Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Gift of Friendship & Ceci Bean Bruschetta

What is a Friend?

picture photograph image mario batali ceci bean bruschetta 2007 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
I have five distinct groups of very close friends in my life. The first are what I will call my teen friends although our bonds probably started to form earlier than that. The five of us don't see each other often these days. In fact the last time we were all together was four and three quarter years ago. At this very moment in time I wish more than anything we could all be together again, picnicing, dancing at 'Yesterdays', foraging for fungi, drinking parfait amour straight out of the bottle or otherwise enacting Grease in one of our bedrooms, concocting the fiction of our futures but oblivious to the reality of them. Although I feel like the prodigal daughter, because I flew the furthest I hope they would always be there for me, no questions asked. If they could be, I am sure they would be.

My second friend is Penny. She is in a class of her own. She is the only friend that spans all of the other groups and has met all of them. Our relationship has sometimes been volatile but I am glad we have survived the ups and downs. I met Penny when we worked together in London and now, luckily for me, she works in the Bay Area too. We share not only a cultural connection in a foreign land, but also a history. I love Penny although perhaps I don't always show it as well as I should.

My next, small set of friends are my American friends. Friends I made when I first arrived here in the US and who are still friends six and a half years later. Friends like Mary Beth and Vinny. Friends like my ex-roomate Dani who moved out of town and who I miss so much sometimes its easier to try and forget she exists than dwell on the fact I can't just pop round the corner to see her. She was in Napa yesterday and we drove to meet her for lunch at Bouchon. Our time together passed by so fast and poof she was gone again, it almost seemed like a dream.

My fourth set of friends I will call "our friends". These are the friends that Fred and I have in common, a mix of my friends, his friends and new friends that have become ours to share over the four and a half years we have been together. I love these people. French, Amercians, Brits and Germans. They should know who they are, why we are so grateful to them and that we love them all very much.

Last but not least I have my blogging friends. So many wonderful people out there who I have met through my blog, in the Bay Area, France, England, New York and others visiting San Francisco from all over the world. None more so than five wonderful women who have become the 21st century version of my teen girly gang. Who took me to hospital and sat by my bedside all day when I needed an operation earlier this year, or who delivered me food, or who provided a shoulder to cry on. Who are always an instant message, email or phone call away when things are looking grim, who always have a wise word to say to pick me up.

One of these good friends brought a dish to a pot luck we had last Christmas Eve that made a lasting impression on me and Fred. We took the leftovers up to Tahoe and although it's full of garlic, herbs and vinegar - hardly what you think of as breakfast food - we found ourselves gorging on it, first thing the very next day. It was so addictive I had to ask for the recipe and I have made it a couple of times since. Although the ugly food snob in me was surprised that it came from Food Network - I soon got over myself. I have made this both from dried ceci and when in a rush using canned chick peas. The dressing is full of flavour and it can be eaten as a salad or used to top bruschetta. It's not a pretty dish but it is a delicious one, and easy to make to boot. I like to leave it a while for the flavours to develop and mingle and then when I serve it I add a fresh sprinkle of extra basil chiffonade.

Link to the Recipe for Ceci Bean Bruschetta by Mario Batalii on Food Network




Archives
2006 | Jennifer Jeffrey
2005 | Fred 62


© 2007 Sam Breach
A Gift of Friendship & Ceci Bean Bruschetta

27 Comments:

  • At 19/8/07 12:42, Blogger Barbara said…

    Nice post Sam. Apparently chickpeas are named after Roman orator Cicero who had a relative with a wart on his face shaped like a chickpea. Hope the sad sammy tag doesn't last long.

     
  • At 19/8/07 13:07, Blogger Sam said…

    you remind me, Barbara, i should have mentioned the good friends who I have never met, like you. I knew as soon as I wrote that post I would remember that I had forgotten people.

     
  • At 19/8/07 14:00, Blogger ChrisB said…

    Sam that was a beautiful post.

     
  • At 19/8/07 14:51, Blogger Joy said…

    I know you know this, but your friendship is something that I am grateful for every single minute of every day. I love you.

     
  • At 19/8/07 18:56, Blogger Tea said…

    This is lovely, Sam.

    I was just thinking yesterday about how surprised I am that a significant chunk of the friends I am in regular contact with these days come from blogging, and I wondered if that was true for others. I have plenty of other wonderful friends, always have, but somehow the shared passions and fun personalities of my blogging pals have made us fast friends. How weird and wonderful that these names on the computer screen become names in the inbox and then people in our lives that hold their own special place and make a difference.

     
  • At 20/8/07 00:38, Blogger Zarah Maria said…

    Such a sweet post, Sam. Indeed, the blogging community never ceases to amaze me...

     
  • At 20/8/07 01:44, Blogger shuna fish lydon said…

    I was thinking what Tea wrote before me so I will just add that all the types of my friends buoy me as well. I, too, think about those long-term friends of mine who have met those friends and family most influential in my life, some of them gone now.

    I am glad and grateful for something as odd to my life as the Computer for helping me to stay in touch with far away people as well as ge3t to know better people I might never have connected with otherwise.

    Thanks for the bittersweet reminder, sealed with a delicious dish.

     
  • At 20/8/07 04:14, Blogger Beccy said…

    What a nice tribute to all your different friends.

