The joy of cooking!

Saturday night I had a dinner party for 10 fun people. It was a miraculous party in a couple of ways. First off, no one drank...I told people if they imbibe to bring their own wine or whatever but no one did because they were all "on the wagon" either permanently (like me) or just for a period of time. I can recall few parties where everyone was sober! The second anomaly (for Los Angeles especially) was that there was not one food allergy or food choice I had to deal with! No vegans, no practicing Jews (It was the beginning of Yom Kippur and I was making pork so it DID cross my mind to ask!) no vegetarians, lactose intolerant, shellfish allergies, diabetic people...everyone said "I eat anything" when asked, whew! So with that in mind I decided to go for it! I stuffed a pork roast with fennel seeds, sauteed onions, fennel, garlic and fresh bread crumbs and roasted that. I made a 4 cheese, wild mushroom, white truffle, baked macaroni and cheese, I made seared scallops in a citrus vinaigrette on arugula, roast asparagus with crumbled fried prosciutto and David made Mozza's famous butterscotch budino with caramel sauce and whipped creme fraiche and fleur de sel..OMG it was divine, that pudding rendered the whole table speechless! It was great to see Virginia Hey again (she of Mad Max and Farscape fame) and the director of the short film I did recently, John Kamal Iskander ("jesus comes to town" is the film and he screened it, it was wonderful! A beautifully shot black and white 12 minute comment on happiness and truth.) (They are both pictured above)
Two makeup artists happen to be there, one my old friend Michelle and David's high school buddy Brian whom he had not seen in 25 years and who blended into our little tribe as if he had been around forever. We laughed and reminisced over faux Mojitos (Virginia's invention) and I wondered again why I don't throw a dinner party every week, they are so much fun..Great food, good company and everyone out the door before 11pm, my idea of a perfect party!
You see, thats what happens when you get older and you don't party anymore...
As we did the dishes I commented to David that when I lived briefly in Barcelona (during the shooting of a horribly cheesy TV show in the 90's called "Dark Justice"), we didn't even go out for dinner until 11pm! Midnight was usually when we started eating!
I like the California way, party starts at 7ish, you eat a little before 8 then hang out during coffee and dessert for awhile and you still get to bed by midnight. I'm a morning person so I already live the "geriatric hours" life style, I'll fit in perfectly when I'm 80 years old. I get up at 6am and relish the quiet and the cool morning air. I love to walk or hike early because then no matter what happens during the day you know you have taken your exercise already and everything else is icing on the cake. I think better in the morning as well and I wake up happy, which is a gift. I have been reading a lot about depression lately because so many of my friends are on anti depressants; a product of the bad economy and just a way to ease the everyday stresses. I suppose that throughout time people have suffered through depression and my heart goes out to people who endure it daily. I know that a lot of research has been done on the chemical balances of people's brains, the influence of diet and the reality of day to day pressures and I thank God that they don't jump to the radical treatments of days gone by ie: lobotomies and shock treatments but I DO wish that therapy was available to more people. Talking to a good and trusted friend or a professional helps unburden one of the heavy thoughts which persist in our day to day life and so many people have no one to discuss their feelings with. I wonder why doctors, who have the highest rate of suicide of any profession in the world, don't have therapy in their heath coverage and if they do why they don't take advantage of it...
Loneliness is one of the biggest complaints of depressed people so if you do anything today, call an elderly relative or reach out to a friend who has been going through a tough time financially or tell a kid in your life that he or she is very special...we can all help in small ways. If you have the time or resources..throw a dinner party, it reminds you that other like minded people exist and that you are never really alone in this life.