I think one of the things I miss most about being in a relationship and/or living at home is the sharing of meals. When you spend the first 23 and 1/2 years of your life eating most of your meals with other people...the act of eating alone can feel awfully lonely. I hate that feeling. Loathe it, actually, to the point of refusing to fix food for myself when I'm alone. I love to cook, and I love to sit down to a really good dinner every night, but when it's just me I'm 9 time out of 10 just gonna rock a bowl of cereal hardcore.
So a few weeks ago I was talking to some of my friends who all agreed that its much more fun to eat dinner together than alone, but the fact that going out to eat can get a wee bit pricey after awhile...even here in NOLA where you can find good food for cheapy, kinda sorta puts a damper on it. All of a sudden, it dawned on me--just because I'm 1000 miles away from my family and no longer married, doesn't mean there aren't people out there I could eat with. I have fantastic friends who I LOVE spending time with and (BONUS!!) a few of us actually enjoy cooking. That, my friends, is what we call a win-win situation.
And thus, Family Dinner Night was born.
Family Dinner Night has got to be one of my Top 5 Best Ideas of All Time. SERIOUSLY. I rank this even higher on the scale-o-awesome than the Crossword Puzzle Wall I created in Graduate School. That's saying a lot. But seriously, we've been at it for a little over a month now and Family Dinner Night has quickly become one of the highlights of my week. I look forward to it for days in advance now!
There are four of us who participate and we get together one night each week at someone's house for dinner. We've decided to rotate hostess/cooking duties each week so that each of us is essentially responsible for one meal per month...and, oh yeah, its AWESOME. We eat, we laugh, we pray, and we even play board games together, but the best part, the very best part, is when we play High-Low.
High-Low is Jonnie's brainchild and its where we go around the table and take turns telling each other about the best part (our high) and the worst part (the low) of our day. It sounds simple, and maybe even silly, for a group of grown women (I'm the youngest and I'm 25) to play a game that Jonnie probably learned when she was 3 or 4, but you have no idea how great it really is. The act of not only sharing food but sharing your life--thoughts and feelings, excitements and fears, with other people is such a wonderful feeling...ahhh. I'm so thankful that I have friends in my life who are as caring as mine.
(And now, just to make your mouth water, here are some of the dishes we've created thus far...)
Pan-seared redfish and asparagus
Turkey and Pesto Paninis
French Onion Soup