I met my friend Caren years ago when I was living in Northern California, and we’ve maintained our friendship through both time and distance until I got lucky enough that her life brought her just north of me to Portland, Oregon. She’s been one of my closest friends for quite some time, and even honored me by being one of my lovely bridesmaids during my wedding.
For those of you that are already married, and/or have been through this before, you understand what I’m about to say already. For those of you that haven’t, weddings are one of the single most exhausting events ever!! Especially when you decide, for financial reasons (including an expensive upcoming move to an island called Hawaii), not to take a honeymoon and just go straight back to work. So, Caren, being the incredibly insightful friend that she is, whisked me off two weeks after my wedding for a girl’s camping trip in the Cascade mountains and a well-needed day trip to Breitenbush Hot Springs. I’ll extoll the virtues of that fabulous place in another post (and the amazingly fresh and beautiful vegan food they serve there), but for now, I want to extoll the virtues of having the wonderful friends I do, and how some friendships were just destined to be.
Caren and I had no qualms about doing this camping trip up right – it was car camping after-all, and we were having ourselves a relaxing, pampered two days. But first let me say that I try to downplay my food geeky-ness, admittedly bordering on food snobbery at times, whenever I am around friends and family (I only let the true food geek come out here, for you, lucky readers, because I know we’re of the very same breed and that you are as big a food dork as I am). Caren offered to bring a one-pot meal for dinner, dessert, and coffee if I would bring a bottle of wine to share and breakfast. No problem there – being as burnt out as I was from a week of socializing and coming down off of the months of planning and orchestrating our wedding, I was happy to oblige. I brought three small tubs of greek-style yogurt (not knowing which flavor she would prefer), a bag of organic granola, some farmer’s market blueberries picked up the day before, and a nice bottle of red wine from our wine rack.
Caren, dear that she is, showed up for our camping trip (mind you: I said camping trip), with the following items:
Real wineglasses – made of glass
Peet’s coffee, complete with a French press
Fresh pasta, from Portland’s fabulous Pastaworks
Prosciutto and Pea béchamel, also from Pastaworks
Homemade bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce
...and here’s the kicker...
One of her All-Clad pots with which to cook everything in.
Oh, how I love my friends.