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Another Reason to Invite Your Friends Over for Dandelion Greens
Eating dinner alone
A new book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, is a tribute to the ideas and people that have shaped the restaurant, and, in turn, American food. Yes, it's also about the importance of eating locally grown foods (dandelion greens and heritage pork, anyone?), but what really thrills our hearts is the way this book commemorates a shared meal's ability to make us feel loved. As, Waters writes, "Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality: we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way."
Or when Waters reveals what she learned about sharing meals from living in France: "Eating together was the most important daily ritual in their lives, a crucial and nonnegotiable time when the flavors and smells of roasted chickens and sizzling garlic, the crunch of crusty bread, and the taste of local wine drew out everyone's most passionate ideas and feelings."
Or even the words of New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, who wrote the book's foreword, on the power of certain restaurants to makes us feel at home: "For fifteen years, beginning in the late sixties, I was in a strange town every three weeks for a series of New Yorker pieces, and my last resort for finding something decent to eat was to approach the motel clerk and say, 'Not the restaurant you took your parents to on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary; the restaurant you went to the night you got home after thirteen months in Korea.' In Berkeley, I'm pleased to say, those are the same restaurant."
More on Alice Waters' delicious revolution
If you want to change the world, change what you eat
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