Now, an abrupt segue to our regularly scheduled program.
Does the prospect of entertaining lower your boiling point and raise your blood pressure? What about entertaining people who write, rather feistily at times, about their passion for food? Do you now have innovative and prosecutable uses for that freshly sharpened set of knives?
David Shaw, food and wine critic for the LA Times, ran a column once about never being invited to dinner parties by his friends. They were all too crazy intimidated, it appeared, by his love of food and his knowledge of wine. After that column ran, he received dozens of letters and invitations from his readership, and he accepted, and wrote about, a few of these dinner parties. As I read those columns I thought that was a very sweet gesture. And when his columns went missing I found that the universe had rewarded his sweetness with a swift and fatal brain tumor.
I bring this up to let a friend who has publicly confessed to being intimidated by the prospect of hosting a number of her food-obsessed friends know she is not alone. But in response to this I say:
The best food is prepared with love and by someone else.
Example A) Migas, in my family at least, are corn tortillas fried til crisp, then scrambled into a couple of eggs, topped with a moderate or heaping amount of sour cream (salt is essential, for this lass). I make this every now and then, usually for the kids. What I make, however, is never as good as those my mother makes for me.
Example B) The best damn pot-au-feu I ever tried was made by a beloved friend who rarely cooked. I have never equaled that simple, delicious dish.
Example C) Each year my dear friend hosts a dinner party. Her guests refuse any changes in her menu. And the twice baked potatoes are incomparable.
So, forget about cooking with gas! Cook with love and you've got it made.