Thursday, April 16, 2009

By Way of Introduction

Everybody eats. That’s a given, and most people love their food. But when it comes to the four of us – that’s me, my sister Sara, her fiancé, Jose, and Yasmine, that love verges on the crazy. And when I say crazy, I mean borderline obsession.

For us, food isn’t just what keeps us alive. It’s not just about pleasure. The food we cook for each other ties us together as a spoken and unspoken form of communication. Both implicit- and explicitly, we understand cuisine as family tradition as well as an affirmation, an exploration, and an exposition of all cultures through human history.

What a ridiculous statement, but oh so true. In my family at least, we don’t speak so much as we cook together, so that food has always been a valid form of communication. Moreover, we retain our immigrant heritage and Jewish identity largely through food, so that for my sister and I, eating has always been about history to an extent.

Returning to the present, the four of us are a kind of family – Yaz likes to call us the “new urban family,” whatever that means – and since family needs tradition, and our family represents somewhere in the realm of thirty years of professional culinary experience…tradition means food, and lots of it.

Like I said, we’re all crazy food extremists, and we don’t stop eating until there’s no more food left -- ever. Okay, maybe Sara, Yaz and Jose do, but not me. Let’s not mince words here, I don’t know when to stop and I like it that way.

Thus follows the new family tradition, Sunday…debauchery. Yaz with the names, has to call it Sunday Fun Day, but that’s a little too precious for my taste. I guess I’ll just call it SFD until I think of something better.

Yes, our Sunday debauchment began several months ago as a means to help Yaz get over a recent breakup. That first day – a crazy marathon of bloody maries, finger food, and romantic comedies – set the tone for all the SFD’s to follow.

The rules:
  • SFD must happen at least once a month and travels from house to house consecutively.
  • Whoever hosts SFD must pick a theme: Katherine Hepburn, epic battle, white trash, etc.
  • The host must show at least three movies in accordance with the theme.
  • The host must cook according to the theme and make enough food to feed at least ten people.
  • All of the proceedings must be carried out in pajamas or sweat pants.
  • And remember, SFD is not SFD without a healthy dose of liquor.

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