Thursday, July 03, 2008
Stop Entertaining!
We're headed to Indianapolis for a weekend with dear friends, Tom and Carlotta. While chatting on the phone with Tom, I gingerly asked, 'surely we were there just last summer?' and he let me know - it's been almost two years since we got together! Good grief we need to retire - there's just not enough time for DH to work, we've got places to go, people to see, and miles to travel before we rest! Since Carlotta has put away her cooking utensils in the last few years, I asked Tom if he'd let me do the cooking, or at least bring the cooking, and he and DH can hang over the grill, finishing it up. He agreed.

So I grabbed one of my favorite cookbooks - Perfect Recipes for Having People Over, by Pam Anderson. I've mentioned this book here before. Before I started looking over the recipes I noticed this:

"Stop Entertaining: We all understand the importance of gathering with friends and family. So why don't we do it more often? It's fear - fear that we don't have the time or skill to pull off a meal that will be good enough. That's why it's important to stop entertaining and just have people over. The very word 'entertain' makes most people cringe. A recent Gallup poll found that Americans rank entertaining - along with filing tax returns and visiting the dentist - as the number-one stress-related event in their lives. Entertaining scored even higher on the stress chart than childbirth."

Then she talks about when to 'have people over'.

"Deciding when to have people over can be a little like waiting for the perfect time to get married or have a baby or buy a house; you may never get around to doing it if you delay til the conditions are just right. It takes courage to invite them, ready or not, but it's powerful when you do. And here's the reality: most people cook so infrequently that any home-cooked meal is special. In fact, I've found the more down-home the food and the more casual the setting, the livelier and happier the party."
So we didn't even wait for them to invite us over. We emailed and asked if we could invite ourselves, for two nights, and we'd bring everything, except the pecan pies. Tom and Carlotta always provide the pecan pies. Can I just tell you how that endears them to me? I plan to eat it for dessert and breakfast, two times each. 650 calories a slice, and worth every one of them.

So here's what we're having for our 4th of July / longstanding friendship celebration:

Sear-ahead steaks, chopped caesar salad, roasted red potatoes, sliced cold watermelon, and pecan pie, gathered around a table where we didn't worry a whit about the centertpiece, or the linens, or anything like that because sometimes it just doesn't matter that much. This is one of those times.

Four friends, who haven't seen each other in almost two years - that's what matters. The food is just extra. Happy 4th everyone - hope you're spending it by either having someone over, or maybe even being so bold as to invite yourself to sit around someone else's backyard table, or curled up on a blanket with a picnic basket watching fireworks. I don't know about you, but that sure sounds better than childbirth in my mind!


  posted at 9:06 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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