Lilly Bud Naturals and Food Group

My friend Chersten started her own company, Lilly Bud Naturals, to provide human and environmentally safe cleaning products for the home. It all started from when her daughter Lilly was young, then Bud came along. Well, Bud’s name is actually Jon, but so is Jon’s dad but we call him Joey instead. At any rate, please comment if you have a son that you do NOT call Bud!  Everyone I know calls their son Bud as a nickname.

Here is the link to an article in the local Rochester (MN) newspaper! I don’t know how long the link will be live, so check it out fast!

Cher and I worked together for many years. In fact, she was my formal mentor after I started. She was in charge of taking me out to lunch occasionally to check in on me, make sure I was feeling good about my position, etc. It was great!

Eventually, Cher, Warren (another work friend) and I decided that we needed to formalize our love of good food and friendship. Thus, one afternoon at a potluck for a departing colleague, Food Group was born. We met for about two years about 8 times a year, almost every month, with three rules:

1. The host/hostess selects the menu along a theme, cooks the main dish and makes suggestions for accompanying dishes, dessert and wine. (That sounds like more than one rule, but it really isn’t since selecting the theme can really only count as a small fraction of a rule.)

2. EVERY recipe has to be NEW to the person who is cooking/baking it. (As far as I know, this rule was only broken once by someone I invited to a dinner party. Instead of making something, she bought it from the store. I shamed her relentlessly as a result.)

3. The host/hostess can invite anyone else to the dinner party outside of the core Food Group group. (Eventually, we added two others to the Food Group second layer, but they eventually broke up and it just became awkward.)

Food Group was truly a highlight for all of us as we ventured into new recipes, new food selections and shared friendship. When I invited Aaron as my date to Food Group, it was a big deal. (Normally, I selected a girlfriend to join me…it was a coveted invitation that I passed around.) One of my favorite times to hostess was when the theme was a traditional Hanukah meal. Give me a plate of potato latkes, some applesauce and some sour cream and I am in heaven!!

When I moved away to Iowa, it was the beginning of the end. Shortly thereafter, Warren moved away to Alabama. It truly was a great time as we all had growing families at the time.

I’ve decided that I am going to keep a thanksgiving journal in November…a written tally of what I am thankful for each day in November. Today, October 29, I am very thankful for the opportunity to have grown friendships over a love of food and wine!


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