Monday, January 12, 2009

Dinner Party a la Sonoma

Last week, my dear old friend Miss Hower--she of the voodoo doll fame--invited us to come to dinner on Sunday night.  Being the dedicated Sonoma Mama that I am, I told her we would love to, but not to be offended if I couldn't eat everything.  Because Miss Hower has been down this road with me more times than she probably cares to remember, she was immediately interested in what I could have, and made a Sonoma feast fit for, well, me on Sunday evening.  We had broiled Arctic Char with a fantastic Napa Herb rub and an avocado/tomato/cilantro topping, steamed peas, couscous, roasted sweet onions and tomatoes, salad, and all the water I could down.  Miss Hower is a fantastic cook, and I loved every last bite.

Now for a bit of the diet and personal care saga history of Miss Hower and Mental P:  We have been at it for a long time.  I won't say how long, but a looooong time.  We started in college.  We would put bandanas on our heads and take jogs together.  When it rained, we would jog in slow motion around our suite to the strains of "Chariots of Fire."  Yup.  That long ago.  Miss Hower also arrived on campus that year with a complete assortment of Erno Laszlo skin care products.  The rest of the girls were so impressed that we had all our newspapers delivered to our door under the name of, you guessed it, Erno Laszlo.  She also had so many cute little sweaters that she had to color coordinate them in her closet.  You do not want to know how many shoes she has right this very moment.

Anyway, fast forward ten years after our Vanderbilt days, and I am visiting Miss Hower in her Florida home for a "spa" weekend.  We planned a whole weekend of exercise, massage, healthy eating and relaxation.  And it went pretty well.  Until lunch on day three.  We sauntered in to a restaurant in Sarasota, Florida--a French restaurant with a very French waiter.  First, we wanted a diet drink with no caffeine.  Who the hell goes into a restaurant like this and drinks anything but wine?  Sigh.  As I recall the waiter did a whole bunch of sighing.  Then we placed our orders.  I wanted some sort of salad with, basically, none of the listed ingredients.  And everything else on the side, thank you so very much.  Miss Hower ordered the salade aux champignons.  Only she didn't want any mushrooms with that salad.  In case you don't speak French,  champignons are mushrooms.  Needless to say, I think that poor waiter had to change his shirt because he was sweating so much.  I cannot sit and write this story without laughing out loud.  Fifteen years later.  

The point of this little walk down memory lane is to say how blessed I feel to be able to say to a friend--who has graciously invited you to dinner--that you do not want any champignons, and she totally gets it.  With grace and style.  Thank you Miss Hower, you are the best, and I know you will always have my back.  xoxo, Miss Ives.

23 comments:

Laura ~Peach~ said...

oh to have a friend like that! you are so blessed!

Janie said...

That's awesome! And that, my darling, is friendship. Sweet. Came over from Snooty.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I can't tell you how impressed I am with your discipline--and clearly it dates back many years. No way EVER can I imagine going to a nice restaurant and not having wine or splurging on decadent food.

Way to go and good for you. Hooray and bravo. I'm cheering from the sidelines.

(p.s. my computer is only slightly working this a.m. and is still on its death bed.I am not a happy camper.)

TSannie said...

Old friends are the best friends...

Flea said...

You are truly blessed with good friends. :)

Deb said...

That's great that you have someone to share your experiences with...sadly, my friendship of 25 years is on the kaput.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Forever friends are the best kind for sure! You're a (skinny)lucky chickie!

Hilary said...

Someone who knows you that well and for that long is a blessing.

I love the mental image of you slow-jogging to Chariots of Fire.

Kristen said...

What a lovely friendship... it sounds like the two of you have had a lot of laughs together. I'm laughing right now just picturing the look on the waiter's face!

Sassy said...

Friends are certainly little hugs from heaven and in my case usually my bridge over troubled water....I have a dear friend and we taught at the same school for years together and we use to refer to our selves as mushrooms...we should have used the french word because it sounds so much prettier...but the reason we called ourselves mushrooms was because we felt we were kept in the dark and fed shit....sorry about saying that word on your blog but that's my story about mushrooms and I'm sticking to it!

Snooty Primadona said...

I'm duly impressed with your will power. Do you still have to cook regular meals for the family? I do, which is why it's so difficult for me to stay on a diet. I just have to exercise much harder & longer.

Friends like that are priceless...

Big Hair Envy said...

I have a couple of friends who sweated through many an aerobics class with me in college. The last time I saw one of these gals, we ate at Serendipity in NYC. We were not dieting, and we ate like queens!!! Bwahaha!

Forever friends are the. best.

Onedia said...

Sally still seems to be there in each of us and we all have occasion to act the part of Harry.

asthmagirl said...

What wonderful friendship memories! I love the food code! "Hold the mushrooms"!

My questions are challenging... I'll be working on them today and posting tomorrow!

Daryl said...

Vandy! You went to Vandy... so did my pal Marilynn Tucker who is now practicing law a short walk from Vandy in Nashvegas!

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

You know that scene in that movie where the dude wants plain toast but they don't serve plain toast , so he orders something else and subtracts everything leaving just plain toast? Yeah, you totally reminded me of that. And no I don't know what the movie is because I am awesome that way.

Country Girl said...

I LOVED this post. It's so fun to share a memory like that.

And I especially loved the slow-mo jogging scene . . .

I am routing for you all the way down here in Maryald although it doesn't seem like I am!

noble pig said...

Now that's a great friend, seriously...I love her. Can I have her?

Cool Breeze said...

There are some people you can't take anywhere ... how uncouth.

miss bird perkins (: said...

dear "miss ives"

its lucia(: this story made my day, ahahahahhaah i can just imagine my mom showing up with those sweaters and face creams. sadly not much has changed(:

--miss miss hower

Mental P Mama said...

My dear miss miss hower...I feel your pain honey. There is always room over here;)

Egghead said...

Now that is a good friend.

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