Bonding with your BFFs

The baked potatoes are the same size as the Cotton Bowl trophy

You’ll have to forgive me a bit of self-indulgence here, because this post is all about me.

And how much I love my friends.

Janet making bread bowls for the etouffee

A few years ago, right after I bought my current home, I asked a few of my BFF girlfriends if they would come see me for my birthday. I knew it was an imposition – they live in San Francisco, Denver, Fort Worth, and New Hampshire (Kitty, of course), and that it would involve them spending money to travel. I promised them a fun weekend and all the food and wine they could handle.  I asked my local friends, Eric and Janet, if they would come to dinner, and perhaps Eric could help me cook a meal as he’s this fantastic gourmet cook?

Jed and Eric slaving over the hot stove. Cooking is sweaty work.

He declined, and said that rather, he would make tapas. He and another friend, Jed, decided they would prepare about 10 dishes, each one being just two or three bites.  As an added bonus, we went to a giant liquor and wine store in Houston (Texas-sized Spec’s), and picked out ten wines, one to go with each dish.

Kitty showed up first, and as it was her first trip to Texas, I took her out for barbeque. She wanted only a light lunch, so ordered the stuffed baked potato before I could explain to her that it wasn’t really ‘light’. The potatoes are the sized of NFL-regulation footballs and normally feed a family of six. Or one teenager.

Pooh and Jake were not impressed

Over the next two days, my other friends arrived: Elaine, Khatt, Susan. We tooled around town, visited a museum, and spent a night watching that great chick flick, The Big Lebowski.  (Yes, it’s a chick flick. We’re chicks, and we watched it. Your point?)

Birthday girls, with Susan’s fantastic Oatmeal Stout Cake

The night of the dinner party was great. My kitchen is smaller than my previous giant galley, but we made it work, with everyone pitching in for different tasks, cooking or assembling dishes, or supervising and making sure that the wine was suitable – taste test.  We did this all night – the guys would plate up two or three dishes, we’d stand around and eat them, with sips of the different wines, relax a bit, and then help them prepare another couple of dishes.

Girl power – we haz it

Relaxation between courses including bowling. Sort of. Wow, my home looks different – this was before I got all my artwork framed, and is that empty space in the bookcase??

Be jealous. Some of the dishes included: tiny grilled lamp chops with port wine-reduction, peppadew peppers stuffed with lemon-scented goat cheese, grilled scallops atop tiny crab cakes, crawfish etouffee served in tiny bread bowls, bites of grilled Chilean sea bass.  With eight of us, each bottle of wine gave each about three ounces, just enough to savor with whatever delectable treat we enjoyed.

I’m very lucky. We had this get-together two more times, but everyone gets busy, has a new job, is short on time/money, so we haven’t had girls’ weekend in a few years. I sure hope we get back on this, pronto!

Note: Most photos by S. Hurst. Which is why she’s not in many of them.

Strong women, good friends.

Jake hates the attention.



Categories: Food, Friends

Tags: , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. that cake was TERRIFIC. I made it from a recipe online and it’s still my favorite! Also, I learned I need two plungers to really cook like a gourmet.

  2. I’ve been there! And yeah, your living room looks much different (in my opinion). Invite me over next time you have a get-together!

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