Mary's Dinner Clubs Stories - How To Choose Themes
‘How do you choose your themes’? people often ask me…. There is really no one way. I think mainly it’s just that I’m a true ‘foodie’ - I love anything food: reading and talking about it, shopping for it, taking pictures of it, cooking and of course eating it…
Naturally I get ideas and suggestions from my guests (ex-, future-, and regulars alike) which I enjoy following up on. Dinner club guests come from such varied backgrounds; they are fantastic ‘cookbooks’ in their own right.
I’m also a big fan of the American chef Anthony Bourdain and his travel/food show ‘No reservations’ and his discoveries and his humorous take on things always inspire me. However, quite often it’s a flashback from one of my own travels reminding me of eating something delicious or seeing something ‘interesting looking’ that incites me to do some research online.
Sometimes it’s an out-of- the-ordinary ingredient I see in one of the little Asian shops around town that makes me enquire what it’s used for. I just recently got some mustard seed oil in one of them after a fascinating conversation with the very knowledgeable shop owner who has travelled extensively in Thailand. In those shops you don’t just shop – you ‘talk shop’.
But even a local vegetable or fruit in season, particularly abundant and fresh-looking makes me want to cook with it. I frequently return from my favorite Saturday morning farmers market with greens to feed an army just because they look so beautiful.
And then of course there are more practical reasons, like what’s in my freezer, what’s available at a good prize, and not seldom: what do I feel like having. Next Saturday’s Moroccan lemon-olive Tajine for example - it was such a success when we first had it, such a mouthwatering combination of flavors, I’ve literally been dreaming about it, especially with those beautiful lemons all over the place constantly reminding me of it. Cooking it for a whole group of people is certainly better fun and I’m sure guests will not object to this particular craving of mine.
To come and taste it along with hot and fluffy homemade flat bread and followed by traditional date-filled ‘Haloua’ sign up at http://www.facebook.com/events/150051581771331/ or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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