Misfit Dinner Party: First Occurance

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Theme: Burns Night

Menu: Apps – Assorted Cheese Board
1st Course – Cockaleekie Soup & Oat Cakes
Main Course – Rosemary Minted Lamb, Mashed Potatoes, Wilted Kale
Dessert – Raspberry Creme Trifle

Soundtrack: Pipes. Bagpipes.

When I began attending classes at the seminary this past fall I wasn’t quite sure what kind of friends I would make, if any. I like people. I usually like all people and consider everyone I meet at least an acquaintance. But, little did I know I would meet THIS bunch of people, fellow students who would soon become friends. And how? I’m not sure just how but for some reason this small group of six (and there are more wonderful friends at the seminary than just these six) were drawn to one another. And we’re a quirky bunch. We represent the states of Iowa, Tennessee, Michigan, and Missouri. Only one of us grew up in Holland. We lay claim to nondenominational, Presbyterian, Lutheran and general Reformed church traditions. We range in age from young twenties to one who is old enough to be my father. Many other things make us so not alike, but yet, I think we would all agree that we really like one another. And that we are so much alike.

Early in the semester we noticed that we kept spending time with one another, sometimes by accident, other times intentionally. We spent most of our time studying together, then going out for dinner or a drink here and there together, and then we caught ourselves sharing bits and parts of our lives and pasts with one another. And then we decided that this would be ‘a thing’. And now we’re organizing dinner parties once a month, passing the baton to each person in the committed crew to organize and prepare a themed dinner. Our first occurrence of the Misfit Dinner Party will be a difficult act to follow.

Being of Scottish decent and a lover of literature, the first dinner was arranged and presented by one of our dear gal friends. Her enthusiasm for Burns Night (an annual celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns) was so that we began planning this dinner party months ago. We anticipated this night well as we heard stories of how her family celebrates this night every year. For her and her extended family, it’s a big affair; kilts, sashes, tartans, and all. It felt an honor to be invited into the celebration and it was truly wonderful.

In typical Burns Night fashion we listened to bagpipes, read poetry, ate a three course meal, and offered the traditional toasts to the lads and the lassies (with scotch, of course). And then we ate some more. I loved everything about this night. We were invited into a tradition and in doing so we caught a glimpse of another life, another story. Burns Night brought us together again. One could blow off the reading of the poetry, forget the toasts, raise a glass half-heartedly. Instead, all these moments allowed us to learn about one another and share with one another ways in which we were thankful for our friendship and thankful for the ways in which we are who we are. To think that a man who lived in the 18th century is bringing people together to celebrate words, life, and each other is quite remarkable. Cheers to you, Sir Rabbi Burns.

It also helps that the oat cakes were so delicious. And the scotch wasn’t so bad, either.

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