Laughter is brightest where food is best.
~ Irish Proverb
It took a few wrong turns in Martin’s car, and some squinting at the map with the light from my cell phone – but oh, our little effort was well rewarded indeed.
Martin, Sally, Nish and I found our way to Graeme & Daph’s charming place on Saturday night, stepping in gratefully to their warm lounge where we were met with two smiling faces. I met this lovely couple not too long ago at a cooking class, and in the lucky way you sometimes meet people whom you like immediately and have the pleasure of meeting again, here I was, in their house for dinner! They had a lot of ravioli to get through, I was told, and in an act of crazy generosity – more than they realise, probably! – I was invited to come… and bring friends!
So I grabbed Martin, Sally, Nish, a bottle of Bridge Pa syrah, and over the next few hours on a wintry night – we celebrated. In a big way. Celebrated food, life, humour; in a fantastic way, especially since I was with friends who don’t yet know each other well, and of course none of the others had met each other before. Yet, we exchanged stories, laughed and shared delicious food together. This is one of the best things that could ever happen to strangers, acquaintances, friends.
It was a beautiful scene, the cute cats by the fire, the labelled spice jars on the shelf, the coffee machine, the nicely set table with red napkins. It was wonderful to listen, talk, laugh, eat… Oh, did we eat! Graeme had baked spectacular bread – seriously, there is not a thing I would change about it – it was soft, comforting, flavourful – I think I exclaimed at my first bite. The wine – Yealands gewurztraminer, Bridge Pa syrah, something else I’ve forgotten now – we had a very delicious selection. The ravioli, of course – we had 2 types to indulge in: pumpkin & mustard fruit, spinach & ricotta – with a wonderful smoky tomato & bacon sauce and showers of parmesan to accompany them. Graeme spoilt us all with his very yummy creme brulee, perfectly torched – a deep caramel crust that we cracked with our teaspoons, then custard we all fell into, sighing. Dessert wine. Coffee. Chocolate. It felt like the feast would never end, except my body was certainly telling me that I should end it soon before I burst. All my winter sickness melted away…
Mmmmmmmmmmmm! It was a delicious night, which I won’t be forgetting in a hurry! Look forward to hosting them sometime in the near future too (hopefully with a decent menu too, though it sure is a high standard to try to match!)
I wanted to get in touch to see if you’d be interested in entering our competition to find New Zealand’s Top Food Blogger? The prize includes tickets to see Rick Stein on his tour of NZ, your blog entry published in the program – and so read by hundreds of foodies – plus loads of Rick Stein goodies. Bit too many details to post here, but please email email@example.com and I’ll send you all the details if you’re interested.