How do you make supper something fun to create and look forward to? Share it with friends and challenge yourselves to stretch your culinary imaginations!
Such was the challenge our friend, Rebecca, put forth 10 years ago, when she suggested we start a Supper Club. They would bring a couple and we would bring a couple. Rotating 4x a year, one would do appetizers, one would do a main course and one would do dessert. The couple that hosted the last gathering would get a free meal.
Now, let me say that these three families aren’t food shlubs. They make for dinner and pour wine, on a normal Tuesday, what others have on special occasions in a nice restaurant. As the hosts of the first club night, I left Rebecca’s, not only blown away by the food and wine itself, but wondering how I could ever arrange a simple centerpiece to reflect such elegance and warmth.
As we gathered last Saturday night to a rousing rendition of “upscale bar food”, I couldn’t help but be overcome with gratitude for the laughter, creativity and delicious conversation we have nurtured amongst us. As we sat around the dining table in our friends’ lovely home, we gasped at the time. 11:30pm had come too fast.
You see, it started out being about the food and has really grown into being about the people. Together, we have grown. Together, we have weathered job losses, disease, divorce, growing pains, serious stress and uncertain times. Gathering for dinner and pouring ourselves into the care and thoughtfulness of the meal, has given us a shelter in life’s storms.
Saturday night, our friends made gourmet pizzas with the best home-made crust I have ever tasted. I dined at Spago’s last week, the original gourmet pizza restaurant and was disappointed; my fig and goat cheese pizza at Spago’s was not half as good as our friend’s. Their topping selections ranged from rotisserie grilled chicken and fresh sausage on the stove to roasted figs, sautéed red onions, truffle oil and spicy red sauce. The list of unique and delicious ingredients was endless. Forgetting that John had been an Exec at Domino’s in a past life, the tweaking and cooking resulted in a potential competitor.
I was on deck for appetizers and made lamb sliders with taziki sauce, sweet potato fries with ketchup chili sauce and handcrafted beers. We played music we haven’t heard since bellying up years ago and everyone’s hearts, for a few hours, seemed to lighten. When the last course of dessert came out and there was not one, but two amazing options of amaretto cake and homemade mousse, we squealed with delight. Everyone had put their hearts into their course. And we went from simple to complex, without being complicated.
As Adelle Davis once said, “We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”
We are all busy and scheduling a time has gotten more challenging over the years. Still we manage to come together. And when we needed to come together Saturday night to challenge life and lighten our loads, we all clearly left, better for the time spent.
So, here’s to you, Howards, for your amazing ability to inspire, uplift and model gracious hosting. And to you, Farbers, for elegance, creativity and generosity. And Johnny D, for fast setting the challenge bar we all strive to reach. While we gather to fill our stomachs, you all get 5 stars for filling our hearts.
How do you MINDfully and creatively cook with friends? Let us know!