Two stories of life this weekend and then I'll make a point. 1. Jennifer and I got together with our friends Ryan and Molly this weekend. Ryan and I share a love of cooking, so while the girls played with my kids and put them to bed, Ryan and I went shopping, cooked a meal together for the girls and then had a wonderful candlelit meal. Here was the menu: appetizer - Italian bread with an olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and fresh Parmesan dip. salad - iceberg wedges with tomatoes, cucumber and egg on the side with a homemade organzola dressing main course - seasoned chicken breasts sauteed and then topped with a basil pesto sauce with 5-cheese torellini tossed in olive oil, lemon juice and garlic complemented with an inexpensive, sweet white wine. dessert - creme brulee.
I'll (not so humbly) admit it was pretty good...my wife told me the next day that she couldn't think of a meal that would be better at any restaurant!
2. Went to a cookout at my brother-in-law's to celebrate his 28th birthday. When we got there, Brian, one of his friends, was manning the grill. He had dry-rub chicken, teriyaki chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers slathered in BBQ sauce and his signature burgers (that had a nice kick to them...I was bummed because I was one of the last to dish up and they were gone, so I only got a bite of Jennifers!) Anyway, Joel was telling us that Brian and been at his house the day before creating all the marinades and giving Joel instructions for how to care for the various meats overnight because he loves grilling and is obsessive about how it all turns out. So here's the moral of the story: I don't know if it's just my Midwestern, blue collar ethic or what, but I have a high degree of respect/admiration for people who find pleasure in the small things in life like food. I guess I've come across people in various stages of my life that seem to always be chasing after something, whether it be by buying cars, or going on exotic vacations, or by buying clothes all the time. And then there are the people who get exited about the weather, sunrises, good hamburgers, a well-grown shrub, good snow, the beauty of a well-written song, etc. I guess I'm lucky that I've gotten to know a lot of people that are more of the latter and not the former!