It’s been five long years, but as an old heroine of ours once said…
“They say nothing lasts forever…
…dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”
– Carrie Bradshaw
Circa 2003-2004 we were 6 girls living in a two-storey house, just around the corner from a blues bar, our home away from home.
We clicked our heels through snow, rain and sunshine to dance the night away to live bands at that bar, we had chiminea fires on our front porch while piling onto a well-worn, brown plaid couch that was the very definition of an eyesore to our neighbors. Best of all, there were entire summer days where we would shutter up the house to binge watch Sex and The City episodes in the dark.
S, K and I were long-time friends from college
R and I bonded through food
M through music and intellect
Su through poetry and art
All together we were a force field of absolute fabulousness, or so we thought.
This weekend R and M came for a girls get together, one that hasn’t been celebrated for 5 years to the date, and we picked up right where we left off. Between the six of us, we reside in four different countries, so getting at least three of us together was no small feat!
From greasy pizza, facials, SATC, negroni’s and late night conversations on the back porch, to Vietnamese food, cooking, reminiscing and lots of laughter, it was a weekend to remember. A weekend that brought me back to a time as young girls ‘runnin’ wild and lookin’ pretty’.
We took to the streets of Toronto, beginning with Bun at Pho Hung and a jaunt through the streets of Kensington Market and Chinatown.
At home, I prepared a “welcome meal” of grilled lamb chops marinated with white wine, rosemary and sage, a risotto Milanese, and a leafy green with salad with fennel. I made tiramisu for dessert, but we were so busy catching up, we didn’t get to it!
Personally, I thought the risotto was amazing, one of my very best! I followed a recipe from Ada Boni’s Italian Regional Cooking cookbook from 1969. In fact, it was so good, I’m sharing the recipe which I’ve slightly adapted:
Risotto alla Milanese
7 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups arborio rice
about 6 1/2 cups chicken stock
generous pinch saffron, soaked in water
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan.
In a separate large, heavy pan, melt half of the butter and saute the onions until they become golden. Add the wine and allow it to cook off. Stir in the rice and saute, stirring until the rice just begins to brown.
Lower the heat to a simmer and begin ladling the boiling chicken stock (about 1 cup at a time) into the rice, gently stirring the rice until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook the rice this way until all of the stock has been used and absorbed by the rice. This process should take about 20 minutes.
When the rice is almost done, add the saffron, stirring the rice as you pour it in so that you achieve an even color throughout the rice. Next, turn off the heat, and stir in the remaining butter along with the Parmesan cheese. Cover the pan and let the risotto rest for at least 2 minutes. Serve
We even found time for a touristy #xoToronto photo, thats us in the O.
Thanks girls for such a wonderful weekend, girlfriends are the best.