We had dinner last night with a friend of ours from Belgium. She works for the same company that both G and I did. G knew her when he worked in the company's Belgian office, and I got to know her when we started work on a global initiative in the 1990's.
She is a dear person, and we would see her during our trips to the Netherlands to see family and friends. But we haven't been back in more than 4 years, and we missed seeing her our last trip.
She was here in the States for a meeting and was staying about 10 minutes from our house, so getting her to come to dinner was about as easy as it could be. We picked her up at her hotel and brought her to our house. The earlier rain had blown away, and the late afternoon sun was brilliant (shining through our clean windows!). I was so, so happy to see her.
We talked and talked, and when I had to tend to dinner in the kitchen, she and G would switch to Dutch/Flemish and reminisce about old times and old friends.
I wanted to serve something typically American, so I made Susan Branch's chili from her Autumn cookbook. Green salad, Trader Joe's ciabattini rolls, and homemade applesauce with maple-syrup-sweetened yogurt for dessert.
And guess what our friend brought us?