EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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Eye of the Optimist -eating well

I had an excellent homemade meal at home. It was perfected by the contributions of friends. After finishing conducting and recording midterm examinations today, I had planned to cook a meal with a couple of filets of sole with salad on the side. That is a simple meal but a very satisfyingly tasty and healthy one. Little did I know that I would receive donations toward my supper in the form of gifts from friends.

First, Laurent, the prof from France, stopped by my office with a little surprise. "Close your eyes!" he insisted not once but twice when he caught me sneaking a peak. I felt a small box set upon my open hands; it was a little Italian cake.

Second, I was preparing the fish late this afternoon when I heard a knock at the door. It was the Russian colleague, Nadnyezna (Nadia), proffering a steaming bowl of borscht in outstretched hands. I could not refuse so inviting a dish! Besides, it is one of my favorite soups.

The borscht happened to complement the fried filets of sole and boiled potatoe nicely. The salad rounded off the meal. I counted three courses, when I had only expected two: salad and fish with potato on the side. Finally, I remembered the cake, which brought the tally to four courses. 

It was sitting in a huddle of knick-knacks, small plants and tablets in a corner of the table before me. Amid all the clutter, I had failed to notice it before the meal. I remembered it while I was enjoying the fish after relishing the impeccable tasting soup, seeing the bright red of the box and trying to recollect what it was. The cake was a perfect touch to the end of the meal. I had it with some herbal tea.

This was a nice conclusion to a fine warmish afternoon in April. After calculating and recording the marks of the last batch of midterm exams, I left the office, stopping to bask and sip some juice outside in the campus plaza before walking down the hill toward my apartment. On the way home, I decided to take the birds up to the balcony, if I found them altogether in one cage at home. I did, to my amazement. It was our newest roomie Aramis; first time outside with us. It went well. Two of my little friends rejoiced in the sunlight, head cocked toward the fiery ball in the sky and eyes closed. They were back in the room settling down for the day while I was making the food. The meal was a pleasantly fitting conclusion to the afternoon.

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