Jenny Rosenstrach on dinner as a love story
Every day while I make my way around the kitchen, investigate what we have in the fridge and the pantry, I have a large sense that food is not only sustenance but also an opportunity to please, delight, satisfy (and more) my family and me.
I also see food as nourishing and recognizing when I take special care w my high school son’s lunch. I want him to be happy when he opens it and also excited to enjoy it. I get a lift when a lovely meal comes my way; I want that for him in the midst of a school day. Sometimes I also put little notes in it, which range from labels on the lunch parts to imperatives (fruit before dessert), or just hi how are you love you w little hand drawn hearts.
Since I live alone, cooking for me is usually sustenance. But I belong to a book club that meets monthly. We take turns hosting, making the main dish when it’s our turn and bringing sides when it’s not.
The book club began over 15 years ago when Carol W., Carol G. and I were all working at F.M. Day elementary school. We had all read The Kite Runner and it was such an intense book that we agreed to consider a book club. We added Mary and Melinda within the next couple of years and we’ve lasted for 15+ years.. The person hosting picks the book and about a week out sets the main dish. Then we all chime in on what we will bring. Once or twice, we did not have dessert, so we planned that that would not happen again.
A couple of people have their “specialties”. Melinda almost always brings a killer salad, that goes to someone else when she hosts. Mary likes to bring a snack, sometimes from her garden.
Both Carols are fantastic bakers (and cooks) and their pies are superb.
I don’t have a specialty, but I do love to make an effort every month, with the main dish and with sides.
I’m the vegetarian and they graciously accommodate that with wonderful meals. We’ve had pot pies, pizza, tacos, pastas, quiches, stews, potato bars, beans dishes, Mexican food, roasted vegetables. Sometimes Carol W. will make bread and Carol G. will make soup.
But regardless of the main dish and the sides and salads, dessert is often the masterpiece.
No one every gets exclusive rights to desserts. I think we all enjoy finding something decadent to concoct, peach and blueberry pies, angel food cake, chocolate cake, lemon bars, cookies, custards, Dairy Queen ice cream cake, berry crumbles. I can’t think of one failure, it’s always a delicious treat.
I can’t imagine a book club that does not include a shared meal.
I love this prompt. 3 different scenarios Immediately popped into my mind which delighted me as I have struggled with prompt responses for the past few months, ever since three people who actEd as anchors to my world died within 5 months of each other. Food=Love I can write about that. Thank you.
Gotta ask. Is there a reason Jon and Adam have matching outfits? Was this part of the dinner ritual? And thank you for the Isolation Journals. From red beans and rice to alien ballet, I am nourished every week by the possibilities so generously shared by you and this community.