This week we introduce you to yet another fabulous friend, Kate Walton. When funny girl Kate is not working, lacing up her sneakers for a run or chasing her daughter and/or dog, she is always ready for entertaining family and friends…now if we could just figure out how to get an invite to her dinner club…
For years my husband and I have picked up the LCBO Food & Drink Magazine knowing it was a fabulous resource for our ever-thirsty pallets. The wines always looked delightful, the menus always looked delicious but when were we really going to cook a six course meal (with alcohol pairings) using many ingredients that had never graced our kitchen? We were a family of two at the time and many of the dishes were better suited for entertaining large groups.
This is at least how we felt until three years ago when my two running partners and I decided it was time for regular dinner parties together. You see, these fabulous ladies and I share more than a love of pushing each other to the finish line. We share a ridiculously loving relationship with scrumptious food and adventurous drink – so much so in fact that we could be described as bad influences on one another (if it weren’t for the running).
We decided that we, with our partners/husbands, would get together six times a year to coincide with the release of each LCBO Food & Drink Magazine and throw a dinner party. Each couple would bring a couple and each couple would bring one dish from the current magazine with the recommended alcohol pairing, giving us a broad sampling of the season’s best dishes and wines. We would listen to the playlist prescribed in the magazine and we would be our most fabulous selves. Brilliant!
Here’s how we do it and here’s how you can too:
- Take turns hosting. Because our core dinner club is made up of three couples we each end up hosting a dinner twice a year, which makes it less burdensome on everybody.
- Invite other couples. Each couple invites another couple to attend the dinner, so we end up as a group of twelve at most dinners. This is wise for many reasons – firstly, how often are you with your close friends and they tell you about their friends? It’s an opportunity to put a face to the names. Chances are you have something in common since you share a love of the same person. Secondly, if your gregarious nature is evoked by alcohol, having a wide range of people to dance with, I mean chat with, will surely make for a fun night.
- The hosts prepare the main meat dish. Everyone else prepares the accompanying appetizers, sides and desserts. We do it this way because often the main dish is the most time-consuming and hardest to transport.
- Bring the alcohol pairing recommended in the magazine. If you are going to be your most fabulous selves, you need to pretend you know what you’re talking about when you comment on why a drink works with a certain dish.
- Finally, don’t drink and drive. We have a zero tolerance policy to driving your car home at the end of the evening. I can only remember two occasions in three years when someone was capable of driving home – it was me and I was pregnant.
These dinner parties have turned into much anticipated events. Besides the hilarity that ensues near the end of the evening (remember, six dishes means six alcohol pairings), we’ve found delicious meals that have made their way into our regular menu rotation at home. We’ve met new people and tried new foods, but best of all we’ve toasted each season with a wonderful group of friends.
Photos by Kate Walton
To learn more about Kate visit our Guest Chicks page.