Travel and Friends with Benefits: The Feasting

No, not those kinds of benefits. I’m talking about friends with a special skill set which on rare and special occasions allows you to be spoiled. I’m talking about friends who are chefs. Or even really, really good cooks.

Bruchetta with fresh sangrita, capicolla and manchengo.
Photo by Charish Badzinski. 


I’ve had the good fortune to recently befriend a chef, named Jim. He and his lovely bride invited me over to their home in rural Wisconsin to gorge myself, drink wine and sleep in their expansive guest bedroom. So my rollerbag and I made our way to their palatial estate and I swear, I giggled with glee through out the entire experience. 

It would be embarrassing, except that when it comes to good food, I’m single-minded in my pleasure-seeking. Nothing can temper my mood. Resistance? Unheard of. I relish the walk of shame the next day…or should I say, waddle?

Jim prepared Spanish tapas for our feast. Here are some pictures of what we enjoyed.


Watermelon lollipops topped with tomato caviar.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.


Wine. Hmm. Weird. How did this photo make it in here?
Photo by Charish Badzinski.


It’s perhaps telling that though my memory is remarkably poor, I always remember what I ate. This meal, its nuances, its freshness and its playfulness is heretofore locked in the mind-vault.


Tuna topped with fresh garlic aoli.
Photo by Charish Badzinski. 



Poached egg over lentils de puy, topped with that awesome aoli and 
balsamic vinegar. Photo by Charish Badzinski.


Sweet mini peppers stuffed with crab meat.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.


My memory seems a bit foggy here (see wine photo above), 
but I remember the taste. Shrimp bathed in garlic. Oh, so good. 
Photo by Charish Badzinski.


Flan, topped with berries and honey.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.


And a great breakfast. Bagels with lox, cream cheese, capers and onions. 
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Thank goodness for good food. But more importantly, thank you for good friends. The day I left, Jim sent me home with a box of what I like to call “cheftovers.”

Now, if you’ll forgive me, it’s past my dinner time.


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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
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Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at rollerbaggoddess.blogspot.com.

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