Those Special Evenings

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him.  The people who give you their food give you their heart.”

Cesar Chavez

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are few things I like better than spending time with friends, especially those evenings when we gather around the table to share a meal.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the laughter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand the sometimes energetic discussions, most of which seem to evolve around politics. These days that subject can evoke a lot of emotion as well as some pretty funny comments.

Foodie Adventure Spain/fishDinner is always a treat,  and most of the time it is a meal to which we’ve all contributed.  That way no one has to spend all day in the kitchen, and everyone is comfortable having played a part in the preparation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I particularly get a kick out of is the effort made to set a lovely table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAgain and again I see how that is opportunity for one to express their unique creativity.  Too, an inviting table always makes the food taste even better!

So, what is your favorite way to spend an evening?

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Tablescape Thursday

Favorite Things Thursday

Food: A Gift

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is something very special about sharing food with friends, and I am so appreciative of those who invite us to their table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI enjoy a comfortable setting that invites with its simplicity,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAone that is warmed by flowers, perhaps from the garden, and candlelight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI appreciate the effort that goes into the food preparation, but no matter what is served what I enjoy most is the time with friends, the laughter and stories we share.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe will gather round this table again though in a different house.  The space may be different, but one thing that won’t change are the friends who give with their heart.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday 

Taste of France

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.

tablescapeThis 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. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe hors d’oeuvres were not the only clue to the French inspired dinner that was to come.

tablescape

Any meal served on this delightful table was going to be a real treat.

tablescape

I loved the layers of cloth,

flowersand the flowers, hinting of the coming of fall.  They were perfect complements to the colors and textures on the table.

tablescapeThe 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

tablescapethat when lit cast a soft glow over the table.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI 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.

cevicheThat 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe 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.

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Tablescape Thursday

Share Your Cup Thursday

Show and Tell Friday

Anything Blue Friday

Serendipity

When my blog friend Cuisine Kathleen issued a challenge to create an end of summer table, I thought I can’t do this.  Summer comes late to Maine and leaves early, and I want to hold on to its sunlight and bright colors as long as possible.

Camden HarborThen serendipity stepped in as the hosts for our August gourmet gathering chose to take advantage of summer’s fleeing moments by having our dinner outside. Nothing could have been more perfect than overlooking beautiful Camden Harbor and the Camden Hills at twilight.

Maine gourmetEverything about the evening was just right from the simple table to the lobster that was on the menu.

Maine gourmetSee the rocks on the table?  They are for cracking the lobster claws.  

Maine gourmetOther crackers were available, but you’ve got to have some real muscle power to crack those claws when the lobster is hard shell.

Maine gourmetAdding a touch of late summer were the hydrangeas which are just beginning to bloom and will last through the fall, turning pink as the season changes.

Maine gourmetAfter an enjoyable hour catching up on all our summer activities, dinner was served.  This, my friends, is a 2 pound lobster, baked and stuffed with a mixture of clams, crab, shrimp and scallops.  Talk about a great way to bid farewell to summer!

Camden HarborAs evening fell, and we were surrounded by the beauty that is Maine, we all expressed our gratitude for shared friendship and for being in a place we so love.  I am a very lucky girl and very grateful to the friend who made it possible for me to share in Cuisine Kathleen’s challenge!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

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Let’s Dish

Tablescape Thursday

Friendship: A Gift

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

Linda_  044Usually on Thursdays, tablescapes and/or food are subject for my post.  Today, however, I’m thinking about friends and the people who come into life at just the right moment.

For whatever reason this week, I’ve not felt my usual chipper self.  No reason, just a little blue and believe me when I tell you there’s seldom reason for me to feel down.   Still, there are days when a smile is hard to come by and the heart feels a little heavy.  It’s times such as these when often the unexpected occurs and rekindles my inner spirit.

This morning, for example, the first email I read was from a long time friend whose joyful spirit is itself a gift.  Today, for whatever reason, she sent a message filled with kind words of appreciation, the kind that cause tears to flow and which I did nothing to earn.  How did she know that on this day her thoughtful kindness would mean so much?

Later, a woman who is a casual acquaintance I’ve not seen for years pulled into my driveway.  I happened to be getting out of my car and turned to see who was in the unfamiliar vehicle.  What a surprise to see her face!  She hadn’t stopped to visit but to snap a photo of the beautiful azaleas blooming along the side yard.  She explained the coincidence by saying that God must have brought her to that spot at that moment so that we might reconnect and be reminded of the value of people who pass through our lives.

Is there a greater gift than unsolicited expressions of friendship?  Certainly, they lifted my spirit and reminded me that I need often to offer the same.  Maybe those expressions will make a difference in someone else’s day.

Today I will start by telling each one of you who take the time to muddle through my musings how very grateful I am.  Many of you regularly brighten my day with your posts or your visits here.  Thank you.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

We Are Lunch Bunch!

Once upon a time we were young moms expending energy as room mothers, coaches, team moms, PTO presidents, community volunteers.  We became acquainted volunteering at school, watching our kids play Little League and softball, cheering them on at field day or special day performances, organizing dance lessons and chaperoning parties.

Now, years have passed, kids are grown.  Our wrinkles are showing, some of us are thicker, a few have gray hair, most of us are grandmothers.  We are wiser, more comfortable with who we are. Most of all, we are friends who gather once each month to share stories, offer support through times good and bad, laugh and sometimes cry.  We are bound by our shared history and it matters not whether we see each other frequently or just at our monthly lunch gatherings.  We know that we offer one another something special, the gift of friendship.  I couldn’t be more grateful.

Tell me, how do you nurture your long time relationships?