Lingering over dinner with good friends produces some interesting conversation.  As the candles shortened and sputtered, the wine glasses refilled,  three of us  talked into the night.  I was spending time in Moon River in Muskoka, Ont. .   My hostess  –  a world traveler and  professional photographer.  The other guest at the table a gorgeous brunette  bank manager,  and lover of Mennonite food and Mennonite quilts.  It was she who asked me  “if I was planning the perfect dinner menu what would  it be?”  I answered  “I would start with the dessert first.  The last thing you eat you never forget.  Dessert would be a classic crème brûlée.

And so from dessert  I went to the first course –  Foie Gras (a generous amount).  The main course a perfectly roasted free range  chicken with tiny potatoes sautéed in butter. Next a salad of the greenest little butter lettuce leaves and a simple vinaigrette dressing.  No appetizers  just a bowl of cashews with flutes of Veuve Clicquot.

The brunette bank manager  asked me who I would invite to this perfect dinner.   “Eight is the perfect amount of guests at the table”,  I replied.

My first choice Eleanor Roosevelt.

Sitting beside her would be D.H. Lawrence. I believe Eleanor would discuss “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” or “Women in Love” with David Herbert.

I would have M.F.K.  Fischer sitting next to me.  We would talk about food and discuss How To Cook a Wolf.

Across the table would be Georgia O’Keeffe and Pablo Picasso.

Before the evening ended Pablo would fall in love with Georgia AND the glamorous photographer.

Beautiful, brunette bank manager, carried away by the moment, would offer to bankroll a chic little restaurant in the tiny town of Bali.  Would I be interested?

What a glorious evening.   We would finish with crème brûlée, and  snifters of Courvoisier L’Or.  The sunrise would glisten and glitter on the Moon River. The call of the loons would fade away.   The perfect dinner party would regretfully come to an end.

Now you plan your perfect dinner party.  Tell me who you would invite and what you would serve your guests.