Saturday 8 February
Dag kindly picked us up and drove us out to (and eventually brought us back from) their beautiful house outside Oxford. There Diane welcomed us with drinks (including cherry "brandy" made at a nearby Roman villa site) in what we would call the living room (parlor? lounge? withdrawing room?), which contained wonderful paintings, pieces of china, and sparkling glass and crystal.
The dining room was similarly dazzling as we proceeded there to confront a multitude of courses and glasses, each one generously filled.
Course 1, accompanied by a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, was silky-smooth slices of gravlax and little vegetable quiches from Diane and Dag's favorite baker at the Covered Market.
Course 2 was a giant platter of the rare roast beef of old England (with a rich red wine to go with it), served with boiled little potatoes, a brimming bowl of creamed spinach, and mixed broccoli, carrots and peas.
Course 3 was pudding, as we are slowly getting used to calling it: vanilla fudge ice cream and luscious chewy brownies. And as usual here, "dessert" was served in the living room, featuring various after-dinner drinks, coffee, or tea, plus chocolates, chocolate-covered dates, airy-light multicolored macarons from Gatineaux, and of course more brownies.
Everything was delightful, especially the conversation, which wandered back and forth over many years of history, and from Brooklyn to Oxford and points in-between. We couldn't have felt more warmed and welcomed; so thanks, Diane and Dag!