When the kids left for college we missed them in ways we knew we would and also in ways we had not anticipated. After we saw Julia and Julia, we thought about redefining our relationship to cooking. We had always cooked for our families but it was a punctuation mark in evenings filled with homework, laundry, dinner, dishes and baths and if time was on our side, a walk with the kids after dinner. Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market had come to Hampton Roads so we now had access to food that was more fun and had more possibilities than what we could find at our local grocery stores. We wanted to cook enough to have leftovers for lunch during the week and of course dessert. (We often wonder why we never thought of cooking together when the kids were at home to save time in hectic lives, especially since we lived across the street from each other.)
We decided that during the week, we’d choose the recipes we’d like to try. On Sunday morning we’d drive to Trader Joes, have a coffee break in the sun and then on to Fresh Market. Home to our respective houses and then we’d meet up again at 4:00 to cook. Oh and there had to be a dessert – a good one too. When we’d first become friends, our girls night out was a movie and then dessert. We were well known at the two or three restaurants that made their own desserts. So while we would give ourselves some leeway on the degree of difficulty on the entrees, no such leeway would be given on dessert.
We never aspired to conquer the Julia Child Cookbook. We wanted to do something that was within our reach-a challenge but something that would make us feel happy and proud. We have succeeded at that and we’ve learned a lot of things along the way that we couldn’t have anticipated when we started. We certainly feel better and even look better. It is also something we can share with the kids when they come home-it was one of the kids who started calling it Gourmet Sunday.
That was the beginning…