Michael Pollan’s 36-Hour Dinner Party


The New York Times has a piece by Michael Pollan worth reading if only for the description of the food, but it’s more than that:

Here’s the conceit: Build a single wood fire and, over the course of 30-plus hours, use it to roast, braise, bake, simmer and grill as many different dishes as possible — for lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch again.

What follows is a description of the creation of four meals over one fire. A goat figures prominently in the equation along with copious amounts of fresh produce and several accomplished cooks. Nevertheless, the food turns out to be merely a vehicle for something more:

But by now the food feels almost beside the point. I realize I’ve gotten at least as much pleasure from working together to create these meals as I have from eating them. Sometimes producing things is more gratifying — and more conducive to building community — than consuming them, I decide. Our guests seem merry and convivial, but there’s something special about the camaraderie of the kitchen crew.

He’s on to something (even though this sense of community of which he speaks is only a temporary glow): producing something together, whether a meal, a barn, or a church play, does more to build a sense of community than all the talk about community-building by individuals worried about the loss.

Warning: Don’t read this piece if you are hungry.

H/T Travis Timmons

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