But while I mull over the contents of another entry that I've been contemplating, I want to share a wonderful experience I had last night at a friend's dinner party.
This was no ordinary "dinner party." It was goal-oriented as my friend, Karin Eastham, is in the process of writing a cookbook ("Cook the Part") that is designed for people who enjoy (even if they have never tried) making dinner with friends. Rather than being faced with the question, "What can I do to help?" she composed a series of menus and organizes all the steps of the dinner so that every one (or every 'team,' as we did it last night), has a specific objective or responsibility, which is laid out clearly.
In this case, the objective was to prepare a Tuscan Farmhouse Dinner that we would all enjoy that same evening. There were 4 teams, each with specific responsibilities. My team was responsible for preparing the marinade for the chicken that another team would prepare. We also made a tomato/mozzarella (burata) salad (a variation from the planned menu because our hostess found amazing heirloom tomatoes), and sliced and seasoned zucchini for grilling. Other teams were responsible for flattening and grilling the boneless chicken breasts and grilling the zucchini; making the Tuscan white beans; and preparing the fallen chocolate souffle.
The food was great, but the best part was meeting a group of highly accomplished women who didn't feel the need to talk about work to define themselves, but about living life. that was why, even though it was a "school night," we didn't break to go home until after 11 p.m. Had it been a weekend, we might have continued through the night (or at least until the wine ran out).