The party was on Sunday evening but the birthday weekend kicked off on Thursday night. Our weekly pub run was made even more epic by dressing up in costumes as Halloween was the following day. I've never been one to make up costumes or have much on hand but luckily, I'm always surrounded by those who say, "here, wear this!" This year's "this" was a shiny, gold dress and bright lipstick. Yes. This was the both the costume I ran our pub run course in (luckily, tights and an undershirt were present) as well as the actual Halloween night costume. Others ran in zebra shorts, tutus and hammer pants. We. Looked. Amazing. Especially once we hit the bar for our post run beverage.
The next day brought together my two favorite subjects: "free" and "candy." Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for this reason. The morning brought East End third graders to work to learn about butterflies. Some of my favorite program kids were there so it made my day extra special! That evening, the girls, their guys, and I dressed up in our costumes and danced the night away at Bubba's Silky Lounge. I had always avoided this place because it sounded like a sketchy time but I was so wrong! I can't wait to visit again. The DJ was very talented and the light-up dance floor rocked my gold-clad self. Blackstones bar was visited previous to Bubba's and was an incredible people-watching experience as well.
Saturday morning brought bootcamp, the farmer'ss market and relaxation but the evening was full of Freeport window shopping, leaf stomping and dinner at Gritty's. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and all I can say is that the pulled pork burrito at Great Lost Bear kicks this sandwiches' butt any day.
Sunday was party day and terrible weather as well. I had picked up the cakes, cheese, crackers, salami, baguettes, cider and more the day before so all was set to go for the party that evening. I was slated to work for four hours in the store but that turned into two hours when not a single customer passed through our door. This was the first snow of the year and was icky icky icky. I left early and went to pick house-bound Jessie up for coffee and shopping at Portland's Flea for All. After our fill of that, we went home to prepare for my birthday party.
Fast forward to last night. Dinner party #2 in as many weeks. There were ten of us that night and we ate enough for twelve. All the usual snacks were there: hummus and pita chips, olives, Parmesan crisps, chips and salsa and more. But then we created the most wonderful salad, thanks to Emily (myrecipes.com/m/recipe/butternut-squash-black-bean-salad plus chopped apples). I was Emily's sous chef as we prepared dinner. Spinach tossed in dressing made with honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil and more with roasted squash and walnuts with black beans, garlic and apples. This was all topped with goat cheese (or not if you're one of those vegans) to create a flavorful and filling vegetarian, lactose-friendly and gluten-free meal. Conversation, some salsa and bachata dancing and eating filled numerous happy hours.
My third dinner party tonight was an impromptu and informal affair. Friends make days better, even if it's not the best of times. I was out walking with a beautiful, blonde creature named Miles. He is of the four-legged variety. We stopped by Jessie's apartment and I sat on the floor with the dog as Jessie made dinner. I later did dishes = Good trade.
Our meal consisted of sauteed tofu, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, asparagus, snow peas and love. Oh, and a ridiculously spicy pepper. I had gotten a mound of peppers in a bargain bag at the farmer's market and had no idea what kinds were what. I had tasted a red pepper earlier and it was pleasantly spicy. Just enough to make me walk away for a few minutes and then come back for more. This one, however was hell. Just one slice of it brought me close to wanting to cut off my tongue. After 20 minutes of ice, carrot juice, beer, hummus and other potential remedies, we sat down to dinner as Miles waited expectantly under the table. The end.