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Dinner, Friendships, and More

Mid-week—a gathering? 

 And yet I had looked forward to the evening. Evening was promised to no-filter-chats, evening was promised to no-posing-for-photographs, evening was promised to no-talk-about-which-party-you-are-going-to-next, evening was promised to ambiance, allure, and acumen. Evening was also promised to gastronomical delights. As soon as I finished my classes for the evening, I couldn’t wait to put on the new heels, curl my hair, and head out.

It was a snowy evening, yet Archana and I were in heels knocking on Geeta’s door. For a few weeks, until that day, both Anna and Geeta were talking about how they were planning an evening for us. We were asked to bring our unfiltered selves to try their refined creations. One look at the table, and I knew I was going to have a swell time. Pink flowers, yellow plates, my name on a water glass that was only reserved for sparkling water, and the no-talk-of-where-did-you-get-your-outfit-from, I was delighted!

The beautiful table

Because the company was heartwarming and interesting, the cheerful conversations flowed easily , and to top it off, the  wines selected for each course were delish. Anna and Geeta had planned a 5-course dinner for us. Only when I was writing this article, I realized that each course was from a different part of the world.

The 5-course dinner display sans the dessert

The first course for the evening was beetroot tacos with passion fruit sauce. When we finally agreed with Rads that passion fruit is indeed found at a secret location in Jewel Osco, we took a bite into the taco; everyone nodded in absolute agreement that cottage cheese and beetroot indeed wed together nicely.

Beetroot Tacos paired with Louis Moreau

“Wed together nicely” is but a phrase for where happiness is. From a certain bhabhi to the current Ukraine crisis, to women not eating at all, to how everyone is an inch closer to their final….no discord, just discourse. As we discussed animatedly, the next course made it to the table;Chettinaad Mushrooms served with fresh butter noodles. A bite into the Chettinad Mushrooms, and I declared this was the best Chettinad sauce I ever had. “And this is happiness!” shouted Sunni and Padmaja. No disagreement there. Chettinad sauce with buttered noodles-this was a harmonious friendship.

Chettinad Mushrooms with buttered noodles paired with Spellbound

Harmonious friendship is a thing. But losing yourself to blend with a group, losing yourself to escape FOMO -that’s thingummy. Who would disagree to such a noble thought; and in vino veritas, we laughed. The next course was a Turkish dish called Cilbur eggs. Cilbur eggs are keto-friendly, and if someday I am serious about losing weight, I will have it for breakfast. We all raised a glass to that!

Cilbur Eggs paired with Pedroncelli

Even though it was almost midnight, even though I was almost stuffed with the three scrumptious  courses, I was still waiting for jackfruit arepas. Anna had made jackfruit arepas for me, for I am a vegetarian; all the others had pork arepas. When Padmaja asked for the recipe, Anna willingly obliged and also added, ‘ I know none of you will make it!” We laughed at Anna’s comment, and I was glad for the company of these charming women. 

Jackfruit Arepas paired with Volunteer

The final course was a French financier with honey pear compote. A sweet ending to an evening that I will cherish for a long time. We even forgot to take a picture of the dessert, just a testament to how much fun we had! 

When I asked the group for a picture of the dessert, Padmaja sent this and said, “This is all I have of the dessert!” Wine was Petit Manseng

Entire credit for the evening goes to Anna Venkatesh from Amlu Tastings, and Geeta Rao, the uber talented artist. Both live in Naperville.

One Comment

  1. Conti International December 13, 2023

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