Friends for dinner

Friends for dinner

We had our good friends Meghan and Steve over for dinner last night. Though we’d planned the night several weeks ago, we both forgot until we were headed over to my sister’s house yesterday afternoon for some help putting together the car seat we’d borrowed from her (that’s another blog entry).

Given that it was about 2 pm and they were due over at 5 we were in a bind. We left my sister’s house about 3:45, stopped at the supermarket on the way home to pick up a few ingredients and dessert and rushed home. I didn’t actually get to start cooking until about 4:30 while Melanie frantically ran about the apartment trying to clean up. (Much of which consisted of shoving things behind closed doors.)

Given the limited time we decided that trying to impress with fancying cooking (these are old friends after all) was out of the question so I went with a reliable pasta and sauce dish, combining some ground beef and loose sausage meat with red bell pepper, carrot, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion and a splash of vodka (the tomato’s best flavors are alcohol soluble so it’s always to cook them with a little snootful; science is your friend in the kitchen), into a nice gravy for the penne. I dropped some salad greens into a bowl along with a tomato, cucumber, and jarred roasted red peppers. The store-bought loaf of bread went into the oven and a bottle of Chilean Malbec was uncorked. Our friends brought a very tasty carrot and broccoli dish whose recipe came from the Moosewood cookbook, I believe.

This was the first time we’d seen these friends in months and months, at least since they were engaged last Christmas. They’re due to be married on July 14. (“Storm the Bastille!” as a wedding slogan doesn’t seem to work, sadly.) I tried to refrain from (a) talking about our child all the time and (b) giving advice about weddings, marriage, and childrearing. We weren’t completely successful, but neither did we fall into the parent trap of talking only about marriage and kids. We talked about travel, mutual friends, family, my friend’s job at Intel designing chips, and more.

Socializing and parents of toddlers

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli