Should auld acquaintance be forgot

Just got back from a good long dinner with my buddy Al. We have known each other for a little over 10 years as he was my freshman (and sophomore) year roommate. As far as my friendships with other men go, he’s my best friend. The man has seen me at my utter worst and during my best times. Lately, I haven’t had a chance to hang with him and I missed chilling with him a great deal. So last week, we set up a night out for today at a pretty decent tapas bar in New Brunswick called Northstar. It was one of our usual hangouts back in the day and the place did not change much in the last few years. I got there at around 5:30 and he was waiting for me at the bar drinking his usual micro brew and I got my usual vodka martini with a twist. We wound up chilling at the bar for a few moments exchanging our hellos while checking out the nice looking bartender flirting with a gentleman down the bar.

After we finished our drinks, we sat down at our table and commenced the evening’s festivities. One of the things we do very well when we hang out is eat and we had our lovely fill of the tapas this establishment had to offer along with a nice bottle of Riesling. We pretty much chatted about everything that has occurred in our lives since the last time we hung out (sometime earlier this year I believe). We talked about our jobs, homes, relationship problems, news of mutual friends, gaming, cars and of course looking at the lovely ladies coming in and out of the place. It was some damn good times. It was one of those conversations where you spend many hours eating and drinking good food while laughing and reinforcing those bonds that tied us together in the first place . I didn’t realize how much I missed hanging out with him until today and I’m glad we did.

One of the cool things that came up is his plans for New Year’s. About 3 or 4 years ago, Al had his parent’s place all to himself. So, as a cool idea, we decided to throw a sort of New Year’s dinner party for a bunch of our closest friends. We started preparing at about 2pm and finished cooking around 7 hours later and had a fairly decent spread for all to scarf down. We made salmon puffs, crab cakes, beef tips, mango spring rolls, loads of appetizers featuring caviar that his parents stashed away, (they still think they threw it away by accident, *grin*) his signature crepes and my signature hazelnut covered truffles for desert. Plus enough wine, champagne and booze to keep an aircraft carrier full of sailors liquored up until the next week. We had music playing in the background and all were having a great time. Once the food was scarfed down, we headed out to a local New Brunswick bar to ring in the New Year and then headed back to finish it off.

So, today he told me he wants to do it again and this time with a few more people. I told him I was totally stoked for it and we’re now, preparing our dishes starting next week. He’s doing his salmon puffs again as well as his crepes and I’m taking care of the truffles and spring rolls. However, we’re on the prowl now for more quick recipes to dazzle our guests. I’m going to learn how to make my g/f’s flan as well as her sweet chicken which completely owns anyone else’s chicken recipe on this planet. I’m tempted to make my Chilean sea bass dish, but it’s a bit much for just appetizers. I’ll have to ask him what he thinks but I am so completely psyched for this dinner party. Within the next month or so, I am going to go through some major changes in my life (most are kinda sucky, but need to be done) and this is going to be one of the few high points.

Good food, good drinks, good times and most importantly, great friends is all that will make this New Year the best it can be. =)

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