Is it noshworthy?

Home Cooking with Friends

December 30th, 2009

So far I’ve talked a lot about dining out. But in the last few days I’ve been dining almost exclusively at friends’ houses.

Holiday meals are a topic in and of themselves, but specifically I’m talking about the meals you have at a friend’s house, where they whip up the food they love and want to share.

The other night I went to Jeet and Stephanie’s house, to catch up with them and see their exceptional kidlets. It was wonderful!

Not just because I love these folks. The meal started with salad and fresh sourdough bread, followed by this amazing Mac and Cheese, roasted potatoes and carrots, and roasted chicken.

Now there are many restaurants I could get a roasted chicken, and even some with Mac and Cheese. But for the most part, this is the type of meal people make in their homes. It’s the type of delicious home cooking that families put on their tables every week.

Tonight my friend Ken and his new wife Jean were out visiting from North Carolina, and his sister Kristine invited me over to catch up with them. Kristine, her husband Dan, Ken and I all worked together at a company called NetObjects back in the day, and they are all the type of folks I love to hang out with.

And it doesn’t hurt that Dan and Kristine have two adorably cute daughters!

I’ve often said, I’m immensely popular with children under the age of 10, and ladies over the age of 60. In the last few days, all my friends’ kids have proven that the adage is still true.

Anyway, Kristine pulled out all the stops. Roasted potatoes, green beans, sourdough bread, something tasty with goat cheese and panko bread crumbs, and the best thing ever, Fred Steak!

Fred Steak? They named a steak?

In the Bay Area, there is a legendary butcher shop called “Schaub’s Meat Fish & Poultry” in Palo Alto. And Schaub’s is famous for Fred Steak.

What is Fred Steak? I wish I could tell you, but the marinade is a secret. For 50 years, they’ve marinated beef in this insanely dark sauce. The result is kind of like Tri-Tip that’s spent a week in a yumminess Jacuzzi.

I’m a firm believer in rare red beef. Basically, walk the cow across a plate, yell “Fire!!!” and it’s about done. And the middle of this block of beefy goodness was a perfectly rare piece of savory beef.

And did I mention desserts?

Steph and Jeet rolled out the chocolate fudge and cookies. Dan and Kristine put out this amazing mega-chocolate cake.

But it’s not just the food that makes these meals memorable. The thing I love most is spending time with incredible people, and kicking back for hours and enjoying their company.

When you see your friends on a daily basis, you start to take them for granted. It’s when you haven’t seen someone in ages that you really appreciate how lucky you are to know someone.

And when you want to catch up, what do you do? Eat!

If the last few days have taught me anything, it’s that I have amazing friends, they are great cooks, and even great parents.

I love my favorite restaurants, but invite me over to your house for dinner and I’ll be a very happy boy.

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