The meals begin to change as members take turns preparing a dish. Baked ziti, chicken on skewers, fruits and desserts. The ladies talk about life, the book, the meal and some more about life. The location begins to change and they meet at a historic area landmark and when not everyone can make it, two meet for dinner at a restaurant and the location this month changed to the home of another member. Though I'd been there before I wrote the house number down so I would not forget and set off for my friends.
I'd walked through the gate, stopped to dig out my camera and went back out.
I am a bit early and the hostess and I chat as she gives me a bit of a tour for the camera. So many cozy and warm spaces, for gathering or just letting your mind rest.
The light faded quickly and many of the photographs I'd taken were
dark and shadowy.
We thought we might eat on the porch and chat, but the cool night was a bit too much and we stayed indoors instead. A treat just the same.
In the kitchen for just a moment to check on dinner, then on to the photography display our hostess has created with thoughtful images her husband has captured. Next, on to the studio and I want to photograph everything - her work in progress, the way things are grouped, the feel of the sturdy, filled bookshelves. Must respect the artist's space...though it is a bit of fuel for me.
And, of course we are hungry. Though we have not met for most of the summer and our reading is not as disciplined as a group as we would like, we have committed to the meal and to talk of life.
Simple, satisfying and snappy salsa and chips. The salt, the crunch, the perfect activity for hand and mouth while we catch up about local topics including disputes about small farms and the smoke from outdoor woodstoves. Who has rights? What about the property owner? The neighbors? Pass the dip please!
I knew it would be chili and on this cool summer night, it is a warm and comforting choice. The surpise is in the cornbread topping. The chili was baked in a round casserole dish then topped with an instant cornbread mix and cheddar cheese. A food hug in a bowl. As a lover of chips, I had to add some to my dish and later use them as secret scoopers to get every last bite of chili.
The discussion comes around to books and things literary while tea steeps in mugs. English Breakfast for me and I breath in the warm scented steam as a plate of famous cookies are put in the middle of the table. We talk of possible next titles and leave things loose and unfinished, but we know we will meet again soon and share a delicious meal served next to a healthy dollop of life with art and literature on the side.