About eight years ago, I would meet up with a friend of mine and her roommate and we would have a food and wine night. We only did this a few times but I had so much fun during those nights that it’s stuck. I even tried some foods that I had previously disliked and found that the way we fixed them was delicious (I’m looking at you, sweet potatoes). Though it’s been years since we gathered, they were some of my favorite times.
A few days before, my friend, Katie, and I would search through Pinterst and other online sites for healthy recipes to try. Through some magic she and her roommate possessed, they would find the perfect wine to pair with those recipes. Those nights were my first real experience with drinking wine. I came to discover that I preferred sweet red wines to any other kind.
Perhaps those nights were made more special because it was at a time in my life when I had really started to act like an introvert. I had become distant with my other friends and I was staying home a lot more than going out. I had always been uncomfortable going to someone else’s house, so the fact that I was so comfortable there was a big thing for me. A few months later, Katie landed a teaching position in a town too far away to keep up those nights. I was happy for her, as I always have been, but I knew I would miss pouring over recipes and then spending time together trying new things, a glass of wine in reach.
The last time I saw Katie in person, I was pregnant with Ade. By that time, I had moved to a different town as well. We met up at a restaurant while she was down visiting instead of someone’s home. Of course we still talk, and the next time she visits I’ll be sure to invite her over for a night of food and wine.
Maybe that’s the thing about food, it has the power to connect people. Once that connection is made, it transcends time. It settles into our memories and then reappears at the most random of times to make us smile. I still have some of the recipes we made written down along with other precious recipes, mostly ones from my family. I guess you could say those nights were the early beginnings to my personal adventures in cooking.
Below is my favorite recipe from back then. Maybe you can gather your friends and make them together, too.
Not Swedish Meatballs
2 lbs Ground Turkey
Your choice of seasoning
1 Jar of Grape Jam
1/2 jar of Chili sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350º F
Roll ground turkey into 1-2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet
Combine Jam and Chili sauce in a sauce pan then heat on stove until combined
Pour sauce over meatballs
Bake for 30-35 minutes turning halfway