Hubby's threshold for Pictionary is exactly three rounds. Beyond that and his blood pressure shoots to 149/89. The first time we played, we were vacationing with his sister and her in-laws in North Carolina. He elected to draw on the first round and drew a big, blobby, misshappen oval with four circles underneath and a circle extending from the back. How was I supposed to derive that this was an animal?
But I did and I even managed to figure out it was a bear. Hubby nodded vigorously when I yelped, "Bear!" However, he kept stabbing at the picture with his pen, urging me on.
"Bear! I said bear! I said bear! It's a bear it's a bear it's a bear it's a bear, I said it's a bear it's a bear!"
Slowly, the sands in the hourglass trickled to an end.
Hubby turned to me and said calmly, "Grizzly bear." Then, inhaling deeply, "IF IT WASN'T A BEAR THE FIRST 23 TIMES YOU SAID IT, WHY DID YOU THINK IT WOULD BE A BEAR ON THE 24TH TIME?"
Now, if you watch "Family Guy," you will find an episode featuring Stewie and a Pictionary board horrifyingly and hilariously familiar. It's not the first time cartoon and Emil have emulated each other: there's also a scene out of "Screwed the Pooch" when Brian wails along with a baby in a restaurant that...well, never mind.
So, we lost that round. On the second round, I served as the artist. The word was "seaweed." I drew a sushi platter with chopsticks, intending to point out the nori. Okay, see what happens when you have a foodie try to draw? Emil's sister drew an eye and a weed. Needless to say, we lost.
Next round, Hubby drew. We lost, yet again.
"ANGRY!" he roared. "ANGRY!"
"Yes, I know you are!"
"THE ANSWER! THE ANSWER WAS ANGRY!"
"Well then you should have drawn an arrow and pointed it at yourself!"
So, we do not play Pictionary well as a team.
We hosted a group of friends for board games last Saturday and began the night with Pictionary. Of course, several of us spent fifteen minutes looking for the "grizzly bear" card to lay it on top as a gift for Hubby. He figured out he was being had. Hubby does not like Pictionary.
Now, sit him in front of a Monopoly board, and he's all smiles. That's because he's one of those Monopoly savants who knows statistics about which properties are the most profitable, and which squares people are more likely to land on. He's also sneaky: he'll offer people "sweetheart" deals which turn out to be useless. Once he's got the orange and red properties, he'll build hotels. It's usually over for most challengers in a few rounds. One secret to a successful marriage: don't own a Monopoly board.
The women went for several rounds of Cranium and far more laughter than was heard from the dining room, where the men had convened to build houses and hotels, and pass Go.
Game nights are casual so we made a platter of sandwiches: avocado slices paired with crisp bacon on grilled sourdough panini; chicken salad sandwiches with white truffle oil, pine nuts and golden raisins; and slices of seared flank steak with horseradish and gorgonzola crumbles in toasted baguettes. Desserts were cream puffs and chocolate dipped strawberries -- finger foods that are easy to pick up and eat in one bite, freeing participants to engage in the normal lunacy of acting out clues, drawing, answering trivial factoids and crushing would-be developers.
Avocado and Bacon on Grilled Sourdough Panini
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
8 strips of thick cut bacon, panfried over low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes
4 slices sourdough bread
1 T olive oil
Lightly brush or spray olive oil on two slices of bread. Assemble the sandwich by alternately layering half of the avocado slices and bacon strips. Place the sandwich on a panini grill and cook until sandwich is browned, about 2 minutes.
Chicken Salad Panini with White Truffle Oil, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
1 cup of cooked, shredded dark and white chicken meat
2 T mayonnaise
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 T white truffle oil
Dash of salt
4 slices sourdough or Italian bread
1 T olive oil
Combine chicken with mayonnaise, salt, pine nuts, raisins and truffle oil. Lightly brush or spray olive oil on two slices of bread. Spoon 1/2 cup of chicken salad onto bread. Place the sandwich on a panini grill and cook until sandwich is browned, about 2 minutes.
Seared Flank Steak Baguette with Horseradish and Gorgonzola Crumbles
4 3-inch baguettes, sliced lengthwise
1/2 lb flank steak, seasoned on both sides with salt, pepper, and rosemary
1 cup gorgonzola crumbles
1 cup arugula
3 T horseradish
1 T olive oil
Heat olive oil in a pan on high heat and sear the flank steak on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and fry steak until medium rare, about 10 minutes. Slice thinly. Combine horseradish and gorgonzola crumbles.
Heat oven to 300 degrees and warm baguettes until crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
Place arugula on baguette. Top with flank steak, then horseradish-gorgonzola, more flank steak, and a final layer of arugula. Serve warm.