Monday, February 20, 2012

Food and Friends

So I would be the first to tell you I love a long drawn out dinner. I believe that most of my life changing conversations and warmest memories have been shared around a table with good company. Perhaps this is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I think most of it revolves around the fact that when you sit down and eat with people life just seems to pour out like a special sauce or gravy.

Thus you can imagine how delighted I was to be invited over for dinner this week to one of my dear friend's home. Being a surgery resident doesn't always make homemade meals a possibility, I had to think long and hard about the last time I had eaten a real homemade meal. Thus, you can imagine how jazzed I was to be invited to such a gathering since basically my evening meals revolve around eggs-scrambled, poached, or sunny-side up.

Upon arriving to my friends apartment, I was delighted to find that the theme of the evening was old Paris. A place I have never been, but a place I am in love with undoubtedly. With wine in tote, it took only moments before the the thick tannins were permeating the air. The conversation and discussion of the weeks events were met with laughter and smiles. The NY times rested on the table, perhaps a conversation piece, but more of an offering for entertainment and enlightenment. As more friends arrived the energy in the room was palpable.

Perhaps my favorite part of any meal is the preparation, the cutting the whisking that ultimately leads to a true masterpiece. Thus, as I attempted to be the best soux chef possible, I was fascinated by the way my friend concoted a gorgeous meal with ease. As many of you know I do not pride myself on being a cook, if I did cook we might all need take-out after dinner, but this meal was nothing short of gourmet. My task was to help with dessert, a buttermilk cake topped with plums and blueberries, which was right up my alley.

Yet, as we all sat down to partake in the roasted vegetables, salad, and baked chicken it was as if all the memories I love about sitting at a table for dinner hit me. The memories of my dad and I talking about my day at school, or the way my grandmother would blot her food obsessively for grease before eating, or the stories of Thanksgiving that were repeated each year for tradition sake.There is a familiarity about the table, it is a place where people come to share their lives. And that my friends is what we did.  We shared the joys and the tragedies of this life, the things that warm our hearts and the things that make you realize that life is finite and short.

The company was lovely, but the dessert was also a sight to be seen-gorgeous and rich with color.

As I scurried out the door for work with a dessert to-go cup in hand, I felt full. Full of delicious food, but more importantly rich with good friends. For a girl who has been a bit homesick this week for my family and old friends, I felt rejuvenated. Sometimes all it takes is a warm meal, a glass of wine, and good conversation to remind you that home is never too far away.

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