More dishes but less fuss means more time to relax and enjoy great company
I HAD always maintained that I’d be the kind of person who makes time for cooking, regardless of how busy I became.
It is, after all, my job, my hobby, my creative outlet and how I connect with people.
Several weeks ago, one of my dear friends invited another close friend and me over for lunch. Her husband was out of town, and she had a 1-year-old to take care of, so my other friend and I offered to bake or make, bring ingredients or shop – basically cater the entire affair – as we were concerned about the burden of preparing a meal when you have a toddler learning to walk.
She declined, assuring us that it really “wasn’t a big deal”, and not to worry. We showed up to a spread that looked like it was, well, kind of a big deal. Blown away by how beautiful and thoughtfully done everything looked, I felt guilty knowing she had taken the time to treat us to such an incredible afternoon when her every free minute is so valuable. (She could have been napping, maybe?)
Sensing this, she mentioned that it had taken all of 15 minutes to throw together and that the secret to the impressive look was having several tiny bowls filled with things that didn’t require cooking.
We spent the next few hours not in the kitchen but at the table, snacking and grazing, talking and catching up.
The whole afternoon was truly novel to me, someone who could not imagine “having it all” – as in, a delicious, well-chosen, satisfying meal and the time to linger over it.
With unfussy centrepieces and relaxed, snacky sides and condiments, you’ll find yourself spending less time in the kitchen and more time at the table. Life may not actually get less busy. But for a few glorious hours, it can feel that way.