Let’s Eat — A Writer’s Guide to Cooking

When I was a kid, it was a very common thing for relatives and friends to drop by unannounced and to stay for a meal. After two or three hours of talking and eating, the friends would leave, full of praise for my mother’s cooking, and obviously relaxed and satisfied by the hospitality they’d been shown. The relatives would do the same, except they usually stayed two or three days.

Those were great times, especially for the many cousins, who, after a pleasant night’s sleep on the floor, ran around the house and yard wreaking havoc for hours on end. They were also great times for my mother, who loved having company to cook for, even though cooking for her always-ravenous husband and their three growing boys was no small job. And they were great times for my father, who usually worked too hard, and needed an excuse to take a little time off. Bless him, no matter how busy he was, no matter how much he had to do, hospitality came first. He and my mother were first-rate hosts. Everything they had was given freely, even when there wasn’t very much to give. Everyone who stopped by was invited to eat, or, at the very least, to have something to drink — coffee, tea, lemonade, or a shot or two of brandy.

For this reason, while I was growing up, I often invited friends from school to stay for supper. I usually did so without first telling my mother, who, instead of being annoyed, took it as a compliment. All during these times, my parents also had friends who ate with us on a regular weekly basis. Tuesday night, for instance, was reserved for Wally Bazarian, a great and enthusiastic conversationalist who ran a dry-cleaning establishment in town with his brother. If something came up and Wally couldn’t join us, we were all disappointed, because he belonged.

Now, just in case Wally can hear this from the Great Beyond, I will say how much we miss him. I will say it also on behalf of my father and grandparents, and our other relatives and friends who have moved on. They have left us with a place at our table that will never be filled. At the same time, they have left us with beautiful memories full of laughter, ridiculous stories, and good times, and for this we are thankful.

And I will say it on behalf of my mother, who still loves her kitchen, and who is happiest when her family is gathered around her old oak dining table.

In the end, the recipe for hospitality is simple. Give. Give everything you have.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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