My husband and I are in a busy season of life. I’m working, going to school and working at an internship during the week. I’m gone at least three nights of the week for class and typically do homework all day Saturdays and Sundays. He has needed to spend some focused time growing his business, working late hours in the evenings and through the weekends as well. Because we can easily become overly focused on tasks and to-do lists, we have to be intentional about spending time with family and friends. We recognize the importance of social time, especially because “evidence indicates that social connectedness has a powerful influence not only on happiness but also on self-reported health.”
So, we have recently developed/joined a dinner club. It is the two of us along with five other couples. Our plan is to get together once a month and alternate between hosting dinners at each of our homes and visiting local restaurants (in Nashville, TN). Some of the couples we know well and some we don’t. We’ve met twice so far, and it’s been a blast.
The first dinner was at my house. The best recipe to recommend was dessert: Blond Texas Sheet Cake with Caramel-Pecan Frosting. I cut rather large pieces and I think everyone pretty much licked their plate. Tony said it’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. The frosting recipe says to toast pecans in the oven. I put them in a pan and sautéed them with a little butter, brown sugar and bourbon… delish!
Our second dinner was this past Saturday night and we visited Holland House in East Nashville. One girl is vegan, and the chef kindly made her a dish of gnocci that wasn’t on the menu – she said it was wonderful. Of the group, we tried their truffled popcorn, fried yellow tomatoes, steaks, risotto, salmon, the blue cheese burger, grilled romaine with gorgonzola and there were other plates that I didn’t even get to see. Everything was very tasty and I’d definitely go back.
Maybe you’re an introvert… maybe you too are in a busy season… maybe you’ve had difficulty making connections with some friends in a new place… I’d encourage you to try your own version of a dinner club. Find a few friends, mix some old with some new, but be sure the group likes to eat and try new things! Dare to throw it out there and share ideas with other people. Ultimately, positive interaction with others helps us to feel known, cared for, supported. It helps us to relax and take time for fun. All very important to experiencing a little bit of happiness during the week. Here’s a pic of a portion of our fun group (two couples couldn’t make it the night we ate at Holland House)…