My best friend is in town! In addition to all the fun we’re going to have and sights we’re going to see, it also means an opportunity to feed people. I may have mentioned it a time or two, but it’s worth mentioning again how much I love to feed my friends and I take every opportunity I get to share my cooking.
My mom loves to have people over (although I’m still not sure she likes to cook) and loves it when people enjoy her food. For us, having company meant having food to share; learning to cook my mother’s way meant that I learned to cook with the intent of having something to offer to others.
When people came over to visit (either planned or unplanned), I learned through observing that offering food was a sign of hospitality (not having food to offer didn’t really seem to be an option). We actually weren’t big on leftovers ourselves, but cooking in large batches means you always have food to share. So, it is perhaps because of the constant flow of people that when I learned how to cook, I learned to cook in large batches.
Every Haitian kitchen I’ve ever been in has a lot of rather large pots (kind of like the pots in this picture) and the fridge always appeared really well stocked. There’s something great about having all burners going and the wonderful smells of home cooking. Even better than that is the joy of sitting with your friends, enjoying the company and the food.
Some of my favorite memories are of my mom’s dinner parties. It’s not just the food, it’s the friendship and happiness that comes with it. I love how food can bring a group of people together and how it can help change the mood of a room, and I believe that you really can’t get to know someone until you eat with them. Friends would come over to the house, and we didn’t even have to be doing much; it was just an opportunity for good conversation and to enjoy each other’s company.
I know that not everyone loves to have large groups over for dinner, so I’m trying to scale down the recipes for the blog (because I know that life’s not always a party) but especially for the party foods, they will usually be party sized. If you don’t like leftovers, this will just give you an excuse to invite some friends over to share the joy.