Venners aften

 

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I aften er det nytt treff i gourmetklubben. Første gang var lørdag 27. februar 1999, og siden har vi holdt det gående. Kort fortalt er dette en vennegjeng der mennene møtes og lager maten sammen, mens damene kommer til dekket bord på kvelden. Det er selvlaget og vellaget. Det er vennskap og glede. Et sant høydepunkt i en hektisk hverdag.
 
La meg fortelle litt mer om konseptet, men først aftenens meny:
 

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Matklubben vår består av 4 par, og hvert par er vertskap for hver sin gourmetaften i løpet av året. I praksis blir det én lørdag i kvartalet.
 
Vi treffes hjemme hos verten en kveld i forkant av gourmetaftenen for å planlegge menyen. Inspirasjon til nye retter bar den første tiden preg av ferdige oppskrifter. Nå har vi såpass erfaring at vi heller fokuserer på at rettene skal begeistre våre sanser, enten det gjelder smak, duft, konsistens eller synsinntrykk. Det må gjerne være eksotisk, men det er ikke et krav. Det viktigste er at alt lages fra bunnen av.
 
Menyen som kun er kjent for kokkene frem til selve serveringen, består alltid av samme antall retter. Vi starter med en aperitiff etterfulgt av 2 forretter. Deretter kommer en sorbet for å klargjøre smakssansene til påfølgende hovedrett. Etter hovedretten kommer en ostetallerken, og det hele avsluttes med en dessert servert med kaffe og avec. Til hver person beregner vi 1 glass vin til hver av forrettene, 2 glass vin til hovedretten, 1 glass vin til osten og 1 glass vin til desserten. Som regel har vi 2 forskjellige viner til hovedretten. Da prøver vi å finne viner som har forskjellige kvaliteter, men som på hver sin måte øker den gastronomiske opplevelsen. Noen ganger drar vi vinen fra osten videre inn til desserten. Litt avhengig av hva slags dessert vi har valgt.
 
Dagen før dagen møtes vi til hovedinnkjøpet. Det pleier å være en munter og avslappet handlerunde hvor vi er innom de faste butikkene. Noen ganger må enkelte ingredienser være forhåndsbestilte. Verten tar så alle matvarene med seg hjem, og i løpet av fredagskvelden starter han på sorbeten som må stå kaldt til dagen etter.
 
Lørdagen møtes vi på stamkaféen klokken elleve og går gjennom dagens utfordringer. Smilet sitter løst, og vi tar oss god tid med kaffen. Så gjenstår siste innkjøp. Turen til Vinmonopolet. Dette er et høydepunkt i seg selv. Kunnskapen og serviceinnstillingen til de ansatte er like imponerende hver gang, og det er tydelig populært når vi kommer med våre utfordringer. Etter besøket på polet, bærer det hjem til dagens vert.
 
Det er viktig med god orden og at alt er rent. Både mat, hender og redskaper. Vi starter med å se over ingrediensene. Når kokkens vin er inntatt, er det for sent å finne ut at noe mangler.
 
Læringsaspekteret er et sentralt poeng med matklubben, og det gjør at vi ofte er samlet om en del av oppgavene. Det er viktig å ikke være redd for å gjøre feil, og alle kilder til veiledning er lov så lenge resultatet kan forbedres. University of YouTube er godt å ha i bakhånd. Ofte har vi kjøpt inn en del ekstra ingredienser, slik at vi har noe å øve på.
 
Aftenens antrekk er kort aftenkjole for damene, og mørk dress og hvit skjorte for mennene. Når våre kjære ledsagere kommer klokken åtte, er kokkeklærene byttet ut med dress og blanke sko. Det serveres normalt champagne før vi setter oss til bordet omlag halv ni. Verten ønsker velkommen.
 
Selv med gode forberedelser, er det alltid en del som må gjøres under måltidet. Rekkefølge og tidspunkter er avgjørende for å få flyt i serveringene. Maten skal se god ut, og da må den presenteres på tallerken på en lekker måte. I tillegg må temperatur og konsistens stemme. Selv om det er høy aktivitet på kjøkkenet mellom rettene, er det viktig at kokkene har tid og ro til å være tilstede med damene rundt bordet. Stress er ikke lov. Siste rett blir som regel servert en liten time etter midnatt. En lang dag nærmer seg slutten.
 
Bakgrunn for gourmetklubben er erkjennelsen av at hverdagen er hektisk og at vennskap må pleies. Med barn som skal følges opp, hjem som skal holdes i orden og jobber som krever sitt, er det lett at vi glemmer å ta oss tid til vennene våre. Tanken var derfor å skape regelmessighet og forutsigbarhet gjennom faste klubbtreff. Det har vist seg å fungere. Nå har vi holdt på i 15 år, og det har blitt til en prosess uten sluttdato. Slik har vi venner for livet.
 
Et godt valg i hverdagen er å ta vare på sine venner.
Kanskje en matklubb er noe for deg og dere?
 

 

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