*With thanks to Maan, who can throw such big words in regular conversation with panache.
There are few things more beautiful than freshly baked molten chocolate lava cakes coming out of the oven.
Or reconnecting with friends you haven’t seen in years. And realizing, with relief and gratitude, that nothing much besides waistlines and dress sizes have changed, and these are still the same people you became friends with all those years ago.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Three weeks ago, Maan celebrated her birthday and Ginny decided to invite our English Lit college block — the birthday girl, Perly, Techie Quirino and myself — to lunch at her house. I can’t even remember the last time I was at Ginny’s house. I think it was when we had to cram one of many papers for Post-Colonial Lit. We went out for lunch or dinner a few times after graduating. The last time was back in 2008. A lifetime for some people.
It was a rainy Saturday when our little group took a cab to Ginny’s place. While it would have been nice to dine outside and enjoy a view of the herb garden, the smells of hearty soup and roasted meat were quite enough to chase away the gloom.
As were company and conversation. I forgot to take a picture of the roasted pumpkin soup before digging in because my friends and I were too busy catching up on each other’s lives.
Talk of careers (could use a bit more focus but I’m getting there), boyfriends (why, hello, how’s the weather over there?) and quarter-life crises (I was 19 until I turned 30; now, I’m 21. We will never be old.) was inevitable. But mostly we gushed about the food.
The food was excellent.
Ginny had sent us a menu in advance, and I already knew how elaborate her lunches can be from the photos she posts on Facebook. So I came in buffet mode — meaning I wore a dress so I wouldn’t have to worry about a denim waistband tightening around my stomach with every serving. And I refrained from inhaling everything on my plate in a matter of minutes.
There were two appetizers, two main courses and two desserts. No rice, so I didn’t feel bloated even after eating two meat dishes with potatoes and pasta.
The highlight of the meal was the freshly baked molten chocolate lava cake.
We made the cakes together. I was in charge of melting the chocolate and butter on a double boiler until it was smooth, thick and glossy.
The cake was served with vanilla ice cream and brewed coffee. I must buy a new oven so I can make these for family lunches. I don’t think my dinky oven can handle this much awesomeness.
After all that food, we were all quite ready to be rolled into bed. A cup of hot tarragon tea with a teaspoon of honey woke our senses just enough so we could get home.
Thank you, Ginny, for getting everyone together and preparing a glorious lunch. Hope to see you all again very soon.