And there were no towels!

It has always been my premise that one should have folks over at least once a month to motivate shoveling out the place. Recycling all those catalogs I am going to look at later and don’t. Picking up a myriad of pet toys EVERYWHERE. And, yesterday, it was washing towels. Now there were not quite enough light-colored towels to make a load, so I went around scrounging up towels to round it out.

Last evening quite a few of us were all going to Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at the Mantorville Opera House. The Mantorville Theatre Company has had a mystery dinner theater production in October for three years now. Seemed like a good idea to start out at our house for wine and hors d’oeuvre before the show. And it was.

Since we would be having dinner at the theater, snacks were kept to a minimum. I made a lovely minted grape bruschetta with goat cheese. Liz baked a brie wrapped in puff pastry. And we paired it all with 14 Hands red wine and Naked Grape pinot grigio. There were 13 of us all together, I think. A festive group who all knew each other. Makes for wonderful lively conversation.

The minted bruschetta started out with slicing a baguette and slathering each with a garlic olive oil and baking at 350 for about 15 minutes or so. Then, spreading softened goat cheese on each and broiling for a minute or two. The minted grapes start out with sauteing shallots. Transferring them into a bowl. Then, add quartered red grapes, mint, green onions to the pan. Saute and combine with shallots and pile on top of the bread. Lovely!

Post several glasses of wine and much laughter and good conversation, we all embarked to the theater which is about a mile away.

Now I had costumed the show and one always wonders how it pulls together in real life. It takes place in 1950s and most of the cast is men. Most of the costuming was compiling coats and suits and imagining color combinations. Not too much of this or that color and who is standing next to whom. Etc. This cast was not the most communicative crowd. I have two email addresses and two phone numbers and my studio is next door to the theater. In addition, there was a private facebook page specifically for this show. Somehow I was just supposed to KNOW there was a note left on the green room counter that something needed fixing. Sigh!

In one of the scenes, the police Sargeant skis through the snow to get to the scene of the crime. I had costumed him in shirt and tie with a 1950s pullover sweater, a huge coat with a 1950s fur collar and one of those hats men used to wear with the flap that went up in front and over the ears. Who came out on stage was in a dress coat, fedora, and 1970-1980 professor blazer with patches on the elbows. Not exactly what one would have been wearing whilst skiing through the elements. Guess I am taking a break from costuming for awhile. More time for my own stuff.

The dinner was simple but very good. It was catered by Omar and he did himself proud. A crispy lettuce salad and fabulous bread from Omar’s own ovens. Between Act One and Two, the main course of a small boneless pork chop over mashed potatoes with gravy and winter vegetable. After Act Two, the dessert of a cranberry cake. Just enough. Not too much. Perfect. The Kasson-Mantorville Drama club served. Such great kids.

The show was good. Not great. But entertaining. And I will not spoil the ending. This is the 60th anniversary of The Mousetrap and Agatha Christie asks all who attend not to tell whodunit. This production has one more weekend here in Mantorville and then you will have to go to London.

So we get home. Throw dishes into the dishwasher. And settle into Saturday Night Live with Tina Fey. During a commercial, I rushed into the bathroom to wash my face, etc. It looked so nice in there. No curling irons and potions on the counter. And NOT ONE TOWEL. Someone had found a washcloth somewhere and had it hanging on a towel rack. How embarrassing…


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