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Wednesday Dinner

(post, c who)

Six years ago, a friend of mine decided he wanted to quit drinking.  "It's so hard because all my friends drink!" he said.  "...Except you."  Though I like a glass of wine here and there, I knew what he meant.  In his honor, I established Wednesday Dinner.  

It began as a themed potluck.  We had pizza night, sushi night, breakfast-for-dinner night.  The themes lasted longer than you might expect, but they did eventually fall by the wayside as Wednesday Dinner got more comfortable with itself.  Over the past six years, it has passed through Big Party phases, Intimate Couples phases, Girls Only phases, and all manner of other permutations.  

I never know these days who will show up.  Last night my neighbor, Breona, came up early to make a salad.  Her cousin, a dashing young pilot, arrived shortly after.  Corey, a friend I met in college, arrived last.

I had made lentil soup a couple of nights before.  I used homemade vegetable stock, and a very basic lentil soup recipe that leaned more toward Greek (it had lemon and oregano) than Indian (which would have had cumin and tamarind paste).  To accompany the warmed soup, I made polenta using the Joy of Cooking (1997) recipe that requires stovetop cooking followed by some time in the oven.

The apartment smelled great.  The wine (a California Cabernet Sauvignon) was leftover but suited dinner just fine.  Breona's salad was one of those crazy-how-delicious-it-is-considering-how-simple-it-is events: red lettuce, roasted hazelnuts, pink lady apples.

We sat talking and eating for hours.  I was struck by how much joy I get from these dinners.  My friend who wanted to quit drinking moved to New York a few years ago, so Wednesday Dinner doesn't serve him anymore.  Still, I'm eternally grateful or his having given me reason to start this little weekly party.