Thursday, October 29, 2009

She Said: On the Menu...

Every friendship has its traditions and quirks. Inside jokes, the ability to be yourself, and the knowledge that you will be told when you have lettuce in your teeth. In my opinion, these are the measures of a true friendship. Equally important is the sharing of information and the bouncing off of ideas from one another...from the sharing of  weather forecasts to recipes.

What would be the benefit of being friends with Matthew Mead if you can't get the odd recipe or entertaining tip now and again? It would be silly to not take advantage of such an "in", wouldn't it? In a funny twist, a new tradition has made its way into our friendship lately. Most days, around 4pm (my time) Matthew will email me from his studio to ask, "What are the MacDonalds eating for dinner?"

I think the ritual began after Matthew and Jenny visited me this summer, and due to our crazy schedule, I ended up feeding them the same meal (seafood chowder and Mulligatawny soup) twice in a row. Worried that the entertaining guru himself might get the impression that was the extent of my culinary repertoire, I casually emailed him one day, boasting of the fancy dinner I had just made for my family.
And so the tradition began...

Usually it is Matthew, asking what I am dishing up, but sometimes it is me, looking for an expert opinion. Occasionally, Matthew sends me a photo of a delicious meal he and his team cooked up (and later, enjoyed!) for a photo shoot. Then I am inspired, and toss the frozen pizza box back into the freezer with guilt. Because Matthew and Jenny are so busy - working late and then faced with the prospect of cooking when all they feel like doing is collapsing - I think they live vicariously through me and my current state of domesticity. My cooking is borne from the necessity of feeding a growing, active family who return to me each day in various states of hunger...who are still entrenched in the nightly supper ritual. Matthew and Jenny's girls are grown and living independently, so their need to return to their nest and rustle up dinner has abated. I think my sharing of my family's dinner menu is more an offering that serves both to spark their appetite and their memories of feeding their own family.

photo: Matthew Mead

Sharing such seemingly trivial parts of our day is fun and light-hearted and has even begun to inspire me to cook better...plan more and serve more thoughtful meals. After all, when you are reporting in to the likes of Matthew Mead each day, a hotdog on a stick is not going to win any rave reviews!!


To read Matthew Mead's take on our tradition, head on over to the Flea Market Style blog for the He Said alternative entitled, Whatcha Got Cookin'...?

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