I love to eat. I love to eat good food. I love to eat to excess. But sometimes, I just get tired of the constant bombardment of food during holidays, or those weird long weekends when friend and family visits overlap, and it seems as if there is a contest to see who can put the most rich food on the table. Sometimes, I just want to sit down with a simple meal, a nice glass of wine, and relax and chat. Why does everything have to be a food brawl? Oh, don’t answer that, because I really enjoy those brawls. But in the rush to overload the table, sometimes we lose sight of the pleasures of good food, good drink and good company.
Today was a good example. But for some reason, a few of us gravitated away from the table and toward a comfortable set of sofa and chairs and sat for an hour or so, speaking of absolutely nothing important, eating nothing and nursing a few glasses of good wine. And it was lovely.
Maybe that is the advantage of a more formal dinner party? The food and drink is brought out at a pace designed to maximize pleasure; gustatory, alcoholic and intellectual, so one’s liver isn’t overwhelmed. I think I will test this hypothesis. Of course I have the perfect dish around which to build this liver-saving meal — Cassoulet!