I’m Jen. The voice, home cook, mixologist, and amateur photographer behind this blog.
Years ago my husband and I realized that Friday nights are the bomb. With two toddlers mesmerized by Wiggles in the adjoining family room, we began a little tradition in the kitchen. We’d blast the music, pour a cocktail, and he would sit and rest at the island to keep me company while I prepared dinner. We’d chat about our work week, our plans for the weekend, family, politics, friends, vacations, dreams, and the latest Chicago Bears, Blackhawks or Cubs game.
Eventually the kids realized that we were way cooler than Captain Feathersword. We’d pour them a Shirley Temple and they’d pull up a chair to join us. Their elementary school playground drama evolved into middle school rundowns of who’s going out with whom, and their dad and I would just look at each other and shake our heads, unable to keep it all straight. But now they’re mini adults, and with the stress of high school they look forward to Friday more than ever.
They share some of what goes on at school, what they’re learning, their future goals, and where they want to go to college. Occasionally they’ll pitch in and help with the cooking, which could be anything from a bunch of appetizers to a fancy multi-course dinner. Sometimes we even let them pick the music, but we’ve got a two song limit for the likes of Nicki Minaj. Many nights they hang out with us the entire time; sometimes they flit in and out. We’ve all broken into dance on Friday nights, and oftentimes we’ll migrate to the basement to watch a movie or play a game after dinner. My kids both associate Friday night with Apéritif Friday, as we’ve come to call it. Meaning that no matter what, if we have no plans on a Friday night, we gather together to relax and reconnect.
Apéritif Friday is more about a feeling or a moment versus a location or a specific day. We celebrate Friday in our kitchen, on our patio outside in the summertime, around the fire pit at our cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, or most earnestly on our pontoon boat as we putt along the lake in the summertime. And with busy schedules we embrace the concept on Saturday, Sunday, or even Wednesday if our Friday calendar doesn’t align. The location and the day matter little; it’s the people, conversation, music, drinks, and food that drive the Apéritif Friday spirit.
Pull up a chair, grab a cocktail, and join us as we unwind from the work week with an apéritif, the French word meaning “an alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer,” while we chill and cook some tasty bites.