Chef Greg

It's great to have someone in your life who knows how to cook. I don't mean that they can throw together a mean lasagna in no time, or that they can make the best scrambled eggs in town. I mean, someone who researches food, takes risks, tries new cuisines, is passionate about food. We have Greg in our life. We knew and loved him before we knew he could cook, so we love him for who is, not for how happy he makes our tummies. He has served our family well. Starting with the time he learned the song Sam and I danced to at our wedding and played it for us on our  4 month anniversary and we danced in front of the entire high school camp. Yes, I was embarrassed, but I married a romantic, so I wasn't surprised. A few years later, on an actual anniversary,  Sam sent me away for a massage. When I returned he greeted me at the front door. I was confused to hear someone else in our home. I walked in to find our living room had been turned into a romantic dining room. Greg was the mysterious person in the kitchen, cooking away and ready to serve us. This is when I learned he could cook and the first time I was introduced to truffle oil. Years passed again and it was my 30th birthday. Sam had the idea for Greg to come to our home to cook for me and 9 friends. It was an amazing meal and a wonderful night with great friends. To gather with women you love in a home and no one has to think about food, dishes or rushing away is such a gift.  Ladies are still talking about the Grapefruit granita. When Greg posted on facebook a few months back that he was hoping to cook for more dinner parties, we jumped at the chance. I gathered 4 close friends who weren't able to attend my 30 birthday dinner (except Heidi, she was a saving grace, last minute stand in for one who called in sick. Lucky her)! Asian was the theme. Coconut milk was a heavy presence, bananas were roasted and accompanied with crispy shallots, flowers were eaten, steak was sous vide, carrots were turned into an amazing soup, we assembled our own spring rolls, yellowfin tuna was eaten raw, coconut ice cream was drizzled with caramel sauce and shavings of coconut and we all had dragon fruit for the first time. Greg asked us for critiques at the end, and seriously, none of us had one to say. As I said before to gather with women you love in a home and no one has to think about food, dishes or rushing away is such a gift. Isn't this what gathering around the table is all about? Not someone cooking for you and having a girls night. But taking time to prepare food and taking the time to savor it. To have loved ones or new ones gathered. To share life and food without being rushed.  Friends stayed long after the meal was over. Greg stayed in our guest room and continued in life together the next morning with swedish pancakes and getting the kids off to school.

Shauna Niequist sums it up so well in her book Bread & Wine.

If you haven't read this book and you love food and good stories run out and buy it today. You won't regret it. I promise. There are recipes inside too. :)

The group from my 30th birthday party

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