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Fantastic Mr. Fox and the Prix Fixe Dinner

Hello, bloggy friends. I’m here to regale you with tales of my Halloween adventures…on November 6th. Yes, I’d say procrastination is still quite the problem for me.

For the first time in the nearly 15 years we’ve been together, SN actually wore a Halloween costume! His first instinct when I told him I’d picked the perfect couples costume for us was to be a grump, insisting that he couldn’t dress up because he had an important meeting with the Air Force that day and he was not willing to change his clothes. He wouldn’t even consider swapping one tie for a different tie. Oh, I know him so well. That’s exactly why I factored his fancy work clothes into the costume. Presenting, my very own Fantastic Mr. Fox:

fantastic mr. fox couples costume
 Fantastic Mr. Fox (the brains) and Mrs. Fox (the brains behind the brains). It turns out that it is quite difficult to drink wine while wearing a fox mask.

If you're like my mom and don't know who Fantastic Mr. Fox is, Google it. You were already online looking at our photos, Mom. Highlight "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and right-click, then press "Search Google for "Fantastic Mr. Fox"". SMH

(If she doesn't know how to do a Google search, she certainly isn't going to understand "SMH.")

SN and I often attend a prix fix dinner with wine pairings at our favorite Albuquerque restaurant, Scalo, on Wednesdays. Life without kids sure is rough, right? If you’re ever in New Mexico, this should absolutely be on your trip itinerary. For Halloween, Scalo featured their usual offerings but made the evening even more fun with a costume contest. We were surprised to discover when we arrived that we seemed to be the only customers in costume! Guaranteed win, surely. The prize was a bottle of wine – exciting when none of the bottles in our wine cabinet cost more than $1.60. It would be the sort of bottle we’d save for company, only to be secretly dismayed when our guests actually drank it. We’re greedy that way.

easy halloween costume idea
 To clear up any confusion, the man behind me is not actually dressed as Santa Claus. We see him almost every week and he has inspired SN to grow a mountain man beard the moment he retires. SMH.

Scalo's menu was amazing, as always. (Well, with the exception of dessert, as always. You know it’s ‘meh’ when a sugarholic like myself doesn’t clear her plate.) We feasted on beef tenderloin after enjoying tuna and salmon sashimi. I don’t even like seafood – that’s how good Scalo is. We had one of the best salads in the history of salad, beautifully plated for autumn with fresh, rich purple figs. It was perfect…except they had forgotten to add any salad dressing to mine. No big deal. I made eye contact with a server and did that little hand motion dealie in the air, the universal signal customers send to waitstaff everywhere to indicate that they need assistance. The server smiled and waved back, then left the room. I’m so awkward.

Eventually, SN said he didn’t like the dressing anyway and traded plates with me. It was very sweet, especially as I’m sure he actually did love the dressing, which was delicious. It would have been more sweet though if he hadn’t been eating his salad the entire time, switching my full plate for his remaining scraps. Come to think of it, that isn’t sweet at all. I may have been conned. What the heck, SN?

Toward the end of the evening, I asked SN if he thought they would be announcing the costume contest winner soon or if perhaps they had forgotten. “Don’t get mad,” he said. “They already gave the prize to the people behind you.”

I turned to stare at the other table in disbelief. Some of the guests stared back, seeming uncomfortable. “But no one at that table is wearing a costume,” I hissed to SN. There was one lady wearing a witch hat, but that was it. A witch hat is not a costume. I’d made masks. Buying the materials needed for our masks was a pain. Do not go to Joann’s Fabrics so close to Halloween! I’d matched both our outfits to the character’s clothes in the movie. I’d frozen my butt off all day wearing a dress in 30-degree weather. It had snowed! I had even framed a photo for our table to complete the look of Fantastic Mr. Fox and Mrs. Fox’s romantic date night, which everyone said was adorable. Our server knew instantly who we were supposed to be before I’d even taken out the photo, exclaiming that Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of her favorite movies (it's a movie, Mom) and saying several times throughout the evening that she loves our costume.

You know, not that I’m bitter or anything.

halloween costumes using what you already have
His glasses! Hee, hee.

“There’s a guy in costume at the end of the table,” SN told me. “He’s wearing a Kinney Brick hat. That’s why they won.” I couldn’t really see the man, but imagined he'd gone with something really clever and scary, like a Kinney Brick employee that had been impaled by a forklift or crushed when a wall of brick collapsed on top of him, complete with fake blood oozing everywhere. Appetizing, isn't it? We paid and stood to leave. Of course, I checked out the winning costume on my way out. The man in the Kinney Brick hat was exactly that – a man in a Kinney Brick hat, probably just the one he'd worn to work that day. No costume.

Sometimes I wonder if the staff at our favorite restaurant does not like us. I think we may be the only people in history to lose a costume contest while simultaneously being the only people in costume. We always try to be nice. I just don’t understand it.

Actually, I just re-read this before posting it on my site, including the part above about how the desserts at Scalo are basically garbage and are not worth the calories. I’m beginning to understand it now. 

(Not all the desserts, in case anyone at Scalo is reading this. Just the thirty-something ones we've tried. I think I remember having a really great panna cotta with caramel and meringue a few years ago. The other three courses more than make up for the mediocre dessert. We love Scalo!)

(I'm totally trying to dig myself out of a hole here. I don't want to change my blog post, but also don't want to upset anyone at our favorite restaurant. They probably won't read this, right? If they could just make better desserts, that would be great.)

Quick side story, because I just can’t help myself: While at Joann’s Fabrics to buy materials for our masks, I approached the checkout line at the same time as another customer and arrived a moment sooner, but allowed her to go ahead of me. Standing in line, a cashier called her…then called her again, as she was obliviously checking her phone and apparently had nowhere else to be. A second cashier finished and called the next customer – me. I went to one cashier and the zombie in line ahead of me looked up and went to another. She began checking out. I was told, by the same cashier who had just called for the next customer in line seconds earlier, “Oh. Sorry, I actually just clocked out for my break.” Grumble.

Actually, I just thought of one more thing about the desserts at Scalo. It's kinda funny. We had pound cake a few weeks ago that was dry and basically inedible. It had bits of flour visible, as it had not been mixed properly. SN insisted it was fine, saying that's how a pound cake is supposed to be and that I obviously don't know anything about cake. "It's called a pound cake," he explained "because you let it rise in the oven partially and then pound it down to make it extra dense." He pulled out his phone to show me he was right, then scrolled through result after result that showed he was wrong, all while pretending his phone was just really slow. He did not finish his cake.


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