July 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Mr. H and I are just winding down from a weekend spent with some good friends of ours at our house by the beach. Visits with them are always fun, since they just eat up life: throwing parties, dancing, far-off travels — you name it, they are game. They are also smart and funny and don’t seem to mind A+O’s need to accost them every time they enter the room. (Or perhaps they both simply have really good poker faces. But I don’t think so.)
My friendship with this couple is “inherited” from Mr. H’s side of the Friend Family. I’m most grateful for the introduction. Almost immediately upon meeting the then-single “Mr.” of the pair, we bonded over cooking, finding good meat, business school horror stories and all manner of silly stuff. Not long after that meeting, our friend met his “Mrs.” and over the years we have clocked a fair amount of time at table. This weekend was no exception, which was also what was exceptional about it.
Just about all the food we enjoyed came from a farmer that we are connected to through other friends of ours who love to eat well and are wonderful cooks. (They also happen to be the parents of our lovely goddaughter.) They just knew we would love this farmer’s weekly deliveries of amazing vegetables, meats, cheeses and face-sized cookies, and made sure that we got on his client list this year.
The majority of the wine we shared was discovered on trips with other dear friends who take their wine (and food) very seriously. Each bottle we pulled reminded me of a particular vineyard trip, their smiling faces and all the good times we’ve had with them around the city, on vacations and at our own dinner tables.
The preparation of something as silly as the kale chips I put out to nibble on with cocktails would not have happened it it weren’t for a late-afternoon text to one of my very best friends who told me how to make them.* No doubt these chips will be made by our weekend guests for their own guests, because, yes, they were that good.
The connections go on almost endlessly, but I think you get where I am going here. No part of our weekend would have been quite the same if not for the generosity and good nature of others. And in that, I not only spent time with these particular friends, but felt surrounded by those friends of ours who weren’t at our table this weekend. A very good feeling indeed.
* Kale Chips ala My Friend (who happens to be a chef) and Me (who likes the easy way out of a Kale Situation) :
– Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
– Rinse and dry all the kale and similar greens that came in your CSA Box.
– Cut the vein out of each leaf and then cut the remaining leaf into small pieces. (Discard the veins or put them through a juicer if you are into that sort of thing.)
– Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the cut-up leaves on the pan.
– Using a pastry brush, lightly cover the leaves with olive oil. (Don’t go nuts here…just a quick swipe will do.)
– Salt them and pop the tray into the oven for about 20 minutes or until crisp.
(Photo of some of the wines tasted in Bordeaux with friends: Some Cozy Night.)