It is truly stunning that with all the fantastic technology we have at our fingertips, this was the quality of this photo.
My birthday is coming up. These are the ladies I dance(d) with for years. I've boasted about these friends before but I just love them so. We've been through a lot in the past 20 years and we've been there for one another at first at church, then while our daughters were dancing and we were in the glassed in room. Eventually, we were there for one another every Tuesday night at 8:30 where we worked out our life's kinks through stretching our bodies and choreography, ending each May on the stage at nearby college.
Now we have Thai.
The one second to the right is Kari. We used to have dinner at one another's homes every couple of months. Our babies played together and daughters danced together. I sneaked in an extra son but a week after I gave birth to my fourth child, she materialized a brand new baby boy. She always regretted she was not able to adopt another child, especially of African American origin like that baby boy she sprung on us, but she found herself single parenting her three pretty amazing kids. Ironically, she met a man and a year later they married. He had his gaggle of kids with his first wife then they decided to adopt a baby from another state. He's also African American and a year older than his counterpart. Kari got her fourth child.
So we went out for Thai.
Every birthday, new weddings, change of seasons, summer solstice, buying a new house or any other excuse we can think up when it's been more than a couple of months, we go out for Thai. Sometimes we eat Mexican food. I still call it "going out for Thai."
"Going out for Thai" is code for the real reason we're getting together. It really means that we're in safe company. All of our walls come down. There is nobody to impress and nothing to pretend. We already know one another's deepest fears and proudest moments. When we proudly announce our daughter's ACT scores, we're not looking for accolades. We're truly celebrating a milestone in life.
This time while we were out for Thai, the one on the far left brought us our Christmas gifts. It's early but she was too excited about it. She'd been playing around in the kitchen with children working as her sweat shop workers and came up with a plan for dinner. She gave us 12 recipe cards. Each recipe fed 12. Split it in two, she instructed. Buy the meat fresh, block out four hours for cutting and other food prep and put them into freezer bags. Double bag them. 24 dinners for the next month. All we have to do is defrost in warm water for a few minutes and empty into a crockpot.
And here is the shopping list, she added. It had all of the ingredients with hints to get it at the best price.
While you all are out shopping on Black Friday, I will be at the grocery store. Then I will follow her example and set up my own sweat shop. Making my holiday season just a little bit easier. Dinners all done for the next month.
I love going out for Thai.