Originally post November 23, 2008, that dinner had been the first one given in years, those friends the first invited in after everything once considered permanent had left, either suddenly or very slowly or both.
That November dinner heralded a personal spring - the beginning of new times and new adventures.
Last night, still dancing through ideas and words at 2:30 a.m., even though the meal was almost identical, the delight of discovery was more wonderful than ever, as was the gratitude that, indeed, from the ashes, a flock of phoenixes always rise.
(Tonight's menu, besides the ubiquitous chicken, brown rice, salad and bread, included a spectacular guacamole, nuts, smoked mozzarella from Russo's, pastries from di Robertis, chips chips chips, and the Mariner's adventure, once again, into sweet potatoes.)
Over the last couple of decades the meal has pretty much stayed the same because I really can't cook anything else. Chicken, salad, bread, maybe some yams if I remember not to burn them, whatever dishes and dessert others contribute... (Tonight's menu: hard salami, cheese, ratatouille, fondue, snap peas, tiramisu, chocolate and better wine than the ones I got at Trader Joe's...)
But the saving grace of my bad cooking has been twenty-five years of the utter luck of having wonderful friends who come and sit and eat and laugh and talk and drink and share and argue and love and celebrate absolutely nothing except a rare night where all of the above can happen.
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