The understanding of what friendship is changes as you get older. In school, you made friends who were in the same class as you. In college, you made friends in your dorms, and for me, my sorority. I value the friendships I made in the first twenty-two years of my life, but many of them have left the Madison area. When I see them, we pick up where we left off. I wish I could see all of them more often, but we all have busy lives – jobs, families, new friends, etc. Luckily, weddings have given us reasons to get together; I have one in May for my sorority friend, Lizzie, in Maryland – I can’t wait!
When I started my job fundraising for the UW after graduating, my coworkers became another group of friends. We had inside jokes, knew lots of details of each other’s lives, went to lunch together, and hung out on the weekends. Although I no longer work there, I still stay in touch with many of these people.
Five years ago, I began my career as a teacher. While I love it, teaching is a very isolating occupation. Yes, I spend LOTS of time interacting with teenagers, but that doesn’t count in terms of building friendships. I have made connections with a few teachers, but our interactions are limited to before school (which rarely happens because most teachers are busy preparing for the day), between classes (five minutes doesn’t leave much time for good conversation), at lunch (IF you share the same lunch hour), or after school (again, teachers are busy prepping for the next day or grading).
Friendships occur based on proximity. While I have some friends at work, none of them live in the Madison area. If we follow the previous formula for establishing friends, these people would be those who I would develop relationships with. Unfortunately, most of my coworkers do not live in the Madison area or are at different stages of life.
For this reason, I have felt a little down about not having the same big group of friends like I had in high school and college. I have kind of been on a search for new friends (NOT replacements, just additions :)) who live close by. Every time I meet a new person, Brody asks, “Is she going to be your new best friend?” I miss being able to see and talk to my close friends every day, and I think I have come to realize that what it means to be friends with someone changes. This kind of friendship just isn’t practical (besides with my husband…and he is a very good best friend). In my pursuit of establishing new friends, I have met many great people who I enjoy hanging out with.
That was quite the introduction to a post title that’s about food, but here is the transition.
Wine and Recipe Club! Back in October, I ran into a friend (Melissa) of a friend (Tina). Melissa lives only a mile away from me, yet we rarely see each other. In the grocery store, she invited me to Wine and Recipe Night later that month. Around eight to ten women who all live in my town get together once a month to eat food, share recipes, drink wine, and chat. I have attended four of the last five and always have such a good time. While I do not know these ladies especially well yet, I enjoy spending time with a group of women (just like in high school and college!).
Let me explain how this “club” works, and then I will get to the recipe.
One person hosts the night at her house; she supplies the wine, any appetizers, and the theme of the food. Everyone who attends brings their dish that fits with the theme and copies of recipes for everyone. So far (for me) themes have included sandwiches, Crockpot, healthy soups, and “new to you” (my theme). It normally takes us at least three hours to try everyone’s dishes. Between dishes we drink wine, digest, and, of course, talk.
The “new to you” theme was meant to encourage people to cook with an ingredient they had never used before. We ended up with a great variety, including two desserts. I considered listing all the recipes, but that would make for a very long post. Instead, I will share with you my favorite from the night. So, without further ado…
Wine and Recipe Night: New to You Recipe
Turkey Burger Sliders Wrapped in a Puff Pastry
-1 tbs olive oil
-1/8 cup finely diced celery
-1/2 Fuji apple, finely diced
-1 clove of garlic
-1 lb ground turkey breast
-2 tbs mango chutney
-1-2 Sriracha sauce
-3 tbs minced fresh cilantro
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground black pepper
-4 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese sliced about 1/8-inch thick
-12 oz. puff pastry (1 1/2 sheets of standard Pepperidge Farm package)
-1 egg white mixed with 1 tbs water
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2) Over medium heat, sauté the scallions, celery, apples, and garlic in the olive oil until tender, about 5 mins. Let cool.
3) Place turkey in a large mixing bowl and add sauted items, mango chutney, Sriracha sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix lightly and then shape into 10 slider sized burgers.
4) Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray. Sear the burgers 3-4 minutes on each side, not cooking the whole way through.
5) Remove sliders from pan and allow to cool while you prep the puff pastry.
6) On a lightly floured surface, unfold the pastry and roll out. Cut the pastry into 10 equal squares.
7) Place one patty of each strip of pastry and top with cheese. Fold the pastry up around the burgers and pinch the edges together to seal, molding to fit around the patties.
8) Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg mixture. place the burgers on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
9) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
10) Enjoy with ketchup and/or mustard.
I failed to take any pictures on Friday night or Saturday night when I ate the two sliders that were left. The picture and link above from Mountain Mama Cooks also shows the avocado dipping sauce.
These would be fantastic for tailgating or a Saturday night meal. I normally use beef for burgers, but I would stick with turkey for this recipe. They have great flavor, and the Sriracha (which was the “new to you” ingredient for Emily) adds a nice kick.
Hope you had a great Sunday!
Do you feel the same way about friendship?
Do you have a similar monthly get-together with girlfriends?