Earlier in the month V had suggested that we celebrate Saint Nicholas since Jen is Belgian and had mentioned missing it due to being in France. Jen decided on planning a dinner party for friends and asked me to invite my friends as well. She and I planned the menu, went grocery shopping ahead of time and then set to cooking when the day we had set arrived. On the menu was crostini for appetizer with salmon and a creamy spread, the entrée consisted of pasta with a coconut shrimp curry sauce, and for dessert we paired mascarpone mint and berry medley accompanied by a side of good old American biscuits.
Even thought Jen did most of the work, I was in charge of the lemonade and biscuits which I made from scratch and it came out amazingly fresh if I do say so myself. Jen’s friends unfortunately could not make it but most of my people came (Stacia and Alex) and joined Jen, V, Amie, Lu, another guest, and I. The occasion was so lovely. V, who is amazingly creative and talented, decorated the space and had Amie and Lu set up the table before the guests arrived. Marthe did have a prior engagement but she was able to join us a bit later into the evening which was awesome. Jen explained the traditions of the holiday and we all talked about life and our goals and visions. Stacia and Alex also got to meet Napoleon, our resident hamster.
I am so glad that V suggested we have an event. It was a great experience partnering with Jen to create such a wonderful experience for all. She really killed it with the food by the way. It made me proud that we were able to commune in celebrating life and goodness with lots of stories, food, and laughter.
As we wrapped up the night and dinner came to an end, V shooed us from the kitchen and insisted that we go out with our guests (friends) instead of clearing up the table and doing the dishes. Once we left the house, we walked around town and just had nice conversations about how the time in Nice was winding down and compared what our experiences living in France was like. It all just made me feel so grateful for the family that I was placed with and the wonderful people that I got to meet along the way who have made this experience so worthwhile. It all just made me feel truly loved and appreciated. It made me smile and feel special thinking about how fortunate I was to be there and most importantly, to be welcomed.