Thursday, February 12, 2009

Creating the Mood

I like to cook and have people over but my friend Pat taught me a lot about entertaining. We were in a gourmet club of eight couples. Sixteen people are far too many to sit down to a five-course dinner inside a normal house much less prepare the meal with all the various things that accompany each course but I have to admit that it was a lot of fun.

About four times a year two of the couples would prepare the dinner. Pat and Tom and Ned and I were one of the teams. I have to brag that Pat and I were outstanding. I liked the cooking and Pat had flare and like to decorate. Pat's ideas just elevated a dinner party to an EVENT. When people arrived they knew that it was a special evening.

One time we filled the ceiling with balloons with curly streamers hanging down. Another time we made Mardi Gras masks for each person. We served soup in tiny antique demitasse cups, edible flowers stuffed with salmon mousse, chocolate tarts decorated with chocolate leaves and raspberries, hollowed acorn squash and filled them with chilled soup. We were always on the look out for special china or glasses or linens to build around for the dinner. We spent days going through our cookbooks for just the right combination of menus. All of this may not seem so different now but 20 years ago, we were on the cutting edge, if I say so myself.

I couldn't help but think of Pat while we were staying in a gorgeous contemporary Mexican house in Valle de Bravo. The table was set differently for each meal and the food was presented so well. Pat would have loved it and so did I.


Alfredo said...

Life is full of memories and memories are what life is. Rest in peace Patricia Robinson. I bet she can't wait to do it once more with you. Someday.

Saludos cordiales.

glorv1 said...

Billie, you miss your friend. Carry on with what you both did when you were together, she'll be there with you. You described her as a "Steel Magnolia," so there is nothing that can keep her spirit away from your events. She'll be there. Take care and Happy Valentine's Day. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie "Sue"...I remember Pat and Tom and how precious they were as your friends and treated me as one of "the group" when I was around them. This reminds me of my group of six friends or as one of the granddaughters calls us.."the little girls trip"...we have been friends since the first grade and try to take a trip once a year...thus the little girls trip...they went with me through my divorce and Tom's death, we've been together through the deaths of children and grandchildren...we all need to cherish our friends..old and new...and our families...yes, Billie, you and Pat will someday be having your gorment parties again along with sweet Margaret...Happy Heart's Day...Give Ned hugs and kisses and have a happy weekend. Peace, dotye

Kate said...

Lovely photo! Your description of your dinners is wonderful. Many thanks for your warm wishes on my blog today.

jillian said...

I adore this idea and cannot wait to try doing something like it (when we are) back home with friends.