But money doesn't buy friends ... so we are honoured to have friendships such as these bestowed on us gratis, as we certainly could not afford the price tag otherwise. I was extremely excited to learn early in the day that J was cooking a curry. This is indeed a rare occurence, the significance of which it would be a mistake to discount. It was in aid of CC's birthday, and he could not have asked for greater a romantic gesture.
As the heavens had opened and rained forth hailstones on Melbourne, it took us the better part of an hour just to get to the Eastern. There was evidence of the sudden maelstrom everywhere - rivers running down streets, virtual lakes spilling over footpaths, cars stranded on embankments, one car with both its front wheels caught in an upended drainhole, mounds of collected ice from the hailstone. It felt almost like being in one of those post-apoclyptic movies where everyone is trying to get out of the city because a meteor/wave/earthquake/alien is about to strike.
But once we were on the eastern going out it was a breeze. Traffic going in was banked up bumper to bumper! The smell of J's curry hit us as we climbed up the marble staircase to the main living areas. And after a brief tour of the new house, including a rummage through the rather creepy wine cellar, we settled into a night of food and drinking.
I knew the jig was up when I saw D starting to slice into some spring onions. J was washing mussels in the sink so I decided to give him a hand ... which eventually turned into a quick cheat sauce dish that I whipped up in the wok:
mussels cooked in white wine and portuguese spicy sauce
J made a chicken and potato curry, which was what S's partner would refer to white curry .. i.e. a sort of mild kurma ... it was scrumptious:
In addition to the cooked stuff, CC had bought some sliced pig's ears which D and him turned into Sliced Pig's Ears and cucumber salad:
There was some braised duck, sweet and sour ribs and edamame to complete the meal.
All in all , a pretty terrific night ... with a yummy tiramisu cake to boot:
So here's to you CC ... Happy Birthday ... with many more to come.