Ok, so I usually don't use this blog for bitching and moaning but I've got to get something off of my chest. I had a fab weekend this 4th of eating and drinking - is there anything else in life that's worthwhile on a lazy summer weekend? - and some spent time entertaining at our house, and some spent being entertained.
I love my friends who love to cook and invite people over for great meals and great conversation. It's really surprising how few people are reciprocators - but this friend is probably at least one up on me in terms of who's invited who for dinner. His biggest trump card is that usually it's because there's a friend who is visiting who is a fabulous chef and he's great at doing all of the exquisite cooking.
So what better reason to bring out the best from the cellar - and I do mean the best. This guy is one of the most generous people I know when it comes to sharing the wonderful wines that he's collected. He never says no and never runs short - and the wine flows like water. After years of serious collecting there are gems to be found at every dinner we attend.
So our expectations for the 4th were no different except at the end of each course I noticed something. The ones standing and taking turns at the sink were the 3 women (myself included) who had been invited to participate in what is usually a guys kind of night.
We were the last to arrive as the meal was called for 3 p.m. but our gracious host knew that we couldn't get there before 6:15 p.m. - and a course or two had already made it to the other guests.
We were quickly caught up by the chef and our host when I first noticed the pretty head at the sink.
"My housekeeper refused to work today because it's the 4th," he replied as I nodded towards the 'victim'.
"I don't have enough silverware and the sink is piled to the ceiling so we need to clear it," he continued.
Now I can totally relate. No matter how much you plan or how much space you have, there's the inevitable pile-up of stuff that has to be cleaned - never mind the pots and pans.
But after one or two courses, I suddenly realized - the guys were not helping wash at all. Period. Not even a lifted hand or a rolled up sleeve. Sure, they brought everything into the kitchen - but quickly backed away when it was time for the soap and water.
There were four courses served after we arrived - endless plates, glasses, knives and forks. A virtual parade after each course to the sink by the ladies as each attempted to relieve the other of the massive KP duty.
We didn't leave until 10:30 or later that night - so these pour gals (and now myself included) had been washing dishes since they arrived in the early afternoon!
If drinking wine and enjoying food with the "men's club" - as these guys like to think of themselves - comes with the built in penalty of doing the housekeeping - I'm opting for eating out everytime.
Because no matter how pampered you are - no matter how good the food and wine are - if you're facing the sink and the disposal at the end of each course, you might have just stayed home. I'll opt for the buffet everytime.
Hoping you had a safe holiday and are eating and drinking well this summer.