It wasn’t until the next day when I saw my friend Sarai post on Facebook about the dinner party we’d all attended the night before that it really sank in. It read, “Last night we were invited to a friend’s house for pizza and almost everything was made from scratch including the mozzarella cheese, amazing! We witnessed Sarah G & Linda making fresh mozzarella while we sipped wine. Steven’s toppings of sausage, sun-dried tomato & prosciutto, to name a few, perfect! Jay’s tomato sauce was full of flavor! Christian’s chewy chocolate chip cookies were yummy! Such a fun night!”
Recently I wrote about making cheese at our friend’s house – Sarah & Kramer, aka the Kramersteins – but it wasn’t until I read this post that I really stopped to think about the food that night and the people behind it. Sure, the pepperoni we had made weeks ago that had been dry aging every since is what fueled the idea of the pizza night in the first place. There was also the loose sausage we had made that same night, in part from an elk that Kramer had hunted and a pig that he had co-oped. But these seem like everyday homemade items next to the homemade proscuitto that Kramer had taken to making a couple years back – months worth of brining and curing and patience but oh so worth the wait.
But fear not that their talents are one note carnivorous. There was the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, not only homemade but produced from the bounty of their garden. The morel mushrooms foraged for in the mountains not far from home. The pizza dough homemade that day even though Sarah & Kramer both work not to mention having two small children under the age of three.
And lest we forget the homemade cherry wine and hard cider that washed it all down.
For me, it’s easy to get caught up in life and think this is how everyone lives until I am reminded otherwise. Our friends garden and pickle, can and freeze the tastes of summer to be enjoyed on dark nights like this months later. Some, like Jay, have professional experience – most of us are of the home cook variety. Others are just along to eat and appreciate not only the work and talent that goes into these meals, but the origins of the ingredients. I think we are all there for that.
I know that at these houses are some of the best meals to be had in town. Even when that meal is pizza. Or perhaps, especially when the meal is pesto, proscuitto and homemade mozzarella pizza.