Several years ago, my aunt described in great detail how she enjoyed the gourmet club she had recently joined. I listened, nodding my head, wondering how I could assemble such a group of friends.
A week later, Ohmommy and I were strolling our children through the park on an unusually warm December morning.
“Are you and Jay having a Christmas party again this year? We had such a nice time last year, I was hoping it would be a tradition.”
We had been over each other’s homes countless times in the summer. They had just hosted a party a few weeks prior. Jay and I love to entertain.
“Ohmommy, I have an idea . . . “
A little cajoling of our playgroup friends and Gourmet Club was born. Our latest event was this past Saturday.
Jay and I wandered in the front door. Friends were assembling on the beautiful back screened in porch. Jay slipped his homemade ice cream in the freezer. I left the roasted rum pineapple on the table, thrilled to arrive without a sticky mess on my funky silk dress.
Our hosts were on the porch, offering cocktails.
Let me introduce you to Mrs. Iowa farmer, debutante. She is the only woman I know equally comfortable at a campsite or a 5-star restaurant. She can make a full dinner, multiple home made pies, homemade ice cream, fresh bread, and still appear in a little black dress, as if the caterer had just departed.
“Oh, honey, its really not that big of a deal,” she would say.
Her husband, we’ll call him “Mr. Iowa farmer” (tee hee). A successful business man and devoted father, I drunkenly admitted to him that I love his kids so much I hope they date mine in high school. These are my friends.
A few minutes later, Ohmommy and the Dentist arrived. Somewhere between the fresh cut bangs and stilletto heels, the boot camp trophy sashayed through the back screen door. She speaks for herself.
Indy and Mike were already there, relaxed on the couch. If you haven’t found her blog yet, you should. If you don’t know what to say, say what we all say,
“Weren’t you in Vegas recently?”
Meet Sir Townie and Lady Hospitality. When I was a kid, the so-called townies wore mullets and had rings worn into their back pockets from chew. This “townie” nickname has stuck because he is the diametric opposite. Yet another successful businessman, you will find him in a collared shirt and slacks on the golf course. He is a townie only because he grew up here. And, in case I forget, I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with him that didn’t include,
“Oh, yes, I know her, she’s my cousin’s wife.”
He knows everyone in town. Well, if he doesn’t know them, his wife does. And, they have invited them over, brought dinner to them once, or see them at the club frequently. These are my friends.
Meet the Goddess and Holy Husband. Now, you might readily assume when I say “Goddess,” I mean domestic goddess. No. This woman prides herself on NOT cooking. She is also a former model, but that isn’t it either. No, she is a Goddess because Mission Impossible to her is all in a days work. She knows everything, is everywhere, and gets everything done all at the same time. I frequently see her children at events she does not attend. She could tell you all about it though, because I am sure she was in three places at once. She called me one day after George was born.
“Do you need anything, Dear?”
“A gallon of milk would be great,” I replied, “but only if its easy.” I was desperate.
She called a friend who was at the grocery store. That friend passed the milk to her when they traded kids for carpool. She handed it to another friend, who was heading in my direction. A few minutes later, I had a gallon of fresh milk. No problem. I am not sure I could write a computer program to figure out how she transports people and goods throughout the community.
And, what about Holy Husband? This translates into “Holy Cow, what a husband.” I have heard stories of him bringing coffee to the Goddess before she gets out of bed. When Andrew’s eye was bleeding and I drove to the ER, panicked, (my husband already on the way from downtown) the Goddess was not available to calm me down. Holy Husband rushed to the ER to help me. I saw him in church today with two out of three kids without the Goddess. She had a good excuse, but it confirmed the name.
This brings us to our last couple, Mary Kay and MacGyver. Mary Kay is an understated, detail-oriented, principled, self-made woman. What she may appear to lack in world-travel, she makes up for in personal journeys. Stillettos would simply get in the way of keeping both of her feet firmly on the floor. (She looks awesome in them, its just soo not a priority for her). Wise beyond her years, I always expect she leaves the evening giggling at the folly of her girlfriends. I caught her this morning in church too. Her boys sat sweetly in the front row. She was perfectly groomed, perfectly calm, but I caught that polite little yawn that betrayed the time she had carved out for friends.
I end with MacGyver. Faced with making mojitos for our party, he found he did not have the proper tool to crush the mint. He whittled his own pestle from cherry wood. Yes, MacGyver is the right name for him.
This is our Gourmet Club.
Right after George was born, they each made dinner for us. They each made chicken: chicken soup, chicken paprikash, chicken Kiev, chicken Cordon Bleu.
“Why didn’t you tell us? We didn’t intend to make you eat chicken every day for two weeks!” they scolded me.
Are you kidding? Each dish was just as unique as the friend who prepared it: all different, all delicious. The best meals surprise us with their mélange of flavors.
Friends do the same.