Attic Salt

This is how I imagine it: an astute Greek, yawning at the dullness of the swanky high-society dinner party he's just left, remarking to his companion, "my dear Scipio, the backwardness of these feasts will be the death of me; while the food drowns in salt, we're left to swim in a sea of conversation wanting for brine." And thus begat the Greek's use of "salt" to mean "wit."

The picture above is a homage to the delightful evening hosted yesterday by my friends Mikelle and Andrea. Had our astute Greek been present at this dinner party he would have remarked that while the food may have needed a pinch of salt (my fault really, Mikelle left out the chicken bouillon to accommodate my vegetarian ways) the wit was far from wanting. We swam in a briny sea.

Mikelle and Andrea are those rare individuals possessing an abundance of what I like to call attic salt. While this term could and should mean they've got elegant wit in the vein of those who hail from Attica, a southern part of Greece, I'm far more amused by the thought of dark little cranium-attics where salt has taken the place of dust; their minds like salt shakers filled with bon mots (as opposed to belfries filled with cobwebs and a few bats, which is my case).

Yes, Mikelle and Andrea are always-ready with a snappy comment, perfectly intoned, impeccably timed. They play off each other and turn each other's phrases into a comedic tango. It is impossible not be entertained; impossible not to laugh.

Here's the whole group of us, looking like a picture hanging cockeyed. We are (from left to right) Mikelle, moi, Andrea (who is actually taller than me, but was trying to dodge her blog debut), and Dianne.

Mikelle lived in the Dominican Republic for two years and treated us to an authentic D.R. dinner. There was a twist on rice and beans in the form of pigeon peas simmered in tomato paste and cilantro (sans chicken broth!) on a bed of rice. Quite tasty! (But I will not assault your eyes with a picture - fluorescent lighting does nothing to accentuate the beauty of avocado green legumes in a reddish-orange sauce).

The smoothie pictured below was made with papaya, ice, and evaporated milk (hmmm, never would have thought of it - is it because the fresh stuff is so hard to come by?) Andreas's cup runneth over thanks to a finicky spigot that outrightly malfunctioned when Mikelle wasn't operating it.

And a nonchalant Dianne with a plate of sliced, mashed, and fried plantains before her (to be eaten with ketchup). Dianne, always the champion of sarcasm, adds her own brand of alum salt to the conversation.

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