I love cooking for other people, possibly more than I like cooking for myself. I love to share my creations with my friends and get their feedback. Sometimes I try to brainstorm people I can cook for just so I can do more cooking.
Unfortunately, when the opportunity often arises for me to do so, I don’t know what to make. By some people’s standards, Brian and I eat “weird” food. I figure it’s probably best not to make Penne with Tempeh, Caramelized Shallots and Goat Cheese for first time guests. Last weekend our church had a Palm Sunday potluck dinner and I signed up to bring a vegetable. Then I agonized for weeks over what I’d bring that was both interesting (I often feel the need to live up to my food blogger reputation) and appealing to the general congregation. I settled on Mark Bittman’s Roasted Carrots with Scallion-Ginger Glaze, which were apparently a hit because they were gone by the end of the evening.
This week I was faced with a similar situation. I’d offered to make a meal for a friend who recently had a baby. She, like just about everyone else I’ve ever cooked for, offered very little guidance in terms of what she would like. “We eat just about anything,” she told me, just like everyone always does. I know that’s probably true, but I’m not brave enough to really test that claim. So I flipped through my recipe binder and settled on a recipe my mother gave me. The closest online match I could find was this recipe from the 1989 Orlando Sentinel, which may very well be its original source, though I know my mom got it from a friend at church. This pasta dish (because everyone likes pasta!) is simple: you make a rosemary and tomato sauce, pour it over pasta and add a bit of balsamic vinegar. It smells amazing and tastes delicious. I can’t imagine anyone with a normal palate not liking it.