Social Networking

Meal 1

In the May 2009 issue of the sadly-defunct Gourmet Magazine, there was a mouth-watering article entitled “Cucina Paradiso.” The 14-page spread featured a “Tuscan-inspired meal, full of pristine ingredients and bold, epic flavors.”

On the menu?

vodka rosemary lemonade fizz
arugula and fava bean crostini
balsamic-marinated radicchio with fresh ricotta
mushroom carpaccio with pecorino toscano
italian vegetable salad with creamy garlic dressing
grilled sausage-stuffed calamari
chicken liver skewers with rosemary
fresh pasta with crabmeat, peas and chile
grilled lamb chops with porcini mustard
tuscan beans in summery tomato ragu
melon with basil-lime granita
cornmeal cookies

Hungry yet?

What I remember most — what made me tear out the pages and tuck them away — are the photos of the people enjoying this amazing meal. In a dreamlike series (see above), photographer Roland Bello deliciously captured the faces of those about to partake of the luscious creations, and the intimacy of the gathering of friends around a pregnant table.

I was reminded of this treasure recently, while reading the post “Capturing Time” on artist Judy Wise’s blog. In it, she presented this photo captioned “in the shade of the Druid’s tree.”

meal 2

Look at the photo. The welcoming table and chairs. The cool of the tree’s shade. The familial warmth of the people joined in conversation. The friendly wave of the one guest, welcoming you to join them. Don’t you just want to? Right now?

THIS is social networking in its truest form.

And THIS is what I want.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming of hosting dinner parties. I can cook. I just don’t know if I can pull off a 12-plate feast like “Cucina Paradiso” without the assistance of a gaggle of sous chefs (and my sister)!

But if I make it, will you come? Will you sit with me and friends at a long table with platters of food and glasses of wine? Will you join in the conversation and tap your foot to the music in the background? Will you laugh out loud and tell old stories? Will you share in this dream?

• • •

– The online incarnation of Gourmet Magazine can be found here.
– Check out Roland Bello’s food photography here.
– And please visit Judy Wise’s blog here. Thanks Judy!

6 Responses

  1. Excellent way to look at social networking.

    Whether it’s gathering around a table, or in the comments of someone’s blog posts, it’s a kind of camaraderie many find so fulfilling. Count me in! (I’d take a 12-course meal, too.) :)

  2. Mary Anne

    Love the photographs. This is the social networking I enjoy the most!!! And the 12 course dinner, give me something easy to make and I am in!!!!

  3. T J Buckley Googins

    you can make the bulgar & greens, i’ll bring the summer greek pie!! and instead of you coming up with a 12-course meal all by yourself, you can instigate a pot-luck gathering where everyone brings one thing and voila! you’ll have an eight-course or a 14-course meal with very little effort!

    can we do this before summer ends in september? it would be grand!

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