I have wanted to start a tradition that centers around regular get togethers and food for a long time. Since I was a child, my imagination built grand plans around beautiful old houses with large yards, wraparound porches, and multiple generations coming together for regular candlelight dinners outside. I read a lot as a child….
I have been incredibly lucky to have been raised in a family that gathers regularly. At home we had dinner together almost every night. Anytime we go to India to see cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, all most all of the ‘family visits’ are centered around a home cooked meal. My best friend Ryn and I planned extravagant dinner parties while we were in high school, complete with seating arrangements, place cards and several courses. Summer was filled with block party potlucks, office party barbecues and picnics at the Hollywood Bowl.
Making things from scratch is something that is hard wired into my approach in the kitchen. My mom taught me how to mix and cook with fresh spices. My dad taught me how to clean fish and meat. My friends at school had no sympathy when I complained about how I was forced to eat [homemade] Indian food every week. Thanks to Ryn, I made it a rule to make all baked goods from scratch.
Beginning this September 2012, I aim to start this new tradition and I’m calling it Family First Fridays. I took my inspiration from a Food52 article on another family’s tradition. The first Friday of every month, I will host some kind of family gathering centered around good food and drink. I have a very temporal definition of family – my family includes my immediate family, friends and neighbors. The people I like to keep around includes anyone who is fun to hang out with regularly, appreciates my cooking and has a good sense of humor. I send out reminders a week in advance and if you can make it, just RSVP so I know how many place settings to lay out for dinner. Then come on over to eat, chat, catch up and relax.
B and I are young, busy and live in a small apartment in the city. I can’t guarantee a 3 course dinner every Friday but I think we can still have fun. I hope I can continue this tradition through for many many years to come.
September Dinner Menu