They called ‘em “fellowship groups”.  We were encouraged to join one shortly after we became members of the Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church (AACRC) in 2006.  Small groups of parishioners met regularly in one another’s homes to share each other’s company while discussing a biblical topic in some depth.  Bill, Marilyn, Tom, Claudia, Larry, Ruth, Jim, and Alice had an opening, so we joined them.  All were a little bit older than us, each with a much longer history with the AACRC, but we got along.  Over the years we’ve become very good friends and cherish our meetings together.  Apart from some dust ups over politics and COVID (do I repeat myself?), we’ve shared a love of Jesus and Michigan sports, although Jim and Alice were Spartoons, since moved to Muskegon so less of a problem.  With passage of COVID, we’ve started to get together again, now much bigger social occasions with post-discussion snacks replaced by full dinners.  This Wednesday was our turn to host.  It had been a while since the group had been over to our house.  With our new countertops and a gallery of space/music/memento posters plastering our walls, we were eager to show off.  Plus, the food.  Give me an excuse to cook and several days to prepare, just look out.  Here’s what awaited our guests as they came to 1611 Harbal.


Guac & chips

We got this simple guac recipe from our dear friend June Rogers of little Nathrop Colorado.  So much simpler than the guac recipes we’d been attempting, and so good.

June is widow of my dear friend Sam.  You can see more of her here (1)

marinated asparagus

This time of year, when this magical grass is abundant, you want to eat as much of it as possible.  Steamed, chilled, then marinated in French dressing, it’s pretty delectable.

The first line is “3/4 C oil.”

(guests brought cheese & crackers)

Main courses

Piri-piri chicken

Adapted out of an old barbecue cookbook, where it was meant for whole chicken pieces, this bath for boneless chicken produces bite-size wonders.  The dish originates in South Africa, whence we got Elon Musk.  Think he’d like it?

Steak chunks with Montreal steak seasoning

Why wait till that nice steak is on your plate to cut it up?  Cutting up a strip sirloin or ribeye into bit size chunks then exposing them to Montreal steak seasoning before skewering leads to some tempting treats

Marinated mushrooms

This simple winner of a recipe has seen these pages already. (2)  At last serving to this same group, we realized that substituting the same volume of ground chilis to whole chiles led to a much hotter ‘shroom.  We cut back by half on no one was burned.

This recipe has evolved since its inception.  Lately, the ½ C chilis has become ½ C ground chilis, clearly increasing the potency.  For this gathering, I reduced that volume to ¼ C.

Grilled peppers and onions

Too simple for a recipe card.  Just chunk up one big, sweet onion and 3 bell peppers, skewer and grill.

See here the grill output

Herb and buttermilk potato salad

From People Magazine, no less!  Everybody likes potato salad, as our guests did this one.  The extra jar of pimentos (not included in the original recipe) didn’t hurt.


Rhubarb crisp w/ice cream

The first “fruit” of the season is this abundant stalk.  Definitely for adult tastes.  My wife’s experiment with balsamic vinegar as a substitute for sugar bore out here (3).  We even left out the oatmeal crumble top and added non-dairy ice cream to satisfy the 2 vegans in our midst.

Of course, the wines, white and red, flowed freely.   What would a night with Jesus be without wine?   We closed out our evening as we always do, sharing the troubles we face as well as those of those close to us, prayers to follow.  In the end we emerge with a Harbaughian notion of who’s got it better than us?  Nobody! We shall meet up again.


  1. Ike B.  See Sam.  WordPress 1/14/20 https://theviewfromharbal.com/2020/01/14/see-sam/
  2. Ike B.  ‘shrooms!. WordPress 3/15/21 https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/03/15/shrooms/
  3. Ike B. Sauce. WordPress 7/6/21. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/07/06/sauce/

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “fellowship

  1. Loved reading about our “former “ fellowship group. So glad you are still getting together. And…it sounds like you outdid yourself with the menu.




  2. Very nice post. Food, all good till the rhubarb. Wine and Jesus 👍. 

    Sent from my iPhone


    div dir=”ltr”>


    blockquote type=”cite”>


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: