Life continues to move at warp speed for some reason.  Is it just in my little 'corner' or do others feel like this as well?

John and I have a great group of friends that have been through 38 plus years of ups and downs and in betweens for each of us.  They know more about us than our parents and most siblings.
They are our "PEOPLE"  the 'go to friends'  when we need an ear, to share great news or devastating news.
We have been there for weddings to each other, babies, graduations and then graduations, weddings  and babies of  our children.  We have been there for deaths of parents and siblings.  The love and comfort, joy and sadness we share makes us our own 'family.' 
Life seemed to keep us separate from each other with jobs and childrern and grandchildren.  About 8 years
ago I decided we needed to start a new phase of our lives together.  John and I were in Hawaii for one of our children's weddings.  We were at an outdoor market and found a coconut with 6 surfboarders
painted on it.   We bought it and sent it to one of our friends with the note that we were going to start a new tradition.  I dubbed us the "Old Farts" and we now have monthly potlucks with each other.

Each of us takes a turn to host the evening dinner.  We ask the others to supply the side dishes and dessert.
It works so nicely.  We follow dinner with clean up and good conversation and sometiems games.
On occasion we have all gone to a restaurant instead of each other's home but we usually stick to the intimacy of each other's homes.
Sadly the original coconut with all of our names on it, represented by the surfers, perished in our house fire.
One couple took a trip to hawaii a year later and returned with a new coconut.  It is always present at dinner and taken home by the couple who hosts next.

I love hosting and entertaining and we got elected to always do the December dinner. I love the festive time and usually have a very formal table set.  This year I wanted to mix it up.  After a trip to New Orleans last spring and being treated to a home made 'shrimp boil' I had to serve that here last week.

Imagine everyone's surprise when our friends all arrived and instead of a formal table complete with holiday
centerpiece, the table is covered in newspaper!
They were all a little taken back but I reassured them it was the right night and 'no, we aren't doing crafts."

They understood when John poured dinner directly out on the table.  It was so yummy.  Corn, potatoes, onions, peppers, sausage, shrimp and garlic.

We supplemented with a beautiful fruit tray, green salad and garlic bread.  Dessert was a huge chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

If you have special friends in your life or even family that you want to get together with on a more regular basis this might be a way to start a new tradition.


vivian said...

that looks like a lot of fun and great food! We have two families that we are very close too and we get together with them just about every holiday. Christmas eve is always at our house. So I'm getting ready to make my list for shopping fot that night! usually we just have snacky type things.. last year I did the usually snacky things.. and beef on wic. This year I'm going back to just the goodies.. meatballs, shrimp, weiners in cocktail sause.. cheese and crackers.. rye boat and other dippy things... hmm.. wondering what will I eat? gotta count all my points for weight watchers!
have a great day! were getting a snow storm the next 2 or 3 days.. I hate winter!

bluemuf said...

Hi Catie, what a fun dinner. I love the idea of the monthly pot luck dinners.

Hugs Karen

Alison Gibbs said...

Such a great idea to share dinners with friends.
Love your theme for your dinner.
Take care

barbara burkard said...

WHAT FUN!!!! (and YUM!)

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

What a fun idea! I've eaten in a restaurant like this down in Louisiana once, it was a blast.

Happy Holidays!


black eyed susans kitchen said...

CatieAn, It was so good to hear from you! I have to say that this looks like a fantastic feast! Right up my alley. Wishes for a wonderful New Year and hope to hear from you more in 2010.
♥, Susan

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Yummy! How wonderful to have such nice friends! Hope you had a nice Christmas and I blessings in the New Year!

Paula said...

Oh man, does that ever look good! What a great way to celebrate the season with your friends. Fun!

The Rose Room said...

Catie, that is a wonderful tradition to carry on with dear friends and what a fabulous dinner, different and it looks mouth watering!!!

Also..... thank you so much for the friendship & support you gave me last year! Wishing you a very happy 2010 and hoping that all your wishes and dreams for this new year come true! Rachaelxo