Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eat, Love

So, I’m in the middle of Eat, Pray, Love and I am so…hungry. Goodness gracious, how Elizabeth Gilbert can describe food! Yes, I know I’m a little late to the party (like 5 years and a movie late), but now that I’m here, I’m wondering what I can bring. After all, one of my favorite kinds of get-together is a potluck.

I’ve always loved to cook, and my friends have been feeding my obsession since junior year of college. As soon as we moved out of the dorms and into houses with real working kitchens, we started making dinners for each other. Over the years, there’s been tons of theme meals, forays into all kinds of cuisine, and, of course, plenty of potlucks. Our dinner rotation has added and lost members for various reasons—going abroad, writing a thesis, moving for a job—but we always have room at the table when someone wants to come back. Case in point: last November marked our second Friendsgiving potluck, and my scattered friends drove, flew, and bussed to Boston to participate. It was a gut-busting success, and I’m looking forward to the third annual celebration this November.

Because I love the social aspect and the actual act, to me, cooking is the perfect combination of beauty and utility. (Oh, how I covet the same from my cookware! A Le Creuset set and Kitchenaid mixer are my dream “when-I-grow-up” purchases.) Both process and product can be enjoyed in equal measure. I can think of no more pleasant way to say “I care” than gathering ingredients, turning up some music, making the kitchen smell like heaven, and having my friends come over to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

Now that I think about it, I’m drawn to cooking the same way I’m drawn to books. Both are labors of love, created for the audience and for the self. There’s an instinct, a knack that the masters have in either profession that’s just a little ineffable. A great meal or a great book can change the course of a life, but a good, steady diet of both is essential. Speaking of which, I’ve got a memoir to savor. As they say in Italy, buon appetito!


  1. Oh, I loved reading Eat, Pray, Love! ^_^ (Didn't care so much for the movie, tho. =P)

    I also love eating, and cooking, and going to potlucks. ^_^ For a couple years, my family and I have gone to vegetarian potlucks for Thanksgiving. They're always so much fun!

    Friendsgiving! Now that is creative! lol

  2. I'm loving it too! You could say I'm devouring it. :) I adore me some Julia Roberts, so I'm waiting until the end of this book to see how they stack up.

    Oh, veggie recipes! Any standouts? There are a couple of friend in my dinner rotation who are vegetarians, and a few more (myself included) who keep kosher. It's always a balancing act.

    Hee. It's also known as Thanksdrinking, but it's OK! We're all of legal age. :)

  3. Delicious post! I was also drawn in by Elizabeth Gilbert's descriptions of food-indeed, it was actually my favorite part of the book since I wasn't as moved as most readers to 'find myself'.

    I think food people and book people are often one and the same, like you suggested. Several of my coworkers keep baking blogs and our office kitchen often is full of homemade goodies. And when you finally get your Kitchenaid (like I did finally this past Christmas), it will lead to endless delicious creations. Enjoy!

  4. I loved the food in Italy, and now that I'm in Bali, I'm loving her anthropological research. India was interesting...I kind of want to try meditation, but I think I'm too impatient to get anything out of it. Maybe that's the point? :)

    Oh my gosh, you have a Kitchenaid? Do you love it? Have you named it? What color is it? (I have been trying to figure out which color I want for years. I keep going back and forth.) What the best thing you've baked with it?

  5. Yes, I have a Kitchenaid and it is the best thing in the world. I also think I'm the only Manhattanite with one! My roommates see me using it and they're always in awe.

    Mine is classic white- although I would have loved to get a pink one, I don't want to be using it in 30 years laughing at my impulsive girly-ness. Although I kind of hope I'm still impulsively girly when I'm fifty. :-)

    Anyways, I tend to bake every kind of cookies- my secret ingredient chocolate chip cookies, butter cookies, lemon bars- but I also love whipping up a super sweet buttercream frosting to top cupcakes!

    And now I really want to bake something tonight...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. There is nothing impulsive about pink. It's my favorite color! But it's a great hope. Mind if I steal it for myself? :)

    I seriously waffle back and forth monthly on color choices. It's like the fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty. ("Pink! No, blue! Pink! Blue! Red! SILVER! No..") Of course, I love this pretty thing:

    Oooo...A good lemon square is hard to find, and cupcake frosting is definitely my weakness. Did you end up firing up the mixer last night?

  8. That is amazing! Maybe I need more than one mixer :-)

    I didn't bake the other day...but only because I had already made mascarpone cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies that week. Sadly, my waistline can't keep up with my baking!