When all else fails, one can at least turn to a good meal for nourishment, not only for the body but the soul as well. One of the greatest factors in determining the outcome of a meal depends on the environment in which it is served. But, you know, it doesn't take a fancy spread of white linen and bone china to truly delight...the simplest setting can bring the utmost contentment.
I admit it -- al fresco dining is my weakness. Coming in a close second, a grassy knoll will do for a nice picnic. A basket of fried chicken with warm buttermilk biscuits, served alongside a generous dollop of homemade potato salad. I hope there are enough for seconds. Should I take a short nap in the warm afternoon sunshine now? Or after indulging in my strawberry shortcake made with the leftover biscuits? A game of frisbee is sure to ensue at some point in the day.
But perhaps most important of all is your dining companions. Dining in the company of friends can make the blandest meal sparkle like a diamond. Not to imply anything mediocre about this meal I shared with friends in a Parisien Lebanese bistro, but the simple fruit platter we were served to crown our fantastic three-course meal, was like the finest creme brulee shared in such delightful company. Our forks busily attempting to catch up the tasty morsels, we giggled as we nearly skewered each others fingers instead. I am certain my initial plans to dine alone that day would have sadly fallen short of the mark.