It all started with meatballs and a piece written by an extroverted freelance writer with a desire to gather friends, family and strangers around her table and to share food and build community. ‘Friday Night Meatballs‘ became a movement of sorts and Facebook exploded with people who wanted to create their own Friday Night experiences. We really liked the concept too and while we cannot commit to an ‘every Friday night’ format, but we knew having people over for a meal on a somewhat regular basis was something we wanted to do.


It was a chilly Sunday afternoon in January when we had our first ‘dinner party’; rain changed to fat, wet snowflakes and back to rain again but it didn’t matter because candles were lit, flowers ‘fluffed’ and the voices of Paul McCartney, Tracy Chapman and Sara Bareilles mixed with Boyce Avenue, Alex Claire and Sam Smith. Our table was set with an ecclectic smattering of patterns in both dishware and napkins – the hazard of being food photographers – nothing ever matches; crayons and scraps of paper for doodling as well as carafes of water, flavored with citrus slices were placed on a large, slatted teak garden table that now permanently resides indoors.


The Professor and I had done most of the cooking the day before – nothing fancy-schmancy, just good, old-fashioned comfort food in the way of Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar biscuits, a simple salad dressed with an olive oil vinaigrette and glasses filled with plenty of wine. A fabulous ricotta cheesecake with puddles of soft, sweet, sticky, strawberry spoonfruit rounded out the meal.


I didn’t stress about the house not being perfect, the wallpaper not being hung yet, the floors that still need to be replaced or the walls that still stand half-painted. What mattered was the gathering of friends, the hugs, the laughter as well as moments of serious conversation.


And we honestly can’t wait to do it again soon.


  1. Debra–this looks delicious! I love ricotta as a base for cheesecake and this one looks particularly beautiful. I haven’t been able to cook for a month (due to the kitchen remodel) and it’ll be another 2-3 weeks before I can even think of real, honest-to-goodness food preparations, but the place is now looking like a kitchen again. And that means I can visit food blogs without feeling frustrated! Thanks to this post, I think I’ll start gathering ideas for my first official post-remodel dinner party!

  2. I remember reading about the Sunday Night Meatball folks and thinking it was so cool! I’m so glad it was a successful evening (how could it not be with that menu and that *cake!*) xo

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