I have always loved the magic that is created over dinner with impassioned people. I learned this lesson well throughout the long weeks leading up to Robert’s passing as a result of lung cancer. In that worst of times my friend Joanne Lusted, aka Chef Jo, asked what she could do to help us get through. I am terrible at asking for help but my daughter Rachel knew just what to do and asked Jo to cook for us – and cook she did – for two weeks. We then gathered around our dining table and satisfied both our appetites with her delicious food and our need to bond as a family as we faced our impending loss together. Part of the process was to share our Triumphs, a much needed exercise, as the days taxed us heavily. We would in turn raise a glass and celebrate something as simple as having taken a shower. We all felt better after Triumphs.
I long dreamed of recreating those dinner moments with the many women I have encountered throughout the year past and who have helped me survive. This past Saturday evening I realized that dream when 23 women gathered around my dining table to do just that. Each brought a side dish, a bottle of wine and a TRIUMPH. What transpired was beyond what I envisioned. Yes there was laughter, drinking and the consumption of food but we also shared TRIUMPHS during our gathering at the dinner table. To me this is what nailed the evening. All of us are in various stages of our journey and to hear what each of us as was carrying as far as their “gift” in life along with the happy surprises of not one but two announcements of pregnancy helps us know we are not alone. The sharing of ourselves, good, bad or ugly makes us vulnerable to each other and is an important sign of emotional strength. I have learned to ask for help as a result of this process.
I am grateful to each of these women who joined me on Saturday evening and to my Milton sisters who have also hosted Power of Women dinners.
Until the next time.
Love and gratitude for all of you,
Woman Power rocks!
P.S. Here are a few quotes from the evening…
“What a lovely evening I had on Saturday!! Thank you so much for including me in your evening of Powerful Women and their powerful stories. I left truly inspired and moved. The food was fantastic. It was an evening of many delights, culinary and otherwise.”“Thank you, thank you, thank you… for inviting us into your home and for hosting this fabulous dinner. It was wonderful to meet a group of amazing women, I can see why you have them in your life.”“I just wanted to thank you for including me in last nights “women of power” dinner. It was magical. I went in there really knowing only a few women and left feeling connected with all of them. They say your friends are truly a reflection of who you are……… Well in that case, you are kind, strong, funny and sincere.”
P.P.S. And my Cashew Cream Dessert recipe – totally TDF!
CASHEW CREAM RECIPE
This is what I served for Saturday evening’s dessert. I increased the amounts by quite a bit to serve 24 women. I used 6 cups of cashews and then multiplied the other amounts by 6. There was not one drop left!! So delicious. I also have a chocolate version. Let me know if you would like it too.
STEP 1 DONE THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU NEED IT:
1 1/2 cups raw, whole (not pieces as they are more likely to be rancid), organic cashews
3 cups filtered water
Over tightly and soak overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove soaked cashews from refrigerator and drain well.
Place in Vita-Mix or high power blender
Add 1 cup coconut, almond or rice milk.
Add 1 tablespoon vanilla paste (better than liquid vanilla because there is no alcohol and I love the little vanilla bean flecks in the cream)
Add 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Process at highest speed for 5 minutes or until creamy texture results. It should have the consistency of yogurt or pudding.
Eat immediately or refrigerate.
I top with mixed berries, slivered almonds and maple syrup but plain is delicious too.