The first Friday of each month I host seven ladies in a quilting bee. We each work on our own projects unless someone has a deadline and is in need of assistance. The ladies are quite advanced quilters. One is a fabric artist, another is a certified quilt appraiser, another is the most professional appliquér of my acquaintance. The others are all experts in multiple techniques and a range of quilting styles. My contact with them has kept me up on the news of the quilting world, and the news of my quilting friends.
Some time ago I asked if they would like to have dinner here in February, with soup as the entrée, and they unhesitatingly said, "Yes!" So, for years, we have met for dinner before bee in February. I almost always make two soup choices, but there are days when I feel energetic and make as many as four. The past few years they have told me they would like to have the cheddar chowder and one other soup of my choice. This time I added pasta e fagiole, similar to that which is served at Olive Garden, and those choices seemed to have satisfied everyone. I sent containers of soup home with four of the ladies, and we still had enough left for lunch yesterday.
The ladies each bring something to share, so we had a chopped salad with pasta, and a salad that had orzo, spinach, sun-dried tomato, and feta cheese. One woman brought a wonderful collection of fresh fruit including huge sweet cherries and fresh pineapple. Another brought honey wheat bread. There was a cheese tray, spinach dip, crab dip and a variety of dippers. We eat well at bee!
To end the evening, our dessert specialist provided a heavenly dark chocolate cake with fudge frosting! I don't crave chocolate, but I'm addicted to this cake!
It seemed it was our night to talk about family problems. Three of us have parents who need caregivers. One woman has just lost her mother to a long battle with Alzheimer's, so we had lots of thoughts, suggestion and sadness to share. The younger members had their share of family issues bugging them, so we had our own support session in gear.
I'm so delighted to have friends like these. They make a great support system, and I really enjoy being able to offer them the hospitality of my home. Hmmmm.....maybe next time I should have quilted place mats for the table! *G*