California Cuisine & Table Talk

We are visiting friends here in California, where we lived for 3 years before moving to Texas. We stay with several different couples, not wanting to ruin out our welcome (which we probably did a long time ago, but they are way to nice to say anything)

The memories that are made here seem to radiate around meals. They say that the South is known for fellowship around the table, but the South has nothing on the friends who have taken us in here and treat us as one of the family. The meals that people serve to us are exceptional and always filled with great conversations. While at Bonnie and Arnie’s house, each meal usually consist of Arnie ending the meal with one of his thought provoking questions. Today, we ended up our lunch time with this question, “if you were being rescued from a desert island and they told you that you could have anything that you wanted to eat, what would that be?” I didn’t have to think too long on this one. Of course Randy answered with “Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and chocolate cream pie with whipped cream.” Bonnie said, bacon wrapped filet mignon from The Derby. My answer wasn’t so simple. Depending on the mood I was in when I was rescued would dictate what I would want. But some of my favorite foods are grilled steak, hamburgers, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken fried steak, cornbread dressing with turkey gravy and Houston’s Key Lime Pie. So there you have it, my favorite meal would probably be a progressive supper. They could just take me from restaurant to restaurant until I was able to sample each of my favorite foods, then collapse into a Lazy Boy recliner and watch the cooking channel, drooling over the recipes that I will be dying to get up and bake as soon as I have regained my strength from being shipwrecked on the island.. We have been preparing to go to the California Philharmonic Pops concert tonight with some friends. We had all decided that to save some money, instead of buying the dinners that they sell at the concert, we would bring in our own picnic dinner. The food there would cost about $15.00/person, so our precious hubbies decided that we could certainly eat cheaper than that if we just brought in our own. So off to Trader Joe’s for our cheese, crackers and meat. Then off to Porto’s for  a variety of desserts. Oh and of course, we decided that we needed a cute little table from the Crate & Barrel that Randy told Arnie about. We had bought one while living here for all the Pasadena pops concerts and the Rose Bowl 4th of July fireworks evenings. So off they go to Crate & Barrel to buy them one. They have gone up in price just a little from 2 years ago. We have totaled up what we have spent on the food and picnic items for this evening. We would have saved money had we bought the dinners that are available to purchase at the concert. But, the memories of collecting all our favorite snack foods and going downtown Pasadena to pick up the new table and Barbara standing in line at Porto’s, seriously, isn’t this what memories are made of?

Last evening we were at dinner with two precious couples here celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries. What a grand evening we had. I felt like I was having dinner in Europe, as the dinner lasted from 7:30 to 11:30. What a memory we will be taking back to Texas. The laughter, the conversations that ranged from politics, family, church, and old memories of times past when all of us had been up at Big Bear made the entire evening a great time.

That is what is so great about friendship. As we age and look back, we see that our fondest memories are not what we have bought or obtained with money, but the experiences and friendships that God has blessed our lives. It’s true, most memories are centered around food, and the laughter, the conversations and the love that flows from the times together. It makes having to go buy new clothes a size larger by the time we leave here, all worth while.

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