Dining Out At Home was an event planned by the ladies at First Christian. It was a pretty big deal for me to decide to go because 1) I don't do ladies' functions - ever. 2) I really didn't know anyone, and I don't do ANY event alone. So I stepped out of my comfort zone.
Once I got there, I remembered why I don't do things alone. There were several tables set up and I was early so I picked one and waited. I watched as other tables filled up - everybody was with someone they knew. I started to silently dread being there alone, looking like a loser by myself at the table. Maybe this had been a bad idea after all. But the women at FCC are fantastic, which is why I decided to go in the first place and they didn't let me down. One of the women came and asked if I was waiting for anyone, and when I explained that I didn't really know anybody, she invited me to come sit with her group. Thank you. So I got to know a small group of women which was my main goal for going anyway.
I did my best to relax, but I suddenly realized I am just terribly socially awkward. I realized this is reason number one it is difficult for me to make friends quickly. I thought about how I got around this in the past and realized that I have always managed to attract a "social butterfly" who enjoys the fact that I am quiet and so they keep me around. And because THEY are so friendly and chatty...I get to know other people - much quicker than trying to do it on my own. I was longing for one of my social butterfly friends last night, but I made it through! All the ladies were very kind and I enjoyed being with them.
As they asked about me and learned that I had 2 children there was an air of surprise. One lady said, "Wow! 2 kids! You don't look much older than Jill!" Jill is a student in college. This is when I realized my SECOND problem with meeting people. I look 10 years too young. So ,we seem too old to the college crowd and too young for the adults. I need a make-over. I know ONE day I'll be thankful for my youthful appearance. I've been telling myself that for years now......
This is Jean Claude:
He's Parisian. I didn't understand HALF of what he said the entire night. I literally started to get a dull headache from the amount of concentration it took to understand what he was saying. I know all the women in there were having the same issue. It started off very quiet and everybody listened intensely. When he started to talk about making a red wine vinaigrette dressing, the women started giggling to themselves. Heavy French accents means all the "R's" become 'W's" You could hear "dwessing" being repeated all around the room. As the night wore on, the intent listening gave way to more friendly chatter as he continued to show us how to cook. You could hear women translating all around. "What did he just say?" "What did he just use?" Sheik-en and wed wine dwessing. Half the time, people were just laughing because he was so animated and made these facial expressions that indicated he was trying to be funny, even though we had no idea what was being said.
We got to eat everything that he prepared. I also learned I must be a bit of a food snob as I was disappointed in the term "gourmet". While all the food was good, it was far from anything I would label gourmet. I figured this was a result of him providing examples of things that would be easy to cook and prepare at home. We learned how to make a red wine vinaigrette dressing, pecan encrusted chicken, a chicken casserole, chicken stock/soup, bread pudding, and chocolate mousse. We were given packets that included all these recipes with room for us to take notes. We learned very quickly that you HAD to pay attention if you were going to recreate these meals, because he was adding ingredients that weren't listed in the recipe!
My favorite part of the night (and when I started to understand why people can't recreate these dishes at home) was after we had dessert and he was open for questioning. Everyone at the table loved the chocolate mousse, but one lady noted that depending on what chocolate you used, it would affect the flavor. So she decided to ask what brand he used. He was taken off guard by this and stammered out...."You can't buy it here. It's from Switzerland". The whole room "aahhhhhh-ed". Not fair! But he explained that the important thing was to look for chocolate with a 65% cocoa content. Still people. If your meal doesn't taste like the Master Chefs..it's because they are using ingredients you don't have access to!!!
All in all a great time and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go. I don't see myself recreating ANY of the dishes, but if any of you are interested, let me know and I will send them your way!