Guess who’s coming to dinner

We’ve all played this game, right? If you could bring one famous person to a dinner party, who would it be…?

Does anyone ever say, “Satan”?

Eve apparently thought he was a good dinner guest.  Forget about original sin, seems to me that it was the original, organic raw foods diet. Apples. She was probably an apple tart, in Adams’ opinion. I bet Satan made better dinner conversation.

I think Jesus and Gandhi are probably the most popular choices for dinner guests. But really, who’s dinner party are you taking them to? And what’s on the menu? After all Jesus fed the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and Gandhi did a lot of fasting. Apparently not fans of haute cuisine. Gandhi seems a lot more interesting, but if you take Jesus there will be plenty of wine. Hummm…

Why do we pick these famous people for a dinner date? Because we think they are cool, of course. Because they are an ideal. The only real reason I can think of to bring a famous person to dinner is that they would probably have some interesting stories.

We’ve all had uncomfortable dinners with people. Family members, colleagues, first dates. (I can’t imagine a date with Jesus would be relaxing.) No, the next time someone asks me who I would like to invite to dinner I’m going to answer honestly – my friends. Sure they may not be out saving the world, they might not have the best stories, the can be obnxious, naieve, overbearing and end up falling asleep on the couch before dessert. Friendship has value when you focus on the good in people, even if you didn’t know it was the kind of good you were looking for. Kindness come when we try to see beyond their difficulties and take them for who they are.  Besides, some of them are damn good cooks.

I wanted to add what I think is one of the most charmingly beautiful and loving lines in literature. It is from Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain. After a wonderfully sarcastic, witty, sometimes harsh and decidedly unromantic version of the story of Adam and Eve, Twain writes in Adam’s Diary: At Eve’s Grave….Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden.

The moral of Twain’s version is not a fall or redemption, it is that throughout the follies of life, in spite of the annoying little habits of people and the stupid assumptions we make of others, we can still find love. It is in our relationship to a person – not an ideal – where, in the end, we find our Eden.

Forbidden Fruit Apple Tart

2-3 Apples

Phyllo dough

Bitter-sweet dark chocolate chips

3/4 cup water

1/4 Brown sugar

butter, butter, butter

spray oil


Pomegranate and mango Chipoltle (get it at TJ’s)

Butter your pan and lay out the phyllo dough so that some of it hangs over the sides and spray with butter spray.  Slice and arrange your apples in two circles until your pan is full.

Sprinkle just a few of the chocolate chips and a little bit of pepper over the apples. Start pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees. It’s time to make a simple syrup. Don’t worry, it’s not hard. On your stove top add water to a sauce pan, about 2-3 pats of butter and the sugar. Bring this to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens a while. Add in about 1-2 tablespoons of the Pomegranate and mango Chipoltle. Let it cook a little longer.

Add a few pats of butter on top of your apples, sprinkle with pepper and then pour the syrup over the top. Fold over the edges of the phyllo dough, give it a little spritz of butter and bake until it’s all bubbly and smells good.


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