Battle Ground, Washington

Complete with secret handshake and decoder ring. Oh, and awesome Italian dinner, too.

Maria, Erin, and Carol (MEROL) seemed somewhat uncertain as to whether today’s cooking get-together constituted the beginnings of a club or not. I had no similar hesistation in proclaiming Dennis, Joe and I the founding members of the MEROL Food Tasters’ Club. Our mission? To eat with gusto the food MEROL cooks. Today’s mission? Accomplished. (My push for weekly meetings was sadly rebuffed by MEROL themselves, but there is talk at least of making it a monthly or quarterly event.)

Italian served as the inaugural theme, so us food tasters had to content ourselves with pasta, chicken, sauces, breads, garlic, etc. I won’t sport with anyone’s intelligence by pretending I have a clue what I ate this evening, for I am neither cook nor connosseur. Heck, I probably couldn’t spell it even if I knew. You’ll just have to trust me when I say that the food was very good, and I’d happily eat it again. These MEROL cooks know their stuff.

On the drink side, I downed several delicious Italian sodas. I don’t know the percentages, but it’s ice, half-and-half, club soda, whipped cream, and grenadine (or other flavoring). Very good stuff—to the point where it tempts one to include the drink in a wide variety of non-Italian meals. I don’t know if they actually drink these in Italy or not (Liz? Little help here?), but if they don’t, they should.

Kudos to Maria, Erin, and Carol for the great dinner!