We were two young couples in our early twenties: husbands in grad school, wives working in the same office and becoming fast friends. The four of us bonded over cocktails and college football games. In addition to our habit of sharing Happy Hours together on Friday nights, we discovered that we all loved to cook.They cooked for us in their tiny one-bedroom apartment, and we cooked for them in ours, producing increasingly fancy meals for each other in our cozy kitchens. As I say, we were young—and a little reckless with our alcohol consumption. One of us (her husband) liked to play footsie under the table with the woman who was not his wife (me). His body occasionally brushed against mine when no one was looking. I didn’t actively discourage him, and in fact I felt a little frisson of excitement when it happened—a harmless, tipsy cat-and-mouse game we played when our spouses were changing the record on the turntable or opening a bottle of wine in another room.
The Meal of our Lives?
We decided to make a special dinner together: the girls would shop and cook, the guys would do set up and clean up, and my husband would also make his specialty—chocolate mousse—for dessert. We wanted to try something grand, something we’d never cooked before, something we’d always remember.
I remember it, all right.
We spent two whole days preparing the meal of our lives.