My derrière is sore.
…in a really, really good, gutter-less sort of way.
You see, last night was the epitome of a perfect summertime evening: the HBH out relishing in his happy rendition of a man-meal with a buddy, three lovely ladies last-minute showed up at our house for dinner and a movie.
I love last-minute. I love it when dinner with friends doesn’t have to include an email chain with resulting plans no less than three months later.
So when Katie and Heidi and V arrived, we hugged and air-kissed and shoved the toffee-nut ice cream in the already-crowded freezer for later. Heidi scoured the shelves for a vase and placed the perfectly-purple dahlias in the center of the table, where we all sat down to christen the chilled Sangria.*
We talked about our days and we dreamed of an epic baby-free, Spirit-filled retreat of a mama weekend. We laughed about how the HBH and I were certain the Little Bubs must weigh at least 25 pounds now, “because he’s becoming such a little chunk!” and how the nurse then instructed Mommy and Daddy to start lifting weights because he’s barely tipping the scales at 19 pounds, 10 ounces.
Do what we can.
And when we felt our tummies grow hungry, we made our way to the kitchen, where we prepped our plates for individual renditions of The Perfect Pizza.** Plates were piled high with feta and artichokes and sundried tomatoes, while others boasted mounds gorgonzola and proscuitto and diced onions. And then arms full of floury, raw dough and a baby named Cancan, and olive oil and tomato sauce and all four aforementioned plates, we made our way through the dark and dreary basement to the backyard.
And then we grilled our pizza on the BBQ. It was awesome.
After guttural shouts of Glory! Glory! at our wood-fired pizza perfection, we again sat down at the table, where we stayed for the rest of the evening.
There was no need to watch a movie, for, well, let’s face it: we humans are entertaining enough, in and of ourselves. But scooting our bums from the left side to the right side and back again, we clinked our glasses and continued to relish in dinner and dessert for the next two hours.
And that’s why – in a very, very good way – I need to buy me some chair cushions. For a somewhat sore derrière is worth it, because I believe in meals that extend long past when you think they’re going to end, in which questions are asked and stories are told and laughter is had.
I’m transported back to a couple of magical nights spent in Provence with old roommate, Lola; we stumbled upon a group of ruckus-raising Canadians who saw fit to invite us to dinner. And there, joining an Asian male supermodel and the Canadian Kevin Bacon look-alike, we partook of a four-hour long, eight-course meal. Forever I’ll remember the magic that seemed to season the bread and the pasta, the chicken and the vegetables, as we entered into everlasting moments of pure and utter gratitude.
This is the way all meals should be, I remember thinking.
And maybe that is how they eat in Provence, every single night – slowly and deliberately, each supper filled with a minimum of eight delectable delights. As for me, I’m happy to relish in the moment of the now, curiously partaking of a magnificent meal with a couple of sister-friends.
For there is a time for 16-minute meals (the usual), and there is a time for the three-hour meals, because both are what life and love and memories are made of.
What about you? What’s a meal to remember? How long would YOU ideally sit at the table?
* = Best Sangria Ever = Bottle of white, bottle of red; cup o’ sugar and fruit – thank you Cha-Cha-Cha.
** = The Perfect Pizza =
1. Preheat grill to medium/medium-low. Clean grill slats and then coat with grill spray.
2. Roll/fluff/stretch dough to desired size, and then place directly on grill for 2-3 minutes, drizzling olive oil over the top.
3. Flip over your dough, drizzle on more olive oil and some tomato sauce.
4. Quick as a bunny, spread your toppings on top of the dough, with mozzarella on the very top.
5. When the cheese is melted (another 3 or so minutes), your pizza is done.
Easy peasy, friendlies!