Saturday, May 31, 2008

Dinner Club

For the past 3 -4 years, some friends from work have been getting together every other month for Dinner Club. A date is always picked 2 months in advance so that everyone can be there, the hosting duties rotate, and the host picks the theme.

We've done Indian food, French, Italian twice, soup, southern-style, 50's diner, Pacific Rim, Spanish, picnics on a floating raft called the Viking (complete with helmets and for some reason a set of musical instruments like washboards, spoons, and kazoos), breakfast following an all night poker game, NCAA tournament team locations, and breakfast for dinner. We tried to have a serious, sophisticated wine tasting that ended in trying repeatedly to do the Dirty Dancing lift with the smallest member of our group while the smoke detector was going off from the Tombstone pizza in the oven and the floor (and walls, frankly) looked like a red wine crime scene.

We all go out with our husbands during Restaurant Week in the summer so that the boys, who often have MASHA meetings (Men Against Speech and Hearing Assoc) when the girls are together, can feel included too.

Some of us use it as a chance to try new recipes, some of use is it as an excuse to have cocktails on Sunday evenings, and some of us try to avoid cooking anything by signing up for bread or wine. We all use it as a chance to simply sit together and not talk (much) about work. We have big plans to celebrate DC's 10th anniversary in France, though we all freely admit that was probably just Saturday night big talk.

Last night was the May version of DC -- all things either made of crab or go with crab. The cocktail was blueberry vodka with Sprite Zero and fresh blackberries (who knew that a bottle of vodka only makes 10 drinks?) made by our most adventurous contributor, the appetizer was a Georgia caviar of blackeyed peas and corn made by our hands down Most Improved Player, the salad was lump crab meat over avacado (in a ring mold! Very Top Chef, we all agreed) by the resident gourmet, the side dish was potato slices with caraway seeds and a little cheese made by our resident southerner, and dinner was fresh steamed crabs caked in salt and Old Bay purchased by our host in her lovely home on her lovely patio. Dessert was chocolate cupcakes from a mix with frosting from a can -- my contribution of what I make when I'm crabby.

At one point on Friday afternoon as a few of us were eating lunch in the garden at work, we agreed that there were a million places we'd rather be. Last night, after dinner as we were sitting around the fire pit, we all agreed that there was no place we'd rather be.

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