It was my turn this week to host the Newcomers Club Bridge Club lunch. In a different life, I became a good cook and entertained a lot, but that was a long time ago, and life changed. In my fifteen years as a business person, any entertaining was done in restaurants as no one had any time to do otherwise: and I resigned as a cook. As a widow, life changed again and entertaining consisted of meeting friends for lunch at restaurants, or in coffee shops; incidentally, the coffee shop is one of the many aspects of North American life that I love. My husband used to complain when I dragged him into yet another coffee shop; I used to say to him he was fortunate it wasn't pubs I was dragging him into. He was a non-drinker of alcohol, so he really wouldn't have appreciated that.
Being totally, completely, out of practice for entertaining, and doing no cooking at all nowadays, this lunch was quite a formidable undertaking for me. We would be twelve ladies, and all the others are wonderful cooks, and entertain beautifully. Also, I NEVER shop for groceries, so I am totally unfamiliar with grocery stores. In fact, food is at the bottom of my list of priorities, so I felt really challenged.
My daughter had offered her home, as my place is too small for three tables of bridge, but she is so busy at business that I wouldn't ask her to help me shop. Fortunately, I have used Grocery Gateway since I came to Toronto at the beginning of December, so this became my answer.
Grocery Gateway is supplied by Longos, which I am led to believe, and you may know, is a high-end grocery store. As I have no need to squeeze my tomatoes before I buy them, I have been highly delighted with this wonderful service. No hassle actually getting to a store; no having to spend a boring time picking the same supplies off the shelves; no packing them and having to carry them home; Grocery Gateway does all that, and delivers them with a smile, right into my kitchen. With my three cats, just the cat supplies alone make this all worth while.
I ordered everything from the Internet, arranged to have it delivered to my daughter's home, and it was done. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon, and everything went very well. I bid and made a small slam in spades which helped compensate for the other cards I had all afternoon. Altogether, an enjoyable time; and I remembered how much I used to enjoy having people for dinner. My husband and I loved to give parties, so I was reminded of happy days gone by.
However, there was one small hitch. I don't drink bottled water, so it had completely escaped my mind: I had forgotten to order any. My daughter's family don't drink bottled water either, so there was none in her pantry. Also, I had no idea where she kept her good glassware. Fortunately, she had made some ice, because I had to use tap water, in her kitchen jug, using the kitchen glasses used by her sons, and the ice was the necessary, last touch. One day, I may be able to laugh about that.
The bridge ladies were all so gracious, it really was a pleasure having them. Next time, I will not forget the water!