     
  • At 20/8/07 07:55, Anonymous ann said…

    it's hard to say anything more original than what's been said above, but, seriously, that was a nice post!
    you were in my thoughts constantly while we were in San Fran earlier in the week. I think the Boy got a little tired of hearing me say "Well Sam says this place is good" or "I read on Sam's blog that this place has the best cheese" or "Sam brought us these caramels when she came to New York and they were awesome and I have to take some home"

    I'm sorry I was a bad blogger and didn't try to meet up, but there was just too much to do! I'm glad you're writing again!

     
  • At 20/8/07 09:26, Anonymous kudzu said…

    You know that I have many years on you, my dear -- I may be older than your mum! But even (especially) at my age I have teen friends as well, and college friends and New York friends -- and on and on. Each one is precious to me, just as yours are to you. Cherish them and enlarge the circle as you go. It makes it easier to confront a sometimes daunting world.
    PS The recipe is perfect for the post.

     
  • At 20/8/07 10:54, Anonymous joy of cooking said…

    Glad to see you back and at it. Different circles of friends are like different flavors, spicy, reliable, fresh. Anyways, nice post. Would you ever think about writing a bit about how to start a food blog and general, etiquette do's and don'ts? I just started mine and I have read yours for over a year now, and I see your link everywhere, would you have a few words for us newbies?

     
  • At 20/8/07 11:10, Blogger Sam said…

    Joy of Cooking - sounds like you need Food Blog Scool. Hope that helps.

     
  • At 20/8/07 13:02, Blogger Almost Vegetarian said…

    Sometimes the best meals, and the best friends, are enjoyed over time. Leftovers for breakfast - always a treat. Friends for life - always special.

    Cheers!

     
  • At 20/8/07 13:11, Anonymous Fatemeh said…

    Wow, Sam, this post brought me to tears. Knowing what you're going through makes it all the more bittersweet.

    I love you much.
    F

     
  • At 20/8/07 14:54, Blogger Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic said…

    Sam, you are truly one of the sweetest, most unselfish people I have ever met. I am so proud and grateful to have you in my life and to be included in yours.

    You already know this, but we would do anything for you.

     
  • At 20/8/07 17:31, Blogger Monkey Wrangler said…

    Very nice Sam!

    Well, this is one blogger who can't wait to meet you this weekend while enjoying some pears! In fact, maybe I'll bring you some muffins......

     
  • At 20/8/07 19:46, Anonymous Diane said…

    Sam: I hope you also consider a sixth category...those of us out here in the blog world who don't know you in reality, but feel like we do. Your presence shines through your words - so remember that lots of us care for you, even though we aren't "friends" as such.

    This recipe reminds me a little of a lovely Greek recipe from on of Aglaia Kremezi's cookbooks, in which you cook garbanzos at low heat in the oven for six hours, with olive oil, oregano, bay leaves, onions, salt, red pepper, water. It sounds like nothing much, but is fabulous. A winter dish obviously - as who will run th over six hours in summer. Every time I make it I think of a little Greek grandma dropping her beans off at a communal oven while she goes to church - and picking them up on the way back...

     
  • At 21/8/07 08:35, Blogger Jennifer Maiser said…

    Hello my dear ... A little late to the party, but I have been thinking about this post ever since you posted it on Sunday. It's lovely and so true about the groups of friends. Our little SF group can be amazing at lifting each other up and supporting each other -- I am so grateful for that. And what Stephanie said. :*

     
  • At 21/8/07 13:41, Blogger ParisBreakfasts said…

    A touching and thoughtful post Sam.
    The net has changed many lives and brought us lovely new friendships.
    I'm very grateful :)
    Carolg

     
  • At 21/8/07 14:06, Blogger Chubbypanda said…

    Friends are so important. They're the quintessential ingredient that makes both food and life taste better.

     
  • At 21/8/07 19:25, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    I feel like I got my life back because of you blogger friends. Weird if you say so, but lovely for me.
    Best wishes to you, Sam. I love you.

     
  • At 21/8/07 23:38, Blogger Del4yo said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 21/8/07 23:39, Blogger Del4yo said…

    Thank you sam

    nous aussi on t'aime...

     
  • At 22/8/07 09:59, Blogger ParisBreakfasts said…

    Thank you again Sam,

    your thoughtful post inspired me to write about a dear friend today :)

     
  • At 22/8/07 10:34, Blogger The Skinny Gourmet said…

    This is a very sweet post. You make me nostalgic for my friends who are spread far and wide. I have lived on and off for some time in Ghana (West Africa) and have a wonderful group of ghanaian and expatriate friends (Canadian, British, Dutch, Danish...) who I miss terribly. Thanks for the food memory!

     
  • At 22/8/07 14:15, Anonymous Pure Search said…

    Thanks for the Blog.. checkout Pure Search :)

     
  • At 9/9/07 19:30, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here is the recipe before they remove mario from foodnetwork!

    Ceci Bean Bruschetta:
    1 cup cooked ceci beans (chickpeas)
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons black olive paste
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
    2 tablespoons basil leaves, cut in narrow ribbons (chiffonade)
    1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
    Salt and pepper
    4 (1-inch) thick slices Italian peasant bread, grilled

    Tomato Basil Bruschetta: 2 red ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped 4 basil leaves, cut into chiffonade 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper 4 (1-inch) thick slices Italian peasant bread, grilled

     

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