Friday afternoon, I baked some chocolate orange shortbread and we took it to our church's discussion group. The topic was prayer in schools. I thought that was pretty much a no-brainer, but apparently not. It was a good time, though. Saturday, we went to the farmer's market and ran a few other errands in the morning. Then, I attended a memorial service for a sweet man from our church. It was a lovely memorial service, with a lot of nature references befitting his 30+ years of horticultural experience. Afterward, I slipped out before the lunch to prepare for our first Wild Mango Queens gathering, a getting-to-know-you potluck. We had a little housecleaning and a lot of cooking to do!
It turned out to be an absolutely smashing time! I made a couple of quiches, one asparagus and one ham & scallion. We set out some olives and roasted garlic, hummus, sun-dried tomato feta spread, pita triangles, Boursin cheese, sun-dried tomato focaccia, almonds (cocoa ones & regular roasted ones), a darling little angel food cake, sugared raspberries, mango chunks and a bunch of things to go with the chocolate fondue I made-shortbread cookies, pretzel rods, bananas, apple slices. I made my favorite punch and also had some orange-mango juice, mango nectar and a bottle of Riesling available. The wife of a seminary friend came (they recently moved to the area so he can work for the national body of my denomination), bringing a friend who also works for National and with whom I share friends, and our former Associate Pastor came. I'd issued invites with rather short notice, so we were a small but mighty group. Our AP brought guacamole salsa, spinach & artichoke dip, blue corn chips and chocolate-dipped strawberries. The others brought a nice wedge of brie, which they baked & then topped with berries, raisins & mangoes. Yum! We talked & talked, then had our show & tell, with a nice collection of items-J read some of her poetry, I showed my recipe binders & my monthly dinner plan, two women had their grandmothers' rings and one brought a little ornament that says "Hope." Once it got to be 10, we started winding down and sent everyone home with a goodie bag containing dried mangoes dipped in dark chocolate and dusted with chile powder, a pineapple-mango candle, champagne streamer poppers & colorful beads. It was so much fun and I'm so glad I started it!
Sunday morning, we shared a quiche & coffee breakfast before heading our separate ways. J had some work to finish up at the plant and I was invited to a teacher appreciation breakfast at church, where I had dessert of fruit & monkey bread, as well as some good catching up time with friends there. Then, I attended worship and coffee hour before heading home. When J got home, we went on our Q date, which was Questions. I took her to Buffalo Wild Wings to play trivia and have a bite to eat and a couple of drinks. Then, we came home & spent the evening just relaxing. It was a great weekend!