If you invite me to your house for dinner, I will eat anything you prepare. Really. If you’re going through the time and effort to prepare a meal, I will wholeheartedly enjoy every bite. Dietary restrictions, food allergies and food aversions are not a part of my life, which probably makes me one of the easiest dinner guests you could ever have (and I even help with the dishes).
When my kids were little, I told them I don’t care if they absolutely hated what was served to them, but if someone went to the trouble of preparing it, you’re to say “thank you, this is delicious” and at least try it. Then we had to get into the whole discussion on lying and what constitutes a lie and use your inside voice, keep your hands to yourself, pick up your toys, etc. They’re in college now and we no longer have these discussions (we have others). Even though nowadays they might say this maternal requested phrase with a bit of sarcasm, they usually enjoy and appreciate what’s prepared and if not, they know where the kitchen is.
But I know and understand that not everyone is so easy about food. Lots of people don’t eat lots of different things for any number of reasons. If you come to my house, you are my guest and I happily cook for you, even my picky eater friends and relatives with their likes and dislikes, especially when they scrunch up their nose before they even take a bite.
We had invited some old, dear friends for dinner one night. It was winter, cold and snowy and I was planning a big fire in the fireplace with a good bottle of red wine we had been waiting for the right time to open. There are so many dishes that are perfect for this type of weather, and I immediately thought of my favorite osso bucco or maybe a hearty beef stroganoff or perhaps a nice slow cooked lamb stew. Winter cooking at its best!
I was then reminded that one of my guests is a vegetarian. Okay, I thought, not a problem. Homemade pasta with julienned vegetables and fresh buffalo mozzarella would be the perfect vegetarian dish. I received a phone call. What? She’s lactose intolerant? Okay – skip the cheese. And she doesn’t eat gluten? Really??
So the bottle of red wine was saved for another day, I postponed the butcher visit and Risotto with Shrimp, Scallops and Asparagus was rustled up for my friends. The evening was perfect, the company was wonderful and we got to enjoy the fire. We caught up with each other, our families and laughed about our now grown kids’ sometimes strange childhood food habits. And I don’t think they were lying when they said the risotto was “delicious”.
I’m not just enthusiastic about travel—I live travel, each and every day. From plotting out my clients’ next great escape, to logging airmiles on my own adventures (I always have a suitcase packed and at the ready!), travel drives me in everything I do.
I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’d love to share them with you. Learn a bit more about my journey to founding my own travel agency—it involves quite a few glasses of Italian wine!
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