Girlfriends

sixth grade friends

Sixth Grade Friends 2003, charcoal on paper, 42 x 50 inches

I am fortunate to have groups of friends who like to eat together. The best meals are those to which we all contribute.  At our house, I am the principal meal planner and preparer, so dinners shared with cooks/friends are a joy.  And not just for the varied dishes everyone brings but for the company.

Six of my art girlfriends came for dinner last week. Sherry, Jane, Jen, Teresa, Ana and Karla. What a wonderful band of artists.  We talked about artist residencies and travel plans, upcoming exhibitions and our children. And we drank wine and laughed.

We each made part of the meal ─ a sort of potluck but with a plan.  I prepared the main dish, smoked salmon, and the others brought veggies, salad, wine, and dessert.  The photos are of the leftovers. I was too engrossed in the meal and the conversation to remember to take pictures.

salmon

With Bud’s  instruction, I smoked 3 ½ pounds of salmon on the Weber.  After preparing the fire and wood chips, it took about 50 minutes to slowly cook the fish.  I did this before everyone arrived so I wouldn’t freak out over the simple but unfamiliar preparation.  I garnished the fillets with chopped parsley and dill and wedges of lime and lemon and served the fish at room temperature, my usual preference.

carrots

Sherry brought delicious braised purple carrots she had made with Jamie.  Here’s the recipe in Sherry’s words:

 Jamie prepares the braised purple carrots in a large saute pan with a lid.  I chopped several tablespoons of slivered ginger with the large pieces of purple carrots.  We put the carrots and ginger in the pan and dolloped several tablespoons of butter on top, and drizzled a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and salt and pepper.  Put the lid on and cook at a high temperature to brown and braise.  Mix it up a bit to coat and cook with the lid on at a high temperature (but not to burn) until carrots are done to your liking.

cauliflower and chick peas

Jane brought a cauliflower and chickpea dish that I remade a few days after our dinner. The recipe is from a book by Gwyneth Paltrow.  A similar cauliflower salad is here ─ Busy day dinner

Toss cauliflower florets from a medium head and 2 cups drained, dried off chickpeas in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  I used cooked Rancho Gordo beans but canned would do. Roast in a hot oven, 400°, until tender and browned, about 35 – 45 minutes.

roasting

Have ready a vinaigrette made with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon rough mustard, the kind with seeds,  2 tablespoons sherry vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil.

vinaigrette

Mix the hot cauliflower and chickpeas with the vinaigrette.  When ready to  serve garnish with a good handful of chopped parsley.

Ana Maria made the salad, a delicious mixture of baby spinach, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and toasted pepitas.  This is similar to the salad in Soup for a snowy autumn night

salad

And for the finale to a glorious meal with glorious friends, Teresa and Karla brought dessert ─ Teresa’s apple tart served with ice cream.  (Photo by Karla)

apple tart

2 thoughts on “Girlfriends

    1. Hi, John, We lived in Superior, Wisconsin before moving to Cedar Falls. I started 7th grade at Malcolm Price. The photo this drawing is based on is of my friends at our 6th grade graduation from Lincoln School. I stumbled on it and couldn’t resist the nostalgic picture. It is a very large drawing…what was I thinking??? Hope you are enjoying this lovely winter. Bud is able to get in some bike rides as our weather is a bit less severe than yours across the Divide. Best, Barbara

      On Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 9:26 PM How I Learned to Cook, an Artist's Life ─ Barbara Shark wrote:

      >

      Like

Leave a Reply to John Adamsonj Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s