For the first time in cooking club history, I arrived this week bearing absolutely nothing save my bedraggled self.
You know you’re among friends when they tell you to “come and just sit with us” when you’re so tired you can’t come up with a Japanese recipe to save your life.
Thankfully my contribution was not missed for Darren’s house was positively buzzing with activity as old friends and new friends bustled about cooking platter after platter of scrumptious Japanese food.
Don and Jen brought sushi drizzled with fresh lemon, Robin made steam buns filled with sweet bean paste, Kat made potstickers, and someone brought more sweet nibbles and a box of Pocky sticks.
Jenny made absolutely delectable Japanese pancakes – crisp and buttery on the outside, savory and tender inside.
Sarah made a beautiful pan of Yaki Soba studded with mini-corn, water chestnuts, broccoli and peppers.
Cameron decided we needed street food and grilled us up a pile of succulent skewered meat in a sweet, smoky sauce.
Toby brought sake and we all crowded into the living room, our plates piled high with deliciousness as we visited.
I couldn’t help but smile as I looked around the room at all those dear faces, hearing them laugh and tell outrageous stories, seeing the compassion in their eyes as they listen to the hard things some are going through.
I’m so grateful for these people. For their good cooking, yes, but mostly for their friendship, their love, and the myriad ways they inspire and delight me each week.