Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Friends, Food, Fun

I've been a bit crabby the last few days. For a number of reasons, a few I was tempted to blog about but so far I've been able to stop myself from subjecting you all to one of my self absorbed, if eloquent, rants.

Instead I'm going to tell you about dinner with our friends Deb and Dave last night. Deb and Dave are one of those rare sets of friends where everyone enjoys everyone elses company. We all met on the bleachers, parents rooting our sons on in hundreds of baseball and football games over the years. Although Deb and I are the ones that took the friendship to the next level and get together most often just the two of us, the guys like to be included whenever we can manage it. The problem is, both husbands work long, unusual, and always changing hours on their jobs, so it's not easy to get everyone together.

Deb called up this last weekend and said that Dave was switching shifts again so would we like to come over for dinner this week, probably the last weekend of the summer we'd be able to do it. Plus, she's also in the midst of major remodeling their home and, after many months of having it torn apart, she finally had a kitchen again to both use and show off.

I knew this would be a crunch week for me to get everything done before leaving on another trip this weekend. If it wasn't for the "probably las time we could all get together" issue, I probably would have said no. But I didn't. I said yes. And then as the days got shorter and shorter and I got less and less done and my reserves of both energy and generally optimistic mood were shrinking smaller and smaller, I even toyed with the idea of cancelling at the last minute. But that would be rude. So I didn't. Instead I took a two hour nap and then got up and said "Time to go."

The miraculous thing was that I felt a bit better as soon as we arrived. And when the food arrived, I started to feel downright giddy. Debbie had been cooking all day long. I felt like I was at some fancy private restaurant, or maybe at my sister Laurie's house (my sister creates amazing vegetarian multi-ethnic cuisine and I am now, in true Pavlovian style, conditioned to start salivating at the very thought of visiting her).

But, back to Debbie's hard work, I actually took up close photos of each and every dish. Now I'm running short on time, so instead I'm just uploading this overview of our wonderful meal. I think you can still see things pretty well if you click and open the photo.

Clockwise from the bottom right: spicy baked sweet potato chips, veggie and cracker tray (check out the purple cauliflower in the middle!) with a side dish of homemade hummus, seasoned and barbequed shrimp, papaya kiwi salsa, barbequed artichoke halves with dip, fresh green salad with raspberries, mozarella cheese and other goodies, iced tea, and last but not least, a variety of sauteed vegetables.

We ate outside on a shady green deck at the top of town. Their dog Barnaby (in the corner) kept careful watch to clean up anything we might have accidentally dropped.

After dinner it started to get dark so we went inside where we chatted some more, played several rounds of Scattergories (I humbly admit winning them all although Debbie was giving me a run for my money by the last round!), drinking coffee, and scarfing down a delicious chocolate ..... something. She wasn't sure what it was exactly as her cookbook showed no photo and got away with calling it a Baked Chocolate Fudge Dessert. No clue there. It was sort of a pudding/souffle thing. All I really need to know, it was decadent and it was delicious. And by the time I remembered to take a photo of it all that was left was a crescent moon shaped edge of crust and a chocolate smeared casserole bottom. You'll just have to imagine it. Don't forget to imagine the mocha sugar sprinkled on the top of it.

So, a good time was had by all, especially by my stomach. The only down side to it was that it seriously cut into my curmudgeoning. (can a woman curmudgeon? Or maybe that's not a verb. It's a noun. So can a woman BE a curmudgeon? Hmmm. Oh well - my blog, my rules) And it also means I have a serious culinary debt hanging over my head to reciprocate. Which means eventually I have to unpack all these boxes, shove all this furniture about, and find my kitchen somewhere behind and underneath it all.


Blogger Kirsty said...

That looked like a seriously delicious meal! The descriptions had me drooling into my keyboard! Oh and the evocative image of the chocolate smeared bottom of the casserole pan...

You can be a curmudgeon if you want to...just keep us laughing, too!
(curmudgeons can be amusing to others, even when they are in high dudgeon themselves)!

7:52 PM  

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