Cooking with Friends on a Sunday Afternoon

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Andrea offered to cook for us on Sunday afternoon and, of course, we said yes. Our mutual friend Isabel also joined us.

It being the heart of winter, our place was decorated with pine-cones, cotton flannel and wool. I kept some white and silver decorations out after packing away the Christmas stuff.

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The theme of the dinner was in keeping with Andrea’s Czech heritage, and the dishes she made were ‘Beef with Dill Sauce’ and ‘Bread Dumplings’. She followed her family recipes, but I found something similar here.

She prepared the meal at her place the evening before, and brought everything over, where she reheated the beef and steamed the dumplings.

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Isabel and I asked what we could make that would go with the main course. Isabel made this Cucumber and Sour Cream Salad.

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She brought some of her kitchen gear over, including this kitchen towel, which I spotted straight away, because it had a hand crocheted edging on it, done by her brother-in-law’s mother.

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Nick’s contribution were the drinks. While we were in the kitchen before dinner, he served up some of his hot tea and rum cocktails, which he calls ‘Sinner’s Tea’. I plan to put the recipe for that up next week.

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He also got some pilsner beer (Steam Whistle), which is the traditional drink to have with this meal. Apparently, Steam Whistle, which is brewed just down the street, at the foot of the CN Tower in Toronto, uses Czech hops, so it was a good choice.

Our boy Eddie is never far away. I moved his favourite stool into the kitchen so he could watch us cook. Then later he followed us to the dinner table and sat on his special mat, which was on the floor beside my chair.

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Time to serve up and eat …

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I made a cake called Bublanina, which comes from the Czech word for bubble. It is named so because the cake bubbles up around the fruit. Following this recipe, I made it with raspberries, although it can also be made with cherries, blueberries or plums. It was an interesting cake to make because you separate the eggs and whip the whites and then fold them into the batter. Then you pour the batter into your pan and dot the fruit on top. The cake bubbles up and around the fruit as it bakes.

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Later we sipped some red wine while we watched the movie ‘The Interview’ on Netflix.

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Then we said our farewells and watched our friends go off into the very cold night.

It was a delicious and fun evening, spent with good people.

Thanks for dropping over. I hope you have a great weekend.
xo loulou

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