Jeff and I are so lucky. Well, there's a certain strain of Christian thought that there is no "luck," that God predetermines everything and sets circumstances. I struggle with that because then that means God wanted some people to suffer unbelievably. Just can't get down with that. But I digress.
We are lucky. We spent many years working at a camp that attracted tons of like-minded, free-thinking, open and affirming young adults committed to living out their faith. They are some of our oldest friends, and the group has grown as people have gotten married, as siblings come into the group, and now as we have babies!
Every Sunday night, we gather for "family" dinner. I certainly can't take credit - this tradition was going long before we moved back to Nashville, but we were graciously invited to join the group when we reappeared.
I've known Eric and Julie as long as I've known Jeff - over nine years. We were on staff together in 2003. I officiated at Julie and Jimmy's wedding in 2010. Eric and his wife, Mackenzie, met at NYU - I got to meet her in 2004 or 2005 while I was still in college. Now they have a baby, Remy.
I met Stephanie in 2004 working on staff. Stephanie, Julie and I were roomates when I came to Divinity School in 2007. Stephanie's sister Julianne moved to Nashville just as we moved away, and now her boyfriend Parth is part of the circle as well.
That makes a raucous crew of eleven every Sunday evening. A few weeks ago we gathered at Parth's. He lives in an unbelievable 7th floor apartment in a trendy area of Nashville called the Gulch. There is a wall of windows leading onto a balcony over 12th Ave. S. I felt terribly underdressed when I walked into the chic lobby holding my tupperware. The doorman made me feel better, though.
Parth is Indian, and so he and Julianne fixed an Indian feast for us. I love Indian food, and I wanted to make something cooling and refreshing to go with it. We got cucumbers in our box last week, and we had yogurt and mint in the fridge already. Raita! It's the best. For this, if you need to strain the yogurt, start that the night before. To do that, just set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Line it with paper towel or cheesecloth and put the yogurt in there. Refrigerate and drain overnight. Save the whey that drains off to make pickles or other lactofermented things!
1 cucumber, grated on the large holes of a box grater
1/2 C mint, chopped
2 C Greek yogurt, or regular yogurt that has been strained overnight
1/4 t honey
1/2 t cayenne pepper
3/4 t ground cumin
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for several hours. Serve as a condiment with spicy food.