hosting dinner

Mud Pie
Mud Pie

This year I decided to host a party for my birthday. I haven’t hosted an adult party at my house since I moved to San Francisco over five years ago. It is one of those things that can be nerve racking because you want to get it right – have the right amount food, have everyone enjoy themselves, and not be too exhausted after the whole thing.

The party was a celebration of my birthday but more so an appreciation to the friends I have made here. Moving to a new place with almost no connections can be daunting, building friendships takes time. I have been lucky to meet really great people through work, gatherings in my neighborhood, and from my daughter’s school activities.

For me, the food was important. I planned to cook everything myself. When discussing options with one of my friends/guests, he commented “just buy a couple of frozen lasagnes.” I chuckled and thought “no. way.” I wanted to cook and put the time into making a great meal. The menu included vegetarian and meat lasagne, salad, wine, and the favorite dessert in our house, mud pie.

It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat…. Julia Child

Dinner parties are a great way to build community. Making a meal for someone shows that you care about them. Inviting people into your house gives them a glimpse into your personal taste and style that maybe you do not display outside your house. Dinner parties give a chance to build closeness in a relationship that you may not get at a meal in restaurant. As I am writing, I am reminded even Jesus thought having dinner with friends was important before his death.

Working in a area without a lot of fresh food retail options, I see people promoting gardens and fresh food a lot. However we shouldn’t forget the harvest and the opportunity to build community around the eating of food. There is even an organization, Spoons Across America, teaching kids to plan, organize, and throw dinner parties for their family and community though its Dinner Party Project. Another way to share the work is to have a progressive dinner party, each course is eaten at a different house throughout the evening.

When was the last time you invited your community to your house for dinner?

Read the other articles from the series here.

One Response to “hosting dinner”

  1. I have said to my peeps recently that I don’t think my generation really knows how to entertain. The OG’s (50s and up) get it, the Old Heads (late 30s and 40s) understand, but I just don’t think our generation cares or really sees the point in entertaining. It always seems to come down to a financial decision — understandably so, because entertaining isn’t cheap. But no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to entertain. If you’re gonna do it, do it with quality. I strive to do that with parties I have — just had a “Welcome to Baltimore” party with Lauren, and we had wonderful offerings 🙂 I think a periodic dinner party may be next. Kudos on this article, and I hope the party went great! I’ll check out the links you posted also!