Every Sunday night, we get together with the same set of friends for dinner. This usually involves oversized portions and more dessert than we need.
This all began ten years ago, after their first child was born. Going out had become difficult and costly for them, so we started staying in. At first, it was occasional movie nights, which turned into “Sopranos Sundays.” This led to other HBO shows (Deadwood, Rome … the list goes on), and of course we all needed to eat. Soon we were up to eight adults, and a new tradition was born.
Our hostess jokes that she’s bribing us with food as a “thank you” for coming over, but we’re glad to be part of the family; it’s a comforting routine. The guests rotate bringing entrées and sides. (Tonight, we’ve got the salad.) And one in our group is a pastry chef who experiments on us with treats.
It doesn’t hurt that they have a keg fridge with two craft-beers on tap, and they just finished building a TV room with a 72″ wall-mounted screen and reclining theater chairs.
But we’re in it for the company of our little extended family, which makes it all the sadder when anyone moves away. This has happened twice now over the decade, as couples embark on new adventures and explore opportunities elsewhere. This leaves the rest of us staying behind with something like “empty nest” syndrome, watching the place settings dwindle in number but wishing our friends all the best.
In honor of our own little Diners’ Club, here’s a retrospective of our meals. Sometimes, we get a little fancy (Oeufs en Muerette, Ethiopian), and many kitchen prep sessions are quite visceral (deconstructing a ham for cassoulet). One time, our hostess went to the local butcher for whole chickens and came back with whole chickens, heads and all. Take a gander.
We may be losing another member soon, but we’ll always have these memories.