Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Final Dinner Party Update

Somewhere between the 15th and 25th dinner party, I sort of lost it. I stopped updating this blog, stopped exercising, stopped reading (!), stopped pitching articles, stopped doing anything but throw dinner parties. I become Mrs. Dalloway--the quest seemed to take over my whole life.

During my year-long journey, I got so into the cooking, the recipes, the wine, the procuring of ingredients, the whirlwind of making new friends, gathering guest lists, entertaining the kids, making the perfect i-tunes mixes, that I just stopped writing about the dinners. But maybe, like my Israeli friends would say, "This is good." I was in the moment, fully. Life is meant to be enjoyed, no? And really, after the first few parties, how much is there to tell? I have many other things to share, believe me.

Here's the important thing I learned: cooking for friends has had untold benefits to my life and my family's life. It's given me a deeper sense of community and helped launch friendships I might have otherwise not have had. I have two kids, a part-time job and a super-active social life. This is the direct result of my year-long quest. I no longer feel isolated, or like "just a mom." By bringing a diverse range of people to my dinner table, I have managed to hold onto some of my old "adult life." For this I am thankful.

On the negative side, I gained ten pounds, increased my wine intake and had less time to actually work on my writing. While the year was brilliant, I need to pull back a bit. Somewhere in all this is some sort of balance; I am trying to feel this out. But then again I've always been a bit prone to extremes.

Recently, I have been entertaining less, exercising more and focusing on our nightly dinners. But I still threw two great parties in the past month--a Halloween party and an election party. I am learning to ask others to bring dishes, wine, cheese. I am learning to let others clean up. This is good.

As I have done in the past months, I will continue to expand this blog to include book reviews (with recipes, of course), food essays and travel guides (with kids!).

Thank you for your loyalty--and staying tuned.


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