Thursday, June 19, 2014
On Food and Friends
I love food and wine people. For the most part they are truly a great bunch to be around. Of course there are exceptions to every rule--how someone could be wined and dined on a press trip and still be a curmudgeon about it all, while enjoying the beauty of, for example, Nevis, is beyond me, but I've sat next to people like that.
But I will say it again. For the most part, food and wine people are my people. It may stem from dinners growing up in a mostly Italian family, noisy, argumentative, loving...did I mention noisy? And plenty of good food. We spent hours post-meal around the table every holiday, and I cherish those hours. To this day, a good meal ends the same way, dishes long cleared, coffee cups emptied, perhaps one more round of post-dinner drink poured. (Okay, these days, I'm more apt to suggest we move to the comfort of sofas, but only after at least an hour around the table!)
So it is with so much delight that I've found myself surrounded by some real foodie friends yet again in my new hometown. It all started when a few of us just wanted to get together to practice/learn French. Then a book club was suggested. Then the brilliance of an end-of-year book club meeting that focused on a food book and a cook book. (Thank you, Jill!) (For the record we read Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton and cooked from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz.)
To me there is something so special about cooking for friends. Yesterday, my husband posed the question, "Would you rather entertain than be entertained?" and my answer was an immediate yes. For me, cooking/entertaining has always been about hospitality and surrounding myself with people I love, meeting new people I come to love.
He then asked me to rate entertaining vs. being entertained (it's the way his mind works. We rank it all...) To me, the two are so close because I simply love both. I'm social that way. I think there is a far greater disparity, however, if someone prefers being entertained to DOING the entertaining. If you would rather be entertained, I'm guessing you probably want nothing or little to do with actually hosting an evening.
Either way, to me, an evening over dinner with friends is a special evening. Food is great, but loving friends is greater.