Supper Club: March and Mean Girls
Two of my oldest and dearest friends (M and T) and I started calendaring regular dinners to make sure that too many months would not go by without us reconnecting. At first, we would pick restaurants based more on location on the day that worked for us all, so sometimes we would meet for acceptable pasta at Serafina, or try a new plant-based pizzeria because we were all curious, or splurging at Gabriel Kreuther to celebrate our birthdays.
When I left my corporate run in digital entertainment, I had more time on my hand and since I have always enjoyed cooking, I thought maybe we could eat-in versus go out. Somewhere along the way, we started to meet at M’s apartment which was sort of equidistant from myself and T, and M had the place to herself which meant we could talk freely and linger as long as we all wanted. M is the sommelier amongst us so she would usually provide the wine; T plays sous-chef and brings a course like dessert or makes a side dish though she would usually also bring a bottle of something recommended from her favorite local wine seller. And I would set the menu and prepare the meal.
I absolutely love thinking up menus for dinner parties. The parameters for these friends includes M being a pescatarian, and while T is an omnivore, she is allergic to scallops, crabs and shrimp, though clams are ok! I usually have to ask her of this list every month though now after several years, I finally remember.
I wanted to share our Supper Club ritual because it’s a wonderful way for friends to connect on a regular basis. We cover the gamut on topics as we cook, eat and drink.
Menu: I have been lamenting no longer having a favorite place to go for chirashizushi and so decided to put in on the menu. Also, it was timely in that Hinamatsuri (Girls’ or Doll) Festival is on March 3 and it is common to serve this dish. My mom had given me some Japanese boxed containers and so I mixed and matched a few to make one big box of sashimi, and then we each had our own box. I also made a side dish of kimpira gobo.
Drink: sake, of course.
Dessert: wagashi or Japanese sweets. My husband got me a box of specialty confections (mochi, kumquat, sweet bean paste) from Minamoto Kitchoan and I had no business eating the entire thing. Supper Club is also a great way to share (and save myself) from candy.
Conversation: Mean Girls
This last supper club, we talked about ‘mean girls’ and being at a place where we are okay with icing them out of our lives. The motives are not sometimes clear and the tormenting or aggressive bully-like behavior happen over a period of time.
We each shared stories about surprising betrayals, intent, and workplace bullying.
Relationships are fragile enough things and we know how emotional pain can be the hardest to overcome. Unless they are family, cutting off bad relationships are a natural part of life. Like a plant, you need make sure to give relationships enough water and light for growth. And you need to prune the dead leaves and branches. Good riddance to ‘mean girls’ and cheers to making time to spend with quality friends.