This weekend was one of those rare moments in time when every bit of stress and mire that clings to you, doesn't. I think it is the laughter with friends that changes everything. My abs are certainly in better shape...as is my endorphin level. I am not exactly sure of why the chemistry works with certain people....but it does. You fall into a flow of exchanges that border ridiculous until some old man in the Italian Market tells you to "shut up". Now we weren't that loud, nor that obnoxious - he forgot his meds, we are sure - but it did raise my awareness that we were having a great time in the midst the doldrums that most were slogging around in.
I couldn't even repeat what we were laughing about - mostly inane comments or monikers that ring true in that moment. I became the princess - and I know that is the first time I would own that label...though it is not because I flung my nose in the air to look down on peons. I had a chauffeur and a cook this weekend - the life of a princess. We also came to the realization that my friend is a capital S snob. But, let me clarify....she is a Snob when it comes to cooking and food. This lady knows her flours....I can't even remember how many she has....and she knows her nuts.....she buys in quantities that rival a grocery store. Mention quinoa and cupboard doors fling open to reveal red and white. She knows her stuff....especially chocolate.
There are few subjects I would hesitate to broach with Grace. We both know how to talk....but when it comes to chocolate, I am a neophyte in every sense of the word. Oh, I know how to eat it. I know what I like.....but when a 3 pound, dark chocolate (or was that 5?) Bernard Callebaut is put in the middle of the table, after olives, bread and balsamic vinegar - you know you are not at a regular Sunday luncheon. You have entered into dining with chocolate. Chocolate becomes a part of the meal and you wish you had not picked at that last crust of bread just before feast began.
I came home with chocolate too. Chocolate to cook with; to drink; to study the flavor and aroma. I felt that I was at a seminar this weekend. I would title it "Learning your Palette one Bite At a Time". It began with Indian food, topped with home-made Baclava by her daughter, that I still try to conjure up. Brownies were part of that mix too, but the Baclava took the prize for me. Apparently she drizzles it with warmed honey....which would explain why everyone stood around the pan salivating before it was cut. Breakfast was a glorious display of fruits - blackberries, strawberries, watermelon. This was Edmonton in May and yet I was transported to August. The day (food) just got better after watching Grace make a delicious bean concoction.....I was the princess after all....and I am vegetarian...so it worked. I loved watching her wield the knife and the tongue.
I don't have to give a play by play of all the meals, but suffice it to say I went home full. Full of ideas, recipes, chocolate, memories, laughter, peace and joy. I went home knowing the world hasn't come unhinged and that some people are exactly who they say they are. And I came home knowing my friend is a Snob.......and I am guessing her family is grateful she is.