It’s (Almost) Party Time
Don’t you love that moment just before the guests arrive, when the table’s set, the house is full of kitchen aromas, and everything still has the possibility of being perfect? The moment when it looks likely that the meal will be just right for the season, the wines will marry adroitly with the food, the conversation will be wise and witty, and your friends will go home happy as the dishes magically wash themselves? Me too, that’s my fantasy.
Then there are the party preparations that are happening all around us, requiring no shopping, dirtying no dishes, leaving us nothing to do but watch and wait. The baby lemons, just starting out, that will brighten next winter with their clean tartness, will there be enough to preserve a few in salt to go with a festive tajine? Who will I invite to share that meal?
The tiny green cherries, will they survive the spring storm predicted for tonight, and will they, once ripe, be the “best cherries in France” as the gardener promised? And will there be enough to make little pots of jam for my sweet-toothed friends and acquaintances? Will I have new friends to give jam to by the time the cherries turn crimson?
Will we let the new ivy have its way with the walls and windows, exuberantly covering everything in sight, so that when we’re showering before a party the window is completely covered over by green leaves and the arriving guests can’t see that we’re not quite dressed yet?
A lot of the fun is in the not knowing.