Food Wine & Friends Page 228
The arrival of Alessia from Barolo in Italy's Piemonte
coincided with the 11th birthday festivities of Santa Clara's Dane FitzJensen.
On a warm, summer afternoon, Dane, his friend Kazimierz, sister Alanna, her
friends Rachel, Clementine and Alessia went to play laser tag.
After that extravaganza, they all gathered in the oasis known as Amy's Backyard
for Burgers and fun.
Alessia, Clementine (La Grande Orange) Alanna and in the back, Rachel.
Kazimierz and the Leprechaun, Birthday Boy Dane FitzJensen
(aka Squirticus, his Roamin' Name).
Natalie, Diane & Mark's (neighbors) daughter holding a platter of Amy's
The Domaine Ott Blanc de Blanc is a blend of Semillon & Rolle...a nice wine,
but I didn't find it to be worthy of its lofty price tag (north of $30, I
Clementine was quick to scarf up some sushi.
Shrimp and Amy's Famous Bruschetta.
Alessia was delighted to see such a bountiful table, while Clementine continued
scarfing (hoping not to be noticed).
Aviva gave Dane a precious gift: Her recipe for Mac & Cheese!
It doesn't come in a box, though.
Meanwhile, it seems the first thing Alessia did the other day was go for a
"mani" and a "pedi."
Locally-made Garlic Sausage and some Dolmas.
Pierre Pouring Provençal Blanc.
Cheese from France's Burgundy region...
Dane's Pop Jesper brought a wonderful homemade birthday
...but he had to leave to go bake breads for Wise Sons in The City.
Meanwhile, the kids were busy tossing water-filled balloons at each other!
Looks like Rachel was showered by a busted balloon.
Alessia was happy they filled the balloons with water and not Dolcetto.
"Too messy with Dolcetto or Barbera," she explained.
Dane has his hands full.
And then someone really nailed The Birthday Boy!
Amy finally had a moment to catch her breath...
Alanna was trying to decide whether to catch this with her hands or with her
Beau knows Bruschetta!
Dane was a bit soaked at this point...
"I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I drink Stella."
It's difficult to determine who's winning this battle!
Mr. & Mrs. Natalie.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane...No!
Georgette and Aviva.
Aviva told us of her love for Wolfgang Puck Express and the Burgers they serve.
She even travels to Canada, apparently, to partake of their fine cuisine.
"It tastes remarkably authentique...just like NHL hockey pucks!"
Meanwhile, speaking of Burgers...here's a snapshot of two Burger Meisters!
Natalie and Beauregard were busy singing a nice little duet...
Pierre was deep in thought, dreaming of a good, juicy burger...
These two guys had to monitor the doings at the grill, wanting not to miss out
on their chance for a burger.
A while later the pair was serenading the group...
Dane is a most plucky little feller, while Kaz is a straight shooter, providing
percussion right on target.
Mark was doing a grate job with the burgers as they came off the grill.
Ellen and Georgette were chirping about the latest goings
Kaz was now serenading us on his own a-chord.
Felix shows off his saucy mitts in handling the
"I don't always eat burgers. But when I do, I prefer Amy's."
Alessia made a quick bee-line for the burgers...
...And then the ketchup.
Pierre filled up a plate, too.
Rachel, Alanna, Clementine and Alessia: The Burger Babes.
"Burgers! Get yer red hot burgers here! Who wants a
Beau decided to join the party...
Amy's plan to keep the kids quiet was actually working!
Both Clementine and Alanna have to be asleep to be this quiet.
Ever the athlete, Mark told Felix some of his war stories about his days as a
goal-keeper on a local ice hockey team...
"Yep, the couldn't get a puck past me. I was a hell of a
Now it was time to get down to serious business...the lighting
of the candles.
Dane made a wish and soon those candles were history!
Mark then employed a miracle of technology, dialing up Diane's
cell phone to say "Buona Sera" and "Buon giorno."
His wife Diane, you see, if off in Italy, so it was perhaps 6 in the morning
when her phone rang.
She'll be turning that to "silent" mode in a minute!
"Hey everyone...say hello to Diane!"
Pete the Masseur takes care of the Monsieur...
Dane got a new Spiderman blanket...
...and a lazer tag set.
Beau was hoping some of Clementine's red hair would rub off on him.
"Let them eat cake!" said Georgette.
Meanwhile, that's not moonlight shining on these two!
Dane recieved a laptop computer as a birthday gift so his Aunt Ellen helped
configure the machine and get the little rascal started as a bona-fide internaut.
Beau caught 40 winks and was in Dreamland...
And as Kaz and Dane played some computer game, it was past the bed-time of many
of the older kids attending this party, so we headed for home...
Best wishes to The Birthday Boy!
Stay Tuned for More Alessia Adventures!!!
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