Red Hat culinary diva Patty Dolak invited members of the chapter to attend a festive luncheon at her beautifully decorated home. Patty served an elegant three-course luncheon that began with a creamy crookneck squash soup lightly dusted with fresh nutmeg. The menu included Chicken a la King in puffed pastry shells, Green Beans Almondine and a luscious Hummingbird Cake.
Resplendent in elaborate red hats and purple attire, the women are members of an international social organization called, The Red Hat Society. They say it is a, “dis-organization” whose only purpose is to have fun and enjoy growing older. Members share a collective pride in their age, occasionally exhibiting a bit of audacity and boldness that shouts, “Here I am world!”
After raising their families and working for decades, the organization allows woman 50 and older to nurture their ‘inner child.’ If they want to, they can dress up in a colorful boa and feathers, play the kazoo or host a teddy bear tea.
The Red Hat Society theme song says it best: “All my life, I’ve done for you. Now it’s my turn to do for me.” There are no official rules, just strong suggestions. The main responsibilities are to wear a red hat, purple attire, share your creative talents, friendship and good humor.
Many of the red hat members are initially strangers, but soon develop strong ties due to age, common experiences and the desire to broaden friendship circles. ‘Queen Mother’ Diane Mylander oversees the Northeast group. Her ascension to the throne was a natural one- she is the founder of the chapter.
There is a saying that, ‘laughter is the best medicine!” Diane encourages “silliness,” among the members which might be ‘just what the doctor ordered!’ I think Cyndi Lauper said it best in her song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun!”
Patty’s Squash Soup~
Patty Dolak generously shared her recipe for Squash Soup. The grated squash adds a pleasant texture to the creamy soup. I know you will enjoy it as much as her luncheon guests.
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups grated crookneck (summer) squash
1 medium onion, grated
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups half & half
Salt & black pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg
In a large pot, melt butter. SautÃ© squash and onions. Stir in the flour until well blended. Add chicken broth & nutmeg. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Add half & half then heat until hot. Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste. Grate a little fresh nutmeg into each serving bowl of soup. Serves 6.
LADIES; If any area South Carolina Red Hat Society Chapter has a recipe to share and a story to tell, please write me at email@example.com. In the subject line put, Red Hat Club—Susan Slack.
Read Allison Askins’ article on kitchens today in the State Newspaper (December 13, 2006.) ~