the best of people plus the best of food adds up to the best of times…

dinner at Maul-Hall

Here’s a simple question: How do you throw a successful dinner party? Well, the answer is fairly straightforward: Have amazing friends.

After that, the rest is easy. Good food helps, of course. Great food is even better. The key ingredient, however, is people, and around here we have the absolute best.

The logistics of how Koinonia dinners work here at WFPC is different for each group. Groupings get reshuffled two or three times a year, then it’s up to each set of people to work out the details.

So this time around Rebekah and I took our turn to host. I chose to cook lasagna (from scratch, including the pasta), and serve it with garlic bread. “I’d like to keep the Mediterranean theme throughout,” I told everyone. Our friends hit the jackpot.

img_7779Antipasto: Paul and Sandie prepared the appetizers: Bruschetta – with tomato and basil – along with some amazing clams on the half shell. We’re all glad our friends are such foodie overachievers.

Insalata: Mitchie and Bob showed up with the absolute best Caesar salad I’ve ever tasted (and a bottle of great wine). It complemented the lasagna superbly.

Lasagna: I’ve detailed this recipe before (click here). All I can say is that I was very pleased with the results.

Dolce: Ruth and Rob made a kind of chocolate trifle, served with fruit. The key word here is chocolate. Nicely done. Served, of course, with coffee.

Conversazione: The conversation is what sets a great dinner party apart from the run-of-the-mill. Fill the table with people who love life, who love God, who love one another, and who appreciate the shared ministry we experience through the church, and the result is always going to be great fun.

img_7783People arrived at 6:30, I served dinner at 7:15, and we reluctantly broke up the party at 10:30, already looking forward to the next gathering.

In the best of Italian tradition, dinner is the evening’s entertainment. Italian cooking is uncomplicated, very much farm to table, focusing on quality local ingredients, simple recipes, and careful preparation. Like the best of Italian cooking, our dinner parties focus on what is essential.

What is essential, of course, is the relationships. The best of people; sharing our stories, sharing ourselves.

– So blessed, so grateful, so privileged – DEREK

foodie life Live Like You Mean It The Church Uncategorized

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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