Sarah has started a new tradition. She plans a Mystery Fun Day for our birthdays. I had a super one last December. I take John over to Sarah’s and they head out. I will spend the day shopping and lolling about until they return for dinner.
Their first stop is at Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery for lunch. Sarah has an appetizer called devils on horseback which are dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. John has lamb sausage.
Okay, I just looked up devils on horseback and here’s the origin of the term according to Factopedia whose tagline is “Because you can’t vandalize Wickipedia.” So obviously this is a bogus explanation but humorous nonetheless.
The derivation of devils on horseback – “It stems from Cornwall in the south of England at the turn of the last millenium, where Norman raiders would disguise themselves in suits of armour made by layering rashers of bacon.
This armour had many advantages; Primarily it’s grotesque appearance was used to frighten villagers. Then, when the job was done, the armour could be cooked and eaten. Protection was roughly in the same class as leather armour depending on the thickness of the bacon.
“Devils on horseback” was the nickname of these bacon-clad warriors.”
Just to follow up, angels on horseback from which the devils derived are oysters wrapped in bacon. They are angels because the edges curl up like angel wings when you cook them. The addition of hot sauce turns the angels into devils. Where the oyster turned into a date or prune is unknown. Serving them on toast accounts for the horseback part.
Getting back to the Mystery Fun Day…..
Sarah’s next event is a lecture before the matinee performance of the S.F. Symphony. Today they are playing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Shostakovich’s 11th.
Sarah has booked unusual seats. They are behind the players. John loves this. He gets to hear interesting parts of the music more clearly. For instance, the bells of the French horns are pointed in their direction and they have a bird’s eye view of the busy percussion section.
After their long day in the city, they return to Sarah’s apartment where we have some hors d’oeuvres (not anything on horseback) and wine. Then we head off to Zeni’s. Zeni’s is an Ethiopian restaurant that we love in San Jose. We order the veggie combo, misir kitvo (lentils) and ye-beg tibs (lamb). It’s all served on a big piece of injera and extra pieces of injera are supplied to use as utensils.
John raves about his wonderful Mystery Fun Day and the fabulous daughter who thought it up.