Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Dinner Party

Boris Kustodiev, Traktir (restaurant) in Mosco...Image via Wikipedia

And why is it that although I have a handle on entertaining guests in my home, I am occasionaly gripped with fear of failure? What if they can't come, or don't want to, or cancel at the last minute? What if I'm planning a recipe that is so far out of their eating comfort zone that it is rendered inedible? What if I've prepared it several times and my husband declares it is "definitely a winner - "company" food" as he calls it. Meaning that it is so delicious to him, why wouldn't everyone love it?

When was the last time I went to a very nice restaurant or even to someone's home and was totally disappointed with the food - why? Why not? It was too salty, it was too rich, it was too heavy - o.k., o.k., even the best chefs might have a bad night. But I mean in the scheme of things how off could I be? Even if they don't like it, they'll eat a little - although I wish they wouldn't if it's really bad. They'll wonder where I ever came up with such a recipe or maybe I didn't have one - oh, who knows? But, if they're friends, it won't really matter will it? We'll have a good time, we'll laugh, we'll tell crazy stories and maybe years from now we'll commiserate over that awful dish I served them years ago...............

Maybe I should paint the dining room red tomorrow a.m. - like in the photo - I used to have a red dining room and I only remember very good meals served in that venue......I am quite certain that my guests, as I would in their homes, are looking forward to fun, food, and conversation, with food really being the last on the list - I hope. (The damp red paint might signal desperation wouldn't it?)

And if nothing else can pull my head together on this subject - go for the religious - I mean Jesus was the definite and ultimate superior feast planner and although everyone attending remembered there was a menu, disciples then and now still only fixate on the bread and the wine and on the important conversation that happened during the meal. So there, that's it, I'm calm now - a good prayer always helps everything!

EVER feel like this?

Oh, and P.S. the recipe really is a winner - if the guests love it, maybe I'll share it on MindSieve.
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  1. Anonymous5:51 AM

    As I tell my beloved,
    If anyone comes to my home for other than the conversation and to be with each other, Then they should be confined from the sacred place of the table. The table is a sacred space in the home, where we share who we are and what we have, openly and without reservation. The table is church realized in a way an institution could only hope to achieve. When the wine is open amongst friends it is sanctified, when the bread is brought to table to be shared communion is realized.
    Tonight we will be having friends over for croquet and pasta dinner. When we open the wine and bring bread to table, we will have in mind that we are sharing communion in Christ with SS & CP.
    God's Peace


  2. Just remember the night the host who had prepared a beautiful table and then handed out menus from a bunch of nearby take out joints and asked us each to chose what we wanted.

  3. We do an exercise on exactly this situation in our introductory Enneagram weekend - the different approaches people take and the different emotions they have when inviting friends for dinner.

    It's always very revealing!

  4. Bruno reminds me of our family dinners on Sunday after church - when Holy Communion was less common on Sundays. It was always pot roast, oven brown potatoes, a veggie and bread. Dad always said the blessing before anything got started, and then insisted that bread must be broken before eaten. Years later in seminary it dawned on me that it was all very Eucharistic:
    Luke 24:35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

  5. oh this post has my curiosity on high alert. i wonder who the guests are...why your anxiety is high...what's for riley it tonight...i'm sure you'll fill us in in some detail...please :-) bon appetite!! xoxo

    btw--i have never gone away from your table hungry for either food or stimulating conversation...

  6. Bruno - what a blessing your comment was for me for the day of the dinner party and the event itself. It was truly a blessed occasion - not about the food but about the friendship and sharing. Thank you so much!

    CP - I remember the evening well and had a delicious meal that evening and the fellowship was extraordinary - you just remember it because your food wasn't delivered:(

    Your second comments re around the table on Sundays was a lovely picture in which I can see your Dad behaving just as you describe. A lovely breaking of the bread!

  7. Tess, I am going to have to try and find my enneagram results - I believe they are somewhere in my workshop/events file. I love the idea of an exercise, like you mention, built around sharing table with friends!

    Lucy, You obviously would be surprised at the anxiety I can generate over entertaining friends and/or family - I can get myself going! It was, of course, a lovely evening with lots of food, fun and conversation:)