The Allrecipes peeps have been at it again, traveling from far and wide to eat, laugh, hug and welcome in the holiday season. We welcomed visitors from Texas, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Arizona and of course California.
For a bunch of people that ‘met’ online we sure look like a bunch of ‘friends’. Young and old, male and female, we come from all walks of life, there is no discrimination in this group. We are foodies to the core. It is almost impossible to put into words the camaraderie that we share. These bonds stretch beyond food, we share both laughter and tears, joy and sorrow. Everyone is welcome, just come prepared to be filled with friendship!
This year our adventures stretched over 4 days. Bikerfamily arrived from Washington on Thursday afternoon. She set straight to work helping to get things in order. The rest of the gang would be coming in on Friday and I wanted to have lunch ready for them after their long travels. Soup and bread was on the menu.
Bikerfamily wanted to learn to make the No Knead Bread so it was a win / win situation. She mixed up the dough Thursday night and we covered it and let it do it’s thing over night. The next morning she shaped it and baked it. I must say, it was a masterpiece.
While the bread cooled, we made the airport run, picking up LindaT and Magnolia Blossom. Last year I got busted by the airport cop for hanging out too long curbside. Not this year! The timing was perfect and I waved to the airport cops as I circled around and quickly collected everyone. Arriving home we were met by Jennifer from Arizona who had arrived and made herself at home.
The plan for Friday evening was to head to Riverside to the Festival of Lights with dinner at Phood on Main. Bibi and bd.weld met us at the house and we loaded into two cars and set off to Riverside. Cathy Myers and her husband Randy met us there, as did Korikiss and her mother. What makes Phood on Main special? Chef Marla!
This woman should be doing standup comedy.
Phood on Main will be closing after the first of the year. Chef Marla’s line of spice blends has taken off and she will be concentrating on these. If you are interested in seeing her complete line of Super $hit Spice blends or want to order some, check out her website.
There was no shortage of conversation & laughter, in fact I think we pretty much closed the restaurant. Cathy and Randy had to book it home ahead of the storm that was heading in, with snow predicted, Cathy would not be able to join us Saturday. Hugs were passed around as we said our goodbyes and headed for the barn.
I had decided to feature LindaT’s recipe for Mama Palomba’s Spaghetti Sauce on Saturday. Meaty and rich, this sauce has to simmer for at least 3 hours. Knowing full well I would not want to tackle this Saturday morning, I made this on Thursday and let it rest in the refrigerator until Saturday morning.
Everyone pitched in, plating, opening wine, sampling. (One has to make sure that it is safe to serve guests, you know!)
See Marianne’s wings? Delicious!
Restaurant Style Buffalo Wings
Marianne bakes them instead of frying. They were perfect!
Of course, every gathering needs someone like Brian. He looks innocent with his Santa hat as he shows off his gift of “Scorpion Pepper” hot sauce from LindaT. Notice how he so innocently lures others into this Hot Sauce Dare!
There was certainly no shortage of food or friendship, laughter and music.
How did I forget the parade of desserts! So sorry for the late addition!
Jan’s Apple Bars
One of the fun things we do is to ask everyone to bring a gift for a gift grab. The first year we did this, nobody stole anything, they were just way too polite. Times have changed! You notice Marianne quickly hiding her bottle of olive oil and Lora admiring her bottles of olive oil? Last year, I swiped Lora’s olive oil and Marianne was sure I would do the same to her this year. I wasn’t me that tried to swipe that lovely bottle of olive oil, I do believe it may have been Patty Cakes! After a bit of swiping, re-swiping and a lot of laughter, Marianne reclaimed that bottle of oil.
The evening wore on and peeps had to say goodbye and get on the road home. The weather was terrible for Southern California. I think those gals from the Mid-West and PNW brought their foul weather with them!
Not everyone was ready to call it a night though. Linda brought the game ‘Foodie Fights’ with her, the fun and games continued well into the night. At which point I was hungry again and managed to clear off the rest of the chicken wings all by myself! I also laughed so hard I was almost crying, no I was crying!
The weekend had flown by and none of us wanted it to end.
We said goodnight with the promise of meeting for breakfast.
How blessed we are! Food and friendship, the best ingredients!