Sometimes, you plan things and they don’t work out.
Not too long ago one of the potlucks I talked about here basically got jettisoned by the flu. Everything was set and ready to go when we started getting cancellations because numerous houses had been struck, in unison with whatever virus was making the rounds that week. It happpens, and believe me when I say nobody ever will be upset with you for staying home and not going to their house when you tell them you’ve got gastro. In fact just typing the word gastro makes me want to get some gloves and a container of Lysol wipes and start cleaning. Nobody wants gastro.
So, long story short, instead of a solid dozen and a full meal we ended up four women, half a meal, and an unplanned evening together.
While the host was putting her kids to bed, we talked about whether we should bail and go home or use the unexpected evening to hang out. I won’t lie, the full time working, exhausted by Thursday, too much laundry to do at home introvert in me was kind of hoping we’d take the unexpected free time and run. At any given moment I’ve got a half dozen things I should be doing and another 1/2 dozen things I need to catch up on. But, it didn’t work out that way, and that’s a good thing. I thought about my friend upstairs with her kids, and the fact that her freezer, at any given time holds at least three different kinds of chocolate ice cream. Then I considered the fact that it was a great opportunity to spend some time with some people I wanted to know better. And then I was honest with myself. Life is short, good friends are hard to find, and laundry can wait. Ice cream it was.
We actually found 5 different kinds of ice cream in her freezer. This might actually be a main reason why I like her so much. She’s obviously prepared for any crisis. In her defence, her fridge is also filled with tons of healthy food, but as she hosts those weekly potlucks, a good portion of leftovers, condiments, and toppings end up staying in her kitchen. She’s stocked for anything.
The gold star for this gathering though was the chocolate sauce. This will be the *recipe* of the day. I’m using the term recipe loosely here for what is about to become an obvious reason. We had ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. That might be enough for most occasions, but if you are having an impromptu girl’s night, you’re going to need a bit more chocolate. It’s just the rule.
We discovered my friend’s hot chocolate bar, which I really should blog about because it’s genius and I wish I had one but it’s probably for the best that I don’t. Lined up along the back of the counter was a display box holding five mason jars, each containing a little something to take you cup of cocoa for boring to blissful. Make your hot chocolate as per normal and stir in one of these extras. Brilliant idea. Her jars contain, in random order, peppermint candy canes for stirring, marshmallows, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and foil wrapped Lindt chocolates. Yum and can I get some insulin please?
World’s easiest chocolate sauce? We threw a little bit of every kind of chocolate we could find in that kitchen, white, milk and dark, added a splash or two of milk and a handful of marshmallows and stirred until it all melted together over low heat.
I don’t know if it was delicious because of the ingredients, or, because of the company we shared, but the four of us had ice cream sundaes and sat around and just laughed and talked. There was a lot of laughingeven while we were cooking around the discussion as to whether or not there is such a thing as too much chocolate in chocolate sauce. The answer is no by the way. For a brief moment it felt like we teenagers raiding the kitchen when the parents were away and that, the camaraderie, more than the food was good for the soul.
It was probably the most relaxed time I had had in a long time and it felt good to have fun and be with friends in a safe place. So glad I embraced the unexpected.
As a side note, nobody caught the flu in case you were wondering.