Greens, Vinegar, Booze and the Promise of Bacon Grease

The building blocks of friendship. Some friendships, anyway.

Awhile back, one of Bill’s coworkers found out where we lived and informed us that we’d moved a block and a half away from her. We’d had no idea. She was incredibly enthusiastic, because she was thrilled to have people she liked so much so close.

I’d had no idea. At the time, I’d met her and liked her, but didn’t feel like I knew her well. Still, when she suggested we go for a walk or two from time to time, I was happy to take her up on it.

Yesterday, she and her new baby came over to visit around 4pm. At some point, she mentioned she had no plan for dinner. And, a bit later, I suggested she just call her husband and they eat with us.

It took some talking, as she was worried the baby would get on our nerves (he didn’t – babies are babies, you know?), but eventually they came over for a big salad and spaghetti with pesto. And some booze.

What a good time. I always forget how fun it can be to just spontaneously have people over, and how easy it can be to host from the food I already own. I often plan a thing and have to go shopping for one or more ingredients, but last night it was just a matter of making a bigger salad than I’d planned, throwing some pasta in a pot and pulling some pesto out of the freezer.

What a great reminder, one I probably really needed, that simple can be very satisfying. I’m prone to making things complicated and occasionally overthinking things, especially when it comes to hospitality.

By the end of the night, I’d nearly talked them into coming back tonight for swiss chard and onions in bacon grease. I’d definitely started to convince Mark that there may be something to different glassware for different beers. I’m sure he feels more experimentation is needed. And they’d marveled at, and then enjoyed, the vingars we’d brought back on our honeymoon.

I’m looking forward to having them back over. They’re planning to semi-permanently loan us a small grill, and I have four homemade bratwursts that need consuming. Among other things hiding in my freezer. I don’t know what else we’ll discover in my food stash. But I’m sure it’ll keep being the building blocks of friendship.