"Hey Jean, How are your dinner parties going?" was how my former food studies professor Amy Bently, who happens to live in the same NYU faculty housing as we do, greeted me the other day. Bently was dressed in running attire, haired pulled back, headed back home after a jog.
"Ugh, well, I'm kind of taking a break for a little while." I stammered. I was slightly nervous, as book proposal on the same topic was part of my final thesis, and I had failed to sell the book.
"The other day I was cooking for friends and wondering how you managed to do it. It's completely exhausting"
"Yes, well, you should see what happens when you invite the heavy drinkers over," mainly referring to myself and my penchant for a nice Cotes du Rhone.
"Well, good luck with everything." She walked purposefully off to her next important meeting or event and I was left to think about my life on the street. Am I going to abandon the project?
Which of course got me thinking: why haven't I thrown any dinner parties since we got back from White Salmon, WA? Was is the weight gain, the wine, the three big dinners cooked for friends and family each week? Was it the transition to being home again after such an extended time? Getting back to real life now that both boys are in school?
Probably yes to all the above.
The good news is that the experiment worked. Cooking for other people at least twice a month, definately made me feel like I was a part of a larger community.
On the negative end, all of my pants are extremely tight and my self and my bank account are yearning to refocus my energies on my writing career. I feel like I need to be burried in a mudbath at Canyon Ranch, not elbow-deep in butter, preparing my next 3-course meal.
When I was in junior high I won two awards for my class: best dressed and most dramatic. And while my wardrobe may have suffered as the years have continued, certainly the drama label still applies. So how do I do dinner parties and at-home entertaining without feeling burned out and bloated?
Like any good self-help addict, I turn to the step system:
1. Do a 3-5 day cleanse recommended and lead by the acupuncturist to the beauty industry gals, Laura Kauffmann.
2. Lay off the wine and cheese.
3. Take it one dinner party at a time. We are throwing a large Halloween party this year. For now, that is enough.