When my husband and I moved into our neighborhood last year, we didn’t know many people. But that quickly changed. To the right are people who were born and raised in the neighborhood, while to the left are the younger generation, raising children of all ages. They are a welcoming bunch. They welcome the summer with a block party and close it out in the same way; they hold joint neighborhood garage sales and make a day out of cutting down trees for Christmas. To top it all off, the women of the neighborhood spend the weekend before Christmas baking cookies and sharing recipes.
Recently, these women and I decided to get together one Friday night for what we termed “Hoppy Hour”. The premise involved going from house to house, enjoying appetizers and libations, and indulging in laughs and other things best left unsaid. We started at 6pm and at 10:30 wound up at my house. The party didn’t end until 1:30. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun.
The fun with my neighbors reinforced the theme of this month’s issue of CRL: whether you’re casually entertaining (like a block party) or throwing an elegant dinner party, good food and good company always brings good times and good laughs. In this, our Food & Entertaining issue, you’ll find great recipes, including three fool-proof dinner party menus from Executive Chef Michael Niccoli of the Century House and the myriad ways of enjoying the abundant apple harvest. And, if you’re like John Gray, who once puzzled over the meaning of “wassail”.
On the night of my neighborhood “hoppy hour”, the women agreed that a social hour was something that we should do every month. And, although our busy lives will likely prevent that from happening, when it does happen, the good food and the good company will make it all worthwhile. And I’ll take that anytime.