The night before Jeff and I shopped for a few supplies and eschewed American wines, opting instead for Chilean and Australian. Food miles notwithstanding. My Italian neighbor C helped host the gathering, and we had guests from Germany and Canada, and a few United Statesians who aren't particularly proud of the way our nation is behaving in the world.
For food we had fresh melon and clementines, bruschetta, shish-kabobs of chicken and pork, a leg of lamb stuffed with garlic and rosemary, hummus and pita, and tabouleh made with the Andean grain quinoa, instead of bulgur wheat. I made a bottomless vat of punch that was only weakly alcoholic, so that we could drink copious amounts of it and not feel bad. It was hot out there.
The German guests were Gunther and Ingrid, a couple of elders I met while walking in the neighborhood. Gunther was injured in WWII while fighting for the Nazis, and was released from a French war camp because he wasn't 18 years old yet. He cornered one person after another with his nonstop stories, and was the life of the party.
Summertime Tropical Punch Recipe:
(many amounts are approximate)
frozen lime-aid, 1 can
pineapple-guava juice, 1 liter
perrier fizzy water, 2 liters
pomegranate liquer, 1-2 cups
malibu rum, 1/2 to 3/4 bottle (this stuff has coconut flavoring in it)