A week or so ago, I got an email from a guy interested in buying a couple copies of my cookbook. He's a local guy, and he wanted to know where he could find my book without having to have it shipped. I replied with a list of local stores that carry Cookin' Crunk — Whole Foods, Booksellers at Laurelwood, Burke's —and I also offered to meet him somewhere if he wanted to buy signed copies directly from me.
This was shortly after I'd posted a review of Vegan Secret Supper by Merida Anderson, and in that post, I whined about how I wished someone would local would start a vegan supper club. So Chris, the email guy, suggested I come by his family's house for a vegan dinner. He'd invite some friends. I could invite some friends. I could hand over the signed cookbooks. Why not?
So that was Saturday night. Paul and I drove to Bartlett to meet the Harrises and their friends, the Newsomes, for dinner at Chris and Amanda Harris' home. Perfect strangers, just like Larry and Balki (okay, I know that lame joke dates me ... I don't care). Everyone at the party was vegan except for Paul and Chris and Amanda's son Nate (he's working on it though). Oh, and the dog Rosie.
Amanda did the cooking for the dinner party. She started with a fantastic Mushroom Bourguignon served over vegan-buttered French bread and a salad with homemade vegan ranch:
This was amazing, y'all. Everything was delicious. The rich wine sauce soaked into the buttery bread, and the mushrooms were all nice and meaty. Even Paul loved it, and he's such a picky omni. Oh, and that vegan ranch? I could have chugged the whole bottle, but that wouldn't have been appropriate for a dinner party with new friends.
After dinner and a glass of wine or two, we had dessert — Strawberry Cobbler and Rice Dream:
I wish my iPhone camera had done a better job with this photo. The color is all off, but let me tell you. This was the perfect spring dessert — sweet, ripe berries tucked into a crisp, buttery cobbler crust paired with cold, vanilla ice cream.
We stayed for an hour so past dinner, just chatting about all kinds of stuff — coffee, Skrillex, East Coast/West Coast 90s rap drama, baseball memorabilia, tattoos, India, and of course, veganism.
Before we left, I had Paul snap a picture of the supper club crew:
Left to right, top to bottom: Elizabeth, Eric, Rachel, Amanda, Chris, Houston, Hannah, and me.
Anyway, it was a blast meeting new vegan friends! Thanks Chris and Amanda for having us over!