Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sunset Get-Together in April - Eating, Drinking, and Getting Ready to Row

Whenever we gather for one of these shindigs, there's always good food, liquid refreshment, and music.
Last night, we had a great mix of people, with gondoliers from various operations and great friends.  Some of the "usual suspects" were there, along with some new faces. I love seeing familiar friends and catching up, and every time we have these get-togethers, I make new friends too.
I cannot over-emphasize how much fun these are.
The recipe is fairly simple, but a lot of work still goes into putting it together.
There's no magic show or special effects - just good friends and fun, on a very real level.

Folks hanging out by the rail, catching up and enjoying conversation.

The food is not just burgers and dogs on the grill.
It's cooked on a camp stove by guys who know what they're doing.
First there's some kind of a salad, and last night's was fantastic.
Bread, crackers, cheese, and cold cuts are laid out on a table next to an assortment of wines and other beverages.  This isn't the wine cellar at the Ritz, but there's always something worthy of drinking, and if not, chances are someone will walk by with a bottle of something worth sipping.
As for the main dish, last night Andrew cooked up an excellent pasta recipe which he found in a "Cassanova cookbook".  Of course when he mentioned that, some folks laughed, while others thought it was exactly the kind of thing Andrew would say.  But as it turns out, Andrew really does have a cookbook with recipes credited to the Venetian lover himself.  I'm told that it even talks about how the food, if prepared correctly, can lead to...oh I'll let you ask Andrew.  I try to keep the blog at least PG rated.
In short, the food was great, as it always is.

Andrew presents the capellini.

Scintillating dinner conversations ensue.

Dawn Reinard smiles in the doorway of the office at Sunset Gondola.

As I was slurping up capellini, a gondolier friend of mine named "Basso" brought up the fact that these get-togethers have been going on now for almost five years.  A few times a year, Tim, Dawn, and sometimes other staff and friends of Sunset Gondola, put it all together, and we get to take part in the revelry.
I know I speak for all the "usual suspects" and most everyone else who has attended at least one get-together, when I say "THANKS!"
Thanks for making it all happen, for putting up with our crazy antics and the mess we leave behind.

All five of the Sunset boats - ready and waiting to be rowed.

As word gets out that the food is good (and going fast),
a feeding frenzy ensues.

Three of the four forcole for Sunset Gondola's pupparin,
about to be put in place and rowed on.

Andrew is a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to grappa.  Sharing a sip of the unique Italian spirit with him is an unofficial tradition for me.

All gondoliers are interesting, and they all seem to have other things they do. Mark Schooling is, among other things, an inventor.  Here we see a clever item he built, which allows him to row a boat in a different style. 

Smiles along the rail before the group shot.

To be continued...

No comments: