Without question, my favorite evenings out are those spent with friends catching up, sharing stories, laughing. A real bonus is when the time together includes enjoying a meal at home where it is quieter, the atmosphere is more relaxed and there’s no rush to get up so someone else can have your spot.
This evening at a friend’s was especially wonderful. It was delightful to be outside beneath clear sky and with a breeze from the bay enjoying a lovely sampling of French cheeses and tapenade.
The hors d’oeuvres were not the only clue to the French inspired dinner that was to come.
Any meal served on this delightful table was going to be a real treat.
I loved the layers of cloth,
and the flowers, hinting of the coming of fall. They were perfect complements to the colors and textures on the table.
The place settings were a potpourri of color and pattern, each a reminder of the warmth of Provence. The mercury glass candle holders added a touch of sparkle
that when lit cast a soft glow over the table.
I couldn’t resist sneaking a peek in the kitchen to find out what were the tantalizing aromas. Bouillabaisse was bubbling on the stove, and it was just the kind I like, full of shrimp and shellfish.
That by itself would have been enough to satisfy any of us, but the meal began with a delightful mango/shrimp ceviche. This was a new combination for me, and I loved the subtle sweetness of the mango. That is a recipe I’m going to have to get to share with you.
The bouillabaisse was just as good as it smelled, and for a bit conversation around the table stopped, and all you could hear were moans of pleasure, a sure sign of a successful meal.
Needless to say, our hosts got rave reviews for their culinary skills and for the gift of a very special evening that included having to come in our best interpretation of French attire. Would you believe the hubby, he who grumbles about anything having to do with costume, won prize for the best? Go figure!
Tell me, what is your favorite way to spend time with friends?
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