Here at Chez Heureuse, the name we affectionately call our small, Somerville apartment, we seek any opportunity to share a meal together -- not just eating for sustenance, but cooking together while enjoying a bottle of wine, sampling new recipes as we converse about our work and our dreams.
When we first moved in together last June, we agreed that our home would be centered on hospitality -- always a place of respite and joy, always open to guests, always a place where good food prompted good conversation. In keeping with the theme of the home, we began our New Years Eve celebrations with one final family meal of 2014. Though not originally intended to serve as one of our monthly dinner parties, the last minute appearance of my younger brother confirmed that our apartment truly had become home to the open table we desired. After a quick rummage of the refrigerator and a walk to Whole Foods, we pulled together a dinner of seared cod, roast chicken, root vegetable hash, and citrus salad.
Just as we bid adieu to 2014 in an air of hospitality, we opted to welcome 2015 in on the same note. While Emily brewed a large pot of coffee, we transformed last night's leftovers into the makings of a New Year's Day brunch. We scrambled some eggs with leeks and cheese and mixed up a bag of scone mix (yes, I, the pastry chef, used a just add water mix). Alongside last night's hash and citrus salad our brunch was the perfect way to launch into another year devoted to good food and insightful conversation.
I've learned that the key to hospitality is not a large home, good organizational skills, or a well-equipped kitchen. It does not require large groups of friends or days or weeks of planning. The key to hospitality is in learning to transform a few ingredients and a simple space, in learning to relax about the details, and in buying a bouquet of flowers.