Dinner setting for twelve.
The other day we received a gift of dinnerware passed down from a relative. It was a set of 12 flowery-gold-trimmed place settings for what looks to be a six-course meal. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a six-course meal, let alone prepared one for 12 people. I am not sure I even could eat that much in one sitting; it sounds like a lot of food.
I know I could try eating everything, but make everything, that’s another story. The idea of it makes me think that I may have to start planning now to be ready for a far off date in 2016. However, I have to admit the prospect of trying to do this is tempting. Perhaps if wine could be considered a course, I may have more of a chance.
When I was younger, large family gatherings were the norm. Now, we’d be lucky to get together once a year, and I am not sure exactly why that is. Except to say that sadly, people pass on, and the torch is often left smouldering on the floor. When grandparents, and aunts and uncles pass on, no one has time, nor the will to do all that is necessary to organize a large family gathering. In my family, my grandmother did not work outside of the house. When there was a family get-together, she prepared everything. Everyone, of course, would pitch in once they arrived, but my grandmother did the heavy lifting—at least, that’s how I remember it.
Maybe the fear is, at least in my case, that the heavy lifting is too daunting a task to take on. My go to excuses include, but are not limited to: I don’t have enough chairs; I’m not a great cook; my house is too small; and the ever ubiquitous, I don’t have time. And now, given that my family is no longer concentrated in one city, the logistics of the entire process can get expensive.
So, I guess the era of large family gatherings is going by the way of the dodo bird. People are busy and distance is a factor. Perhaps Canadians need to take more vacation time, to have more family and friend time. Technology was supposed to give us more time, but it has only really succeeded in doing the opposite. Other than work, I think we tend to spend more time watching “reality” TV, and “socializing” with others while never leaving our houses than actually, physically socializing with one another.
We should be more active with our own reality. We could learn something new, and then share it with others over the phone or, dare I say, in person. Physically participating in an activity, a sport, or playing games and socializing with others used to be done on a regular, face-to-face basis. Now the norm is to post new life events on the Internet, and that includes cooking.
As with anything in life, there needs to be some moderation. I’m sure I could learn to make a six-course meal. I’d have to start with whom to invite. Do I even know 12 people? I’ll just need to plan the when, pick some music, choose the menu, purchase the ingredients, organize the meal, and cook the food… Hmmm, would I be able to cook some food in advance or must I do everything on the same day? I’ll also have to decide the serving style—all at once, or one dish at a time. Then I’ll have to decide if I should clean as I go, or just let things pile up until the end when everyone’s left, along with my will to continue. Would it be cheating if I used the Internet as a learning tool for this?
On second thought, I think I will start with a six-course meal just for two. It would be a test to see if I could do this on a larger scale. Then I’ll post the event online; old habits die hard, and so apparently, do new ones. I think that would be a good compromise, wouldn’t it? And yes, there will most certainly be wine involved.