Monday, November 16, 2009

a winner! and dinner party thoughts...

I know you're dying of suspense, but before I tell you who won the fancy coffee maker, a few thoughts on dinner parties...

For those of you who pay attention to dates, you may notice that the salon challenge date was yesterday, with no dinner party from me.
I've been meaning to tell you that it's coming, it's coming. I've had to reschedule twice, and so I have missed my own deadline. But it's on again, and I have faith that on this night to come in December, my guests will indeed arrive.
But just because I haven't posted, doesn't mean that you shouldn't. I've just heard from Laurel (hello old friend!) about a lovely soiree involving foods from "the country of northwest autumn" (I'll visit that country anytime!) for 12 with place cards and everything. Has anyone else been taking the challenge? Please, do tell.
If this challenge is news to you, go here to learn more, and here to find the current theme. Of course, the holiday that is queen of all dinner parties is coming up, and I'd love to see those too.

The heart of this whole endeavor is the act of invitation. I like to focus on people I don't know or don't know that well, but sometimes the challenge can just be finding the time to invite an old friend to dinner. I don't know about you, but I can't tell you how many times "we've got to have you over for dinner one of these days!" gets thrown around on a weekly basis. When it gets down to it, if I can't find the time to invite someone in, my life is too damned busy.

So there you have it. I'm sure you've all read your final issue of Gourmet six or seven times. But because it bears repeating, I thought I'd let Ruth speak on the challenge, through her very final letter from the editor. Someday, maybe she'll come too, but either way, she definitely gets it.

From Ruth Reichl, in her Letter from the Editor from the very last issue of Gourmet, November 2009

"For me, the whole point of asking people to dinner is that you're inviting them into your life. They show up for a true reality show, for a moment when they discover who you really are. Your friends may not get a faultless meal in a fabulous house, but they do get the pleasure of knowing that you trust them. If you want a cleaned-up version of the truth, you can always hire a caterer and a phalanx of servers and be assured a perfect evening. But perfect evenings rarely lead to great friendships."

So tell me your thoughts, plans, hell, if you invite me to your dinner party and I don't have to get on a plane, I will go through anything to get there.

And now, yes, it's time. Thank you to my random number generator (Joey and his cubs hat) for choosing the winner of the scientific and beautiful Coffee maker....

Paul O.

Hooray for Paul! Send me an email with your address and it will be on its way.

And I have to say, your words on coffee were poignant and perfect. This challenge also pulled some old friends out of the woodwork, an added bonus for me! (Hello everyone... so nice to see you over here.) So that we can all be winners today, I have put together everyone's words, in the order that I got them, in a bit of an ode...

reason to get up,
warmth for wintry weather.

it hits the spot...
morning lifeblood-evening composure.

Coffee, noun: mental treadmill
Milk NO, Sugar NO...perfect

Awake all night. Coffee=survival
makes me feel alive

Dark goddesses persistent concoction
'tis time, 'tis time
the morning alchemist's 'aqua vitae'
better than green chile

dark delicious bitter black brew
Between cold hands, fragrant refuge
Coffee saves patients' lives daily

Thanks everyone. Hope you all are having a fabulous Monday.


  1. Oooo, I do love the ode to coffee! Congrats, Paul!

  2. I love your dinner party idea! It probably won't happen until January for me, but I'll definitely start planning.

  3. P.S. I have dinner party plans--Bosnian food! Burek and slivovitz and poached plums with kaymak!--but my sous-chef is all busy with library school. I will send pictures and rhapsodes at the appropriate juncture.