and Pimm's cups, popcorn, and so on. I was especially happy with the mulberry drink the bug and I made. Just a cup of mulberry juice tinted it a beautiful deep pink, and the mulberry flavor was surprisingly pronounced—these mulberries are extremely sweet, but the acidic lemon and lime helped brighten things up:
Mulberry-lemon-limeade: Puree 2 cups mulberries in a food processor with a little water, then push the juice through a sieve and discard the seeds.

You should have about 1 cup juice. Pour it into a pitcher and stir in about 1 cup each of fresh lemon and lime juice, and water and simple syrup to taste. Chill.

The bug and I had lunch in the front yard the day of the party:

I didn't take any actual party-in-progress pictures, but I think this was taken the morning after, in the middle of the clean-up:

The bug stayed up with us until midnight, taking short little breaks in the teepee throughout the evening. She burned her fingers holding a sparkler—just as our friend was saying that he'd had to show his ID to buy them. She didn't seem too bothered by it, though, and would probably say the sheer thrill of being allowed to hold her own sparkler was worth it.

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