I have friends who think we’re stark raving mad to host our Thursday Night Kitchen Suppers every week. Too much work and energy, kids off their schedules, burned entrees, a pile of pans in the sink waiting for you the next morning, too much time behind the stove and not nearly enough with a cocktail in your hand…their list goes on and on. But last night was a testament to why the kitchen supper philosophy really works – easy, no fuss dinners with an emphasis not on perfection, but getting people together.
Does Edie need breastfeeding just as the entrée is almost ready? Okay, the burners turn off, the baby gets fed, the guests have another glass of wine and sample more of the St. Andre, the dinner waits for my return. Does Lucy want to “cook” with Mommy? Sure, we grab the “cooking stool”, a pair of tongs and my little blossoming cook pushes the salad around the bowl until it is thoroughly tossed. It won’t make the cover of Bon Appetite but it still tastes great.
Last night’s crew – Jamie and Joe (the girl’s Godfathers), Martha and Matthew (my sister-in-law and brother-in-law) and a lovely young woman named Allie (a friend of a friend from Australia who was in town and didn’t know anyone in the city), who wore six inch, sex red high heels and had plump breasts that stood perfectly erect – something I haven’t seen in the mirror in quite some time; I was mesmerized. Anyway, having Allie there changed the dynamic between people who all knew each other and made it feel more like an “evening”. It was great to have her with us.
Joe and I hung out in the kitchen and discussed the intricacies of Top Chef on Bravo – why Tom Colicchio is fun to watch and why we are happy they got rid of Billy Joel’s limp-as-a-noodle wife and got the knowledgeable, but TV-friendly, Padma to replace her. We decided that Todd Oldham is a ridiculous host on Top Design and the judges on the show are collectively the worst dressers on television.
David and I spent a good deal of the beginning of the evening convincing Jamie and Joe they should move to Harlem with us, since we just recently purchased a beautiful three bedroom up there (so we will be moving in a few months). Jamie was the king, holding court from his comfy leather chair, the one he usually falls asleep in when he’s here. We talked about our mothers - about how they both lost their husbands, one quickly, one over time and in bits and pieces.
A clatch of smokers regularly formed on the balcony and dished about things that seemed mysterious and captivating. Allie got a call from Dave in California and that made her happy to speak with him. She has the warmest feelings for him. She’s very sweet.
Matthew poured wine for everyone, popped his head in and out of the kitchen and snuck in behind me now and again to get a wine bottle out of the fridge. Martha finally had her cast off after her shoulder surgery and so, she could dig into the meal without help, and God bless her, she thinks we’re nuts for wanting a third baby. It became quite a discussion when I confessed I was trying to convince David to make number three a “hard-to-adopt” child, but so far, he’s not biting. He's gung-ho for the natural way. After I mentioned this out loud, that sealed the deal - Martha definitely thought I had dropped off the perimeter. But we ended up laughing hysterically over her reaction - all in good fun. Allie, Martha and Matt took off, the kids fell asleep and Jamie, Joe, David and I laid around like lumps talking about psychotherapy.
The food turned out great – but that’s not really the point. I made Mario Batali’s Linguine with Clams and Mussels (I’ll put up the recipe in my next post), which was simple, easy and delicious. I murdered the octopus in an attempt to make an octopus salad, but I recovered it and just served the meal with salad and Ciabbatta. Lucy proudly worked the room serving everyone cookies for dessert, as is the tradition. Edie fell asleep and got passed around the room like a favorite warm blanket. It was good to be with people we love.