Regular readers will know that we enjoy spending time with our friend Andrea. Last month marked a year since our first meeting and we all thought the occasion deserved celebrating. We called it our First Friendiversary and she volunteered to make us dinner and being of Czech heritage the menu would include some of her family’s traditional dishes. We love trying new things and were looking forward to tasting what she was going to make.
So a week ago Saturday, Nick went to pick her up along with all the groceries she would need for her culinary creations.
She even brought along some Czech beer. Here’s a fun fact about the kind she brought, called Pilsner Urquell : This is the very first pilsner style beer ever brewed in the world, beginning back in 1842 in the city of Pilsen, just outside of Prague, and part of today’s Czech Republic. Source : Wikipedia. Whenever I am unsure about beer choices I always ask for a pilsner, so it was really neat to try the original one.
You know I love a theme, so I was keen to find a way to add some appropriate decorations. I started with something found in the Christmas box, where I had a set of glass ornaments in the shape of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, that Nick gave me one Christmas shortly after we were married. They were made in the Czech Republic.
The napkin rings were a little gift I bought myself way back when. There are eight of them and each has a different tea or coffee pot on it.
Dinner was Chicken Paprikash, served with potato dumplings and a cucumber salad. It was so good! I particularly fell for the dumplings, and Nick has already made some for us since. This experience was particularly interesting for him because, being as cooking is his longtime favourite hobby, he just loves finding new techniques for food preparation. He was all over what Andrea was doing in the kitchen, offering any help she might need, although she didn’t need his services. So we just watched and talked as she cooked.
After we ate our delicious dinner, we went outside to have a celebratory glass of bubbles. Nick popped open a bottle of Spanish Segura Viudas.
Of course, Eddie got some love from his girlfriend …
As the sun began to set we went back inside to have dessert, which I made. I wanted to bake something that would suit the theme and saw that the Czechs use poppy seeds in some of their baked goods. So I combined those with a recipe I recently found on the blog ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’, here, for Lemon Bundt Cake. I made the recipe exactly as written however added a quarter of a cup of poppy seeds to the flour mixture. I also made the glaze a lot thinner than the original recipe, not really on purpose, but we all liked the way it turned out, not overly sweet. I’ll be making that one again. Andrea told me that a kind of traditional Czech cake, shaped in a ring like that, is called a Babovka.
Until now I have always kept track of the years of different friendships to myself and in my journals because I’ve always noted when I’ve met interesting people. (The day I first met Nick on a blind date is marked with a little heart at the top right of the entry in my journal, which I would have put there either the day of or shortly after, so I sensed right from the beginning that he was the one for me!) But now I realized that it is just as important to honour the anniversaries of friendships just as it is a union with a mate, because heck, life can always use another reason to celebrate!
Thanks for checking out what we’ve been up to,