“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.” -Julia Child
“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’! In other words, friendship is the most important thing–not career or housework, or one’s fatigue–and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” -Julia Child
As a lover of little details, I tend to lose the big picture very quickly–especially when I am entertaining. What starts out as preparation for a dinner with loved ones turns into a mad race against the clock under the watchful eye of the invisible culinary professor who sits on my shoulder.
“You cooked that pasta a little past al dente, I hope you know.”
“You’re using CANNED broth for that reduction?”
“Who placed this steak knife on the wrong side of the dinner plate?!”
Last week, Mr. Smith and I planned a cookout at our place in honor of our lovely house guest, Lindsay Katt. A musician from New York City, Lindsay is an intuitive songwriter who has been on the ballot for a Grammy for her song “Heart Place.” (Listen to this and other hits here!) Needless to say, the evening had to be JUST RIGHT!
When the night finally arrived, we were ready. The menu was set, the guests were invited, the chicken was marinating.
And then it started to rain.
No worries! West Texas rains tend to come and go just long enough to cool the air off and Lord knows we needed the water. Ten minutes before our guests were due to arrive the skies opened up and it really began to pour.
“Hmmm, looks like we will be hosting a cook-IN…” I thought.
Now, eating indoors in the summertime is not a problem…if your house is air-conditioned. Ours, unfortunately, is not, and the kitchen/dining area can get pretty warm, especially if the oven is on and there is a crowd of people occupying the space.
My shoulder chef began to panic.
Then I began to panic.
But then I realized that I could either stress out and apologize non-stop to my guests for the weather and our lack of A/C…or I could see the meal as an adventure and have fun.
I chose the latter.
So as the guests were arriving, we threw open the windows, turned on every box fan we owned and planned for a cook IN!
(Even though we moved the grill to the garage, Mr. Smith got a little damp in the cooking process.)
And wouldn’t you know it? We all had a great, though slightly sweaty, time.
Here is a glimpse inside our fun evening (thanks to Lindsay and her camera skills):
Wanna know the secret to a great cook-in?
It also helps if these people have great smiles…
…and infectious laughter.
Always make sure to give your guests a warm welcome…
…however that might look.
Also, keep in mind that farmers are bigger socialites than they let on to be.
Meanwhile, Elliott tries to remember the last time he attended a cook-in:
Nobody eats until everyone is seated, Kristy!
Eating, laughing and talking. My three favorite things. 🙂
Here’s how you know a cook-in is a success: Strangers part as friends.
Here’s to many more great meals–no matter the weather!
Thank you, Lindsay, for visiting us!
For more info on the talented Ms. Katt, friend her on Facebook or visit her website!