I love to entertain. I’ve always found having people over to be exciting; there is a little unknown, a bit of the unexpected, and I find that thrilling. You never know how the conversation will go or how the food will turn out, but that is precisely what makes it exhilarating.
Going out to dinner has taken the place of dinner parties. It’s wonderful, no one has to cook or host, but it doesn’t have the same coziness. You are in a room with other diners. Waiters stepping in and out of your space, taking your order, serving your food, asking if you need something else, and clearing your plate—they are doing their jobs. But it isn’t conducive to conversation or intimacy. There is a time for restaurants and a time for closer-knit dinners.
Our lives are fractured by the technology of our times. There are advantages to this new existence but with that comes an isolation that is against our nature.
As humans we need connection, we need to bond with each other. That relationship allows us to feel valued, to feel seen and heard. It is what makes us feel happy, secure, and loved. To reconnect with our humanity, we need to find ways to spend time together to move beyond our transitory friendships.
Have we moved away from hosting dinner parties because we don’t know how anymore? Because we don’t know how to cook? Or is it just too much work? Whatever the reasons, we are losing an opportunity. Dinner parties allow us to slow down and meander in the moment with people we are getting to know beyond the casualness of our normal encounters.
Even though I’m a passionate host, I have to admit that for the longest time I wasn’t good at it. More often than not I’d find myself in the kitchen finishing up dinner when I’d hear bursts of laughter from the other room. My heart would sink and FOMO would set in, and I knew I was missing out. I was doing something wrong, but I didn’t know how to fix it.
It took a long time but I finally figured out how I could have everything cooked and prepared ahead of time. When the guests arrived, all that I had to do was greet them, light the candles, serve the wine and food, and party along.
These are the thoughts that are going through my head as I begin to outline La Dinner Party: How to host and attend your own dinner party, my next book. It’s time and I’m ready.
In that vein, the first thing I’ve created is a short quiz. Is Entertaining a Chore or Fun? Find out if you need to make some changes. When you get the quiz results you’ll also get some great entertaining tips.
“Through the years I have enjoyed many wonderful meals at Adeline’s table. I am also a passionate cook and have enjoyed our food chats as well as her wonderful tips and secrets. Now I have her incredibly comprehensive cookbook which I can slowly devour. Thank you Adeline! My cup runneth over! “ — Madeline Weinrib
Le Kitchen Cookbook
Everything you need to know to be a good cook.
by Adeline M. Olmer
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