I miss cooking for a crowd. Yes, I enjoy the process of chopping, stirring, and cooking for my friends. What makes all of it worthwhile is to see how happy my friends are when they eat the food I’ve prepared for them.
My From Left to Write book club is currently reading a novel about a mathematician Kurt Godel, who was good friends with Albert Einstein. They frequently dined together and Godel’s wife would prepare the meals. She loved to entertain his friends. Reading about these parties made me realize how much I missed our dinner parties.
Before we had kids and up until Sophia was 2 or 3 years old, we hosted a dinner party every couple of months. We’d invite friends over for a potluck or happy hour type meal and just hangout. Sometimes I would feel industrious and cook a ton of food.
Sometimes I would only prepare the ingredients. Once my guests arrived, I taught them how to assemble and roll their own Vietnamese summer rolls. When we were fresh out of college and broke, I asked everyone to bring one or two ingredients to help out. We had so much fun!
I’ve even done the same sort of “potluck ingredients” for sushi parties. I assigned each of my friends a vital ingredient and their booze of choice. Then I would roll 6 or 8 different types of sushi rolls to go along with the huge bowl of fried rice I made earlier that evening. We stuffed ourselves silly with California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, shrimp rolls–you get the picture.
Now our biggest entertaining day of the year is Thanksgiving. We invite some close friends over to spend the afternoon with us. Holidays make me miss my family’s big gatherings. While the number of our Thanksgiving guests pales in comparison to my family’s raucous holiday festivities, being around good friends makes me happy.
I’ve been thinking about resuming dinner parties or happy hours in our apartment. I just have to lower my standards on what makes our apartment clean enough for company. My home will never be clutter free or spotless. I think that is harder than planning the menu or cooking the food. They don’t have to be as elaborate as the ones we had before kids. It’s about spending quality time with friends.
How often do you have dinner parties?
This post was inspired by The Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec, a novel about brilliant mathematician Kurt Gödel as told from his ex-cabaret dancer wife’s perspective. Join From Left to Write on October 16th as we discuss The Goddess of Small Victories.