a word on the potluck

mint tea for three


The wild corner of our garden (I always like the wild corners best) is overtaken with mint, so I stooped and steeped and churned fresh mint ice cream, the first of the season.  But that isn’t what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about potlucks, but the story begins there.  Because the six egg whites in the refrigerator leftover from said ice cream brought to mind brutti ma buoni, and I opened Everlasting Meal to find the recipe.

First let me say that I live in the land of the potluck.  “Bring a dish” is the default and often goes unsaid.  I have always been happy with this arrangement.  It is conducive to parties with plenty of food for the guests and less pressure for the hosts: both very valuable things.  But this time flipping through Tamar Adler’s book (I’ve read it cover to cover at least five times), a small paragraph caught my eye:

There’s great value in being able to say “yes” when people ask if there is anything they can do.  By letting people pick herbs or slice bread instead of bringing a salad, you make your kitchen a universe in which you can give completely and ask for help.  The more environment with that atmospheric makeup we can find or create, the better.

I like living in a world of parties with plenty of food and less pressure, but these days Tamar Adler’s vision seems better.  The world generally (and the Midwest particularly) could use more places where you “can give completely and ask for help.”



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