I love entertaining, but my apartment is a small space. I have to limit myself to one or two guests, maybe for a simple dinner. My kitchen is not enormous either. I can whip up some nice local dishes and I have been collecting recipes. My dining table only seats four. When I get an invitation to visit a friend, I am thrilled as it offers a nice change of pace. Usually there are a variety of people and I meet new acquaintances. One friend in particular always has creative ideas for a festive evening. She might invite someone who plays flamenco guitar or a singer or two. Otherwise, we listen to recorded music and indulge ourselves in preselected treats.
One of the best features of my friend’s place is the lovely welcoming fireplace. I often say it’s one of the Finest Fires that I’ve ever seen! Who doesn’t wish they had one? I don’t. I have thought about a portable model, but alas there just isn’t living room space. I would have to move out the sofa and that is something I can’t do without. This is where I sit down to chat with a friend or play with a pet. I am always grateful to be invited out, but often feel that I have nothing much to offer. I can bring something to drink or possibly some simple finger food. One time when I was invited for a return visit, I suggested a great way to use the fireplace. Usually, it is for looks and when it is cold, for heat and warmth. Everyone loves it. Here’s what happened. I brought some graham crackers, a few bars of plain chocolate, and a bag of marshmallows. Can you tell where I am going with this? Yes, I wanted to teach some locals what we adore in the US—s’mores. For many in Barcelona, this is an unknown dessert. They don’t know the delicious gooiness that I crave. Frankly, I haven’t had them for years. It was a staple of my childhood, especially when my family went camping. When I got older, I learned how to build a fire in the pit in the backyard and make my own. I would invite friends over who left with smiles on their faces. This treat brings joy.
The Barcelonans were no different. They watched as I made the first one. I waited until the fire had died down a bit so I wouldn’t get burned. You don’t want it to be blazing for sure. You end up with charcoal s’mores. After my demonstration, I asked each guest to take their turn. They couldn’t wait. One by one they ate the American delicacy and licked their lips with appreciation. More than one person had two or more. It was the main snack of the evening. He camaraderie was wonderful, no doubt because of the way we grouped around the fire. I can’t think of any better way to introduce myself to new friends. My hostess friend said it was a super surprise.