Joe is coming to town tomorrow and on Friday we are hosting some of my friends for dinner. (Don’t worry. I borrowed a card table and chairs from another friend so that my guests don’t have to sit on the floor.)
I like to entertain and I think that I do a good job setting a mood and atmosphere. I do not excel at cooking meals for large people. I find it overwhelming and intimidating.
Fortunately, for the diners, Joe meets meal preparation with aplomb. And he dives in the art of cooking like someone who is both comfortable doing it and finds it enjoyable.
But for my part, I like to be a good team player. I want to help come up with ideas and contribute in some quantifiable way. Because ultimately, I like to learn and someday I hope that I don’t consider the kitchen a daunting arena. So today I chose a reference text to help inspire me. The Charleston (SC) Receipts Repeats provides some good recipes that I am using during the brainstorming process and articulates some accommodations that I want to make. For instance, I want to have an entrée that can be prepared beforehand and simply put in the oven when the time comes. (Which also helps address the obstacle of having a really small kitchen.) And this simple statement has helped direct the meal. As have both religious and personal dietary restrictions.
Planning for this one night has underscored the importance of being open to suggestions and requests as well as the usefulness of a reference text. I don’t make headway — on anything — until I recognize that I, alone, don’t have all the answers.