Creating Magic: Midwinter Mediterranean

In the midst of a very cold winter, there can sometimes be a bit of a social lull. People don’t have the energy to throw massive events and you get this lull of hibernation. We were extremely lucky to have fabulous weather at the start of June for our wedding, but as the weather dulled and we got the typical “kiwi” storm fronts heading over my beautiful not-so-wee town,  it really felt like winter was setting in.

Last year, I tried running a wine club – each week we’d set a varietal and compete to see who could source the best bottle under a $20 spending cap. It was awesome – up until two of the girls got pregnant. And then wedding planning and work took over… but I did always miss that sense of community. At the wedding, some of the friends who hadn’t seen each other since Wine Club finished told me they felt the same way – what’s a girl to do?

Wine Club just didn’t seem like the right fit anymore. While I love a glass of wine, in the group of friend that could be keen there are three pregnant women, one trying and one plus myself who are trying at the end of the year. Wine Club seemed to exclude too many friends and given that I’m looking at giving up alcohol three months before we start trying (more on that choice later), that gave us three months before I didn’t participate anymore – and I’m the planner/organiser of the group!

I came up with the concept of “Ladies who dine…” and promptly created a Facebook group for it! Our final Wine Clubs had also had themed food, as well as specified varietals. Why not make the wine less of a focal point and focus on the food? Each of the girls can take a turn to host at their house, but all they need to worry about is supplying the venue and a dish to share – basically creating a themed potluck!

Being the instigator of this new idea, Midwinter Mediterranean Night happened at my place on Friday night. Leaving the theme relatively broad, people could bring food that originated from anywhere around the mediterranean sea. I made my aranchinis and had bread with hummus and dukkah, JC brought feta & cheddar stuffed capsicums, MJ brought a delicious slow-cooked lamb dish and JB brought a cheesy pasta dish. For dessert we had turkish delight and baklava, courtesy of BBB and AI. So good! What was great is that it seemed that we’d all stepped outside of our comfort zones and tried making something new! I’ll definitely have some additional tips on aranchinis coming up soon.

Our next party? Well, “Ladies who dine…” is a little bit clandestine, so all I can tell you is that it will involve “lewd food”!

And for those of us who aren’t yet pregnant or trying?

You know there’ll be a little bit of wine!