November 7, 2021

AT HOME WITH FRIENDS

In the 1990’s, I experimented with a new format for entertaining friends. It grew out of my fascination with the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh. Recalling a movie I saw about forty years earlier, I went to Blockbuster and found a VHS tape of Lust for Life.  Kirk Douglas starred as Vincent Van Gogh; Anthony Quinn was his friend French artist Paul Gauguin. It wasn’t a great film but did show many of Van Gogh’s paintings. I decided to invite a group of eight women friends to a Van Gogh movie dinner party.

For the dinner menu, I highlighted dishes that were in the Van Gogh color palette. There was cold blueberry soup for an appetizer, and side dishes of yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.  The centerpiece was an arrangement of sunflowers.  We began with appetizers served in the living room as we watched the first section of the movie, then adjourned to the table for the main course. Over dessert and coffee in the living room we finished the movie and discussed the art and life of Van Gogh.

Later I hosted a second movie dinner party to view and discuss the 1987 film, Babette’s Feast. That evening, I created a French menu although not as elegant as the one Babette prepared.  The one item we did have that she served was Amontillado Sherry!  Again, we followed the same format and had a wonderful discussion on Babette’s artistry and the significance of this extravagant feast.  This is still one of my favorite films.

In the photo, I am serving a cup of soup to Karen at our third party.  This time we laughed our way through the delightful comedy from 1998, Waking Ned Devine. Since the story took place in a tiny Irish village, we had an Irish menu.My Nashville home doesn’t have a layout that accommodates a movie viewing dinner party.  They were unforgettable evenings with my South Carolina friends!

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