Entertainment Tips: The From-Aways
I am a person who throws parties, and when I throw a party I like people to feel at home. I usually prop the screen door open so people can just walk right in off the porch. I like to still be finishing up the cooking when people arrive, to recruit them into passing me salt and lemon wedges, and reading me the last lines of the recipe, so that everyone is a part of making dinner happen. (I have a tradition of making one guest write the date of the dinner in my cookbook, next to the recipe, and a little something about the evening—as a result my cookbooks all have excellent memories in their marginalia.) I drink wine while I cook. I am seldom wearing shoes. There is always music playing. A good drinks table is of vital importance. I believe in toasting just about anything. A dinner party is an occasion for storytelling. The From-Aways is, in many ways, a book about the sorts of family we cobble together for ourselves when we move away from home, and I like to think that’s what it feels like when people come over to my house for dinner. Like it is some loving, oddball, family reunion, every time.
- CJ Hauser, author of The From-Aways