Having money to spend and going somewhere opulent to spend it definitely has an appeal. Yet, often I’ve found that being creative and spending less money in the pursuit of fun can be much more rewarding. That’s what happened this weekend.
My friend Mary Rose and I wanted to meet up in Syracuse, where she resides. At first we discussed meeting at a restaurant. Normally I would love to join her for a nice dinner and a glass of wine with all of the appropriate ambiance. But together we have very expensive tastes, which I unfortunately can’t afford.
So, after relaying my concern about the cost she suggested we have a girls’ night in at her place.
That was by far the best decision.
We gorged ourselves on a variety of homemade, fabulous food and drinks. There were two different types of cheeses to go with the baguette I brought – one of which Mary Rose had me try with fig jam. It was a great blend of sour and sweet and the flavors melded beautifully.
I had also brought raspberries, pineapple and sliced tomato to serve as an appetizer with the bread and cheese. Mary Rose had made a fresh zucchini salad, which was a new experience for me. She had sliced the zucchini paper-thin and length-wise. She tossed the vegetables with a homemade vinaigrette, prosciutto and parmesan cheese.
“If this isn’t good, I’m going to be mad!” she laughingly said. She had found the recipe in a magazine earlier that day and was eager to try it. Mary Rose had no reason to be upset – the salad was refreshing and as vibrant on the tongue as it was on the eyes. I couldn’t help but go back for seconds.
To go with the salad she had made roasted chicken breasts and thighs that were nicely seasoned and reminded me of the barbecue chicken that the fire department always makes during the summer.
In keeping with the freshness and lightness of the meal, she also made fresh blueberry lemonade mixed with top shelf vodka.
By the end of the meal I was content and felt altogether spoiled. What made it even better was watching the movie “Dirty Dancing,” (1987) starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Mary Rose had never seen it before and seemed to really enjoy it.
I wasn’t surprised that she was a fan. Who doesn’t love a leather wearing, tough guy who is also an expert, elegant dancer? She didn’t understand the Swayze obsession… until she did.
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner,” may not be the most significant line in the late 80′s, but it was certainly the best way to end a great girls’ night in.