February 21, 2006

Table for 7...

Craig is a trauma nurse and Kathy is a cardiac nurse at Stanford Medical center. They've been married since I was in high school. Marc is a corporate pilot and Sally is in real estate. They'll be married this summer. Lydia is a research chemist originally from New Mexico who moved to California and met Jeff, a sales engineer in the software industry. Steve and Laura moved here from Georgia -- he's a regional manager in the banking industry and she's a mortgage broker. Shirley and Gary work for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit for those of you out of the area). Kaylynn teaches elementary school with a focus on speech pathology.

Some of us are single, some in committed relationships, some married. We range in age from 26 to 50. Some of us are liberal, others conservative. Some of us have children. Others have dogs, cats or other pets. Some of us are allergic to children/dogs/cats/other pets. Left to our own devices, we probably never would have connected. What's brought us together for the past several years? We all belong to the same supper club.

Shortly after I moved to the "East-er" Bay, one of my favorite food magazines published an article on one woman's solution to recipes that serve four-to-six: start a supper club. The article suggested those interested in starting their own group refer to the magazine's website. I knew we loved food, loved cooking, loved entertaining -- and wanted to meet new people in the area, so I gave it a shot. Five year's later, the group has evolved a bit but we're still going strong. Some subset of the players introduced above meets every other month (we rotate hosts) and we share an evening of good food, good wine and good and spirited conversation.

Saturday night there were seven of us, and John and I hosted the second periodical "Guilty Pleasures" dinner. Nothing kinky -- but forgetting the fat, cholesterol, fiber, or carbohydrate counts for a minute, each guest was asked to bring the one dish they'd never give up. The menu included:

a wine and cheese course -- two ultra-decadent Spanish cheeses (a blue and a soft cows milk cheese) paired with Spanish wines from a wine & cheese shop we recently discovered (more on that later)
shrimp cocktail
John's trademark Spaghetti ala Carbonara
Maple-Glazed Roasted Salmon
Kathy's Baby Carrots with Kalamata Olives and Green Beans with Shallots & Browned Butter
A wonderful Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake

All in all, a tremendous success!