Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cooking, Chile and Chatter

This month I have been filling my kitchen chairs Sunday afternoons with friends I've had for a few years as well as friends I've had for a few weeks. I happen to love hosting, cooking, baking, and welcoming people into my little apartment. I myself love walking into my place at the end of a day and experiencing its charming warmth...I want others to feel that too.

It's been surprising in a way to watch certain people's reactions when I ask them to join me for a homemade lunch at my apartment. They often don't seem to know what to think of my invite. I suppose that in L.A., people don't hang out in homes and expecially not homes with home cooked meals and the aroma of pies baking in the oven. People go out--out to dinner, out for drinks, out to see and be seen. Being in a home is almost considered old-fashioned here. I saw their discomfort in being asked to go somewhere outside their normal routine. Not an opportunity for adventure, but an opportunity to be comforted with food and get to know some new people.

This last Sunday I had five guests that said "yes" to pumpkin chile, cornbread and homemade apple pie with vanilla ice-cream. I prepared all of Saturday by paring the apples, mixing and rolling out dough, slicing vegetables for the chile...and discovering through the dicing of an onion that I'm extremely allergic to the fumes they let out (not just the normal reaction of teared up eyes, but puffy bright red irritated eyes that lasted more than two days.) Besides this allergic reaction, I thoroughly enjoyed knowing that I was going to fill the bellies with the lost gift of homemade food rarely offered in this city. As everyone was leaving, one of my guests suggested we do this again. I couldn't help but hope that perhaps I've started a new trend...

Christmas chips

Christmas pumpkin chile

Christmas cornbread

Christmas tree apple pie

Week one with Alex and Gus

Chatting with Alex.

Christmas cocktails 

Week 2: Chatter with Audrey, Sarah and Josh.

More chatter with Sarah, Josh, Audrey and Matt.

If only there wasn't the clean up afterward...

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