I picked up my daughter from my friend Debbie’s house a few days ago and Debbie’s 8-year old daughter greeted me at my car, balancing two mini pans of freshly made meatloaves on her oven-mitt protected hands. My dinner for the night! The next day, my friend Kathe stopped by with a cast iron kettle filled to the brim with an aromatic Bolognese sauce. As she carried the pot into my kitchen and placed it onto the stove, she explained that the sauce, which she started earlier that day at her house, needed to continue slow simmering yet she needed to get some air. Soon, the smoky scent of red wine, ground beef and herbs began to permeate my house. Kathe chuckled while admitting that I was the only friend she would do this with. How lucky for me! Later, as she was getting ready to leave, she packed up some sauce for me — a small price to pay for lending her a burner.
I’ve shared pot pies, breads, meatballs and sauce with my friends without thinking twice, and gave them a surprise dinner for the night. What comes around goes around in a give-and-take food relationship. I share an intimacy in the kitchen with my cooking friends that is often rewarded with the sharing of food.