21 December 2014

Dinner Party II

Now that I am out of Facebook, I have to devise some interesting and innovative ways in which to keep in touch with friends. Ever since I quit Facebook in July, I have found myself writing emails more often, and meeting people more often as well. So I opted to do something new, especially for friends who also reside in Berlin. I opted to invite them to dinner parties hosted in our own home.

See, I have always liked cooking. When I was growing up, my mother and father split the duties of teaching the kids about things in the home between the two of them. Father was in charge of teaching us about outdoor activities, such as how to maintain a car, how to do gardening, and so forth. Mother on the other hand was in charge of teaching us about indoor chores, such as how to mend clothes, wash dishes, and cook. I have to say, mother was a better teacher than father, or at least, she knew how children learned. Father would immediately just quit and do things themselves when we children didn't get it right the first few times. But mother persisted and insisted that we repeat things until we got them correctly. Hence, it stuck. Needless to say, I am better at cooking than at gardening.

Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to say was that I have started the habit of hosting small intimate dinner parties for friends. Yes, instead of simply "following" their activities online on Facebook, I opted to invite them and spend some time every now and then at home by cooking meals. And it tends to be a little elaborate every now and then.

See, we only have a small apartment. So it was never my intention to throw large parties. Besides, the more the people, the more chaotic things can be. So instead, I just invite two people at a time, so I would just be preparing a dinner for four. That way, I can do more interesting things, like making a first course, followed by a main course. And the conversation can be more intense and interesting too, instead of just a bunch of small talk with plenty of people in a noisy party, it tends to be small and intimate discussions on the dining table between four diners.

Some samples of my dinner menu: I once made Tuscan liver pate as a first course, spread on peasant bread, followed by chicken braised on white wine, sage, and onions, paired with roasted pumpkin. Since pumpkin was in season, I repeated that as a good vegetable side dish, while I made a zucchini basil soup, followed by pan-fried pork chops marinated in Thai fish sauce and brown sugar. I tend to skip dessert, or ask my guests to bring them, since baking isn't my strong suit, and it's an easy answer when guests ask what they can bring.

This way, I get to entertain my friends, and see them, and keep in touch every now and then. I absolutely like this setup, that even without Facebook, I can keep connected with my friends.


  1. I think this is a much more enjoyable way to foster friendship than some stupid poke on a virtual wall!

    1. Zhu,

      Oh definitely. It is a more meaningful interaction indeed and I am not regretting my decision to get off Facebook. :-)