3/12/2006

Cooking Dinner for Other People - Epilogue

My father-in-law (Maurice, the wunderchef) has taught me some things about cooking. Rule Number One: no matter what doesn’t go right with what you're serving, put it on the table and shut up. Rule Number Two: dinner takes less time if you work quickly, and you can work quickly with practice. Rule Number Three: the more you cook the easier it gets.

The potatoes weren’t cooking fast enough. The roast was done resting. The salad was ready to toss, and even the asparagus had come off the grill. Still those little taters refused to brown and crisp. The cocktail hour was reaching its factual limit, the nibble bowls were nearly empty (except for the olives), and the gin and tonics were getting down to ice cubes. In a last ditch effort, not knowing what else to do, I turned the broiler on high. That was the only true moment of anxiety the whole evening. I decided to shove them all into a serving bowl and call everyone to the table. I served the dish of potatoes, and even though I should have implemented Maurice’s first rule, I just quoted the rule, which must be almost as good.

Everything else was a breeze. The food was tasty. I had prepared enough (though the roast shrunk during cooking) food. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Nobody was shocked that there were blocks under the coffee table. The Girl gave a brief piano concert.

When you decide to move someplace you check out all kinds of things, but you don’t really get to interview the neighbors. We were incredibly lucky because the Nordlinger’s are incredibly friendly and unpretentious. Their two kids are sociable, well mannered, and interesting. After dessert The Girl and their youngest son went to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and their 13-year-old son stayed and talked with us at the table. We talked about our town, the schools, where we grew up, and the benefits of using Netflix. It was almost 10 when we realized that it was late. We all said good-bye and they left out our backdoor through the gate that leads to their yard.

Even the clean up didn’t seem too onerous! We had it done in no time.

This reminds me of Rule Number Three. I can do this. I’m thinking of whom we should invite next. A former colleague of Evan’s is on the list. Just about everybody we know has had us over for dinner, so I could get lots of practice.

2 comments:

SF Mom of One said...

I love happy endings. With hints about the sequel, even.

Ken Sternberg said...

Deb! Us foodies need more posts from you. What have you all been eating, lately?