When I saw yesterday’s Daily Post prompt, Describe a Perfect Meal, I thought immediately of a dinner I was invited to several years ago.
The details of the menu have receded from my memory. What remains now, more than 15 years later, is the memory of the afternoon.
It was at the home of friends, a couple, who I have great affection for. He had been a diplomat and linguist who had had an assorted number of interesting occupations. He had lived in several countries, including a few in North Africa. She was vivacious, warm and funny. Together they had lived in several countries, including Germany and Columbia. Together, they were the picture of a lovely and loving couple who doted on each other.
Dinners and dinner parties in their home were occasions. Their guests, friends from all over the world, speaking several languages – Spanish, French, German – would discuss wines and books, art and politics and everything in between. Nothing was ever off the table.
The dinner that has stayed in my mind took place on a Saturday in summer. I can’t remember now if they had said dinner or lunch but whatever it was, it lasted from mid-afternoon until very late, so late, they invited my partner and me to stay over. I was definitely tempted — mostly so we could continue the conversation at breakfast!
It began with a light soup followed by 4 or 5 different courses, including one of pasta. That much, I remember. Each was small, about the size of tapas, and complimented by the perfect selection of wine.
There were no more than 6 or 8 of us, including our hosts, at this party. The afternoon unfolded in slow motion, there was no rush. We ate sumptuously and drank copiously, the conversation flowing as freely as the wine.
I have fleeting images of that meal. But what I remember clearly was how lovely the meal was. Of course, after all that wine, I’m sure I was also more than a little buzzed.
I’ve always wanted to re-create the experience but I’m not sure I could. It was a once in a lifetime moment that will live in my heart forever.
A perfect meal, to me, isn’t so much about the menu, it’s about who’s sharing it with you.