I have to first say that there is nothing I like better than making dinner for my family and friends. You name the day and I am willing to cook! That said, there is also something so freeing about being invited to dinner. Being a guest instead of the host is really fun, especially if you have a friend who asks you to dinner for the sole purpose of having a massive bonfire!
My friend Tom loves a good blaze. He also loves to cook, so, how could I turn down a mid-week dinner invitation, (even though it was a school night!). It was a get-together with loads of themes; going back to school party, meeting another of Tom’s daughters party, old friends back in town party, as well as, bonfire party.
I looked forward to the evening all day long. I wondered what Tom was going to cook and I couldn’t wait to sit by the kitchen counter with a glass of wine. The first thing that struck me as I entered the kitchen area was the enormous vase of sunflowers sitting on the dining room table. Where do you get a vase that big??? They were sunny and breathtaking, and filled the room with a party atmosphere.
I couldn’t believe it, but dinner was actually ready! One whole end of the table was covered with all sorts of delectable dishes.
Tom told me he had just found a smoker at a flea market (or maybe a garage sale – don’t remember?), and he wanted to try it out. I couldn’t just buy a smoker and start using it immediately. I would stare at it for weeks or months before finally having the courage to put something into it.
Not Tom, he smoked as much of the food he possibly could; the salmon, ribs and venison.
Plates were piled with every combination of food possible, and we got down to the business of eating.
The salmon was my favorite thing, with the green bean-potato salad a close second.
I also had a love affair with the tomatoes I brought. A little salt and a grind of pepper was all they needed to make them sing in my mouth. In the depths of winter I will dream about these tasty morsels.
After dinner we gingerly made our way down some steps and through the back garden to the bonfire site in the dark. It was indeed something to behold. Imagining a nice neat pile of sticks happily burning would be an error. It looked like some mad man had decided to burn the contents of his house. In other words; a spectacular torrent of a fire. We had to sit a safe distance away for fear of flying shimmering embers and a snow storm of sparks.
We settled in after initial misgivings, and fearful for the safety of our children (I tend to worry!) and had the best camp blaze ever. The night was clear and every star was shining just for us. I’ll be back.