Food is better with other people.
Friends, family, new acquaintances. Community makes a meal into a feast, a celebration of life and food and fun, a recognition of just how awesome we actually have it.
Here at the Feral household, we (meaning my wife) have been organizing a regular get-together for whoever wants to show up, once every couple of weeks. We put together a main course, anybody who shows up brings a side or drinks or something, we put a couple of tables together and throw a sheet over them so’s it looks fancy, and then we have a good time.
I’m something of an introvert, generally preferring a book to a night out, but the act of opening our doors to people we know to share some food and some laughs has become something I really look forward to. It’s expanded my sphere of comfort, which is never a bad thing. It’s started to cultivate a particular circle of friends, which feels really awesome to be a part of.
We call it LOAF night because when it started out, we made meatloaf every time. The wife conjured up the acronym ‘Loving Our Awesome Friends’ because she’s cool like that. 1 We struggled to get people to show up, and we had a lot of leftover meatloaf, and we got really, really sick of meatloaf, so we scrapped the dish but kept the acronym.
At some point, after two or three months of pushing it, LOAF Night started gaining momentum. I have friends who ask me how LOAF Night went, or when the next one’s happening. It’s become its own phrase; people know what it means. I have different groups of friends colliding and interacting. It’s like our house is the modern blue-collar version of a classic French salon, only with less scandal.
I want LOAF Night, or something like it, to take my generation by storm. Meeting friends at a regular time, bearing righteous homemade foodstuffs, enjoying good company and good food. Realizing that a kickass time doesn’t have to be a night out, it can be a super cheap time in, with a pan of chicken drumsticks and a deck of cards. I am part of my community, and realizing my potential and fulfilling my needs involves engaging with that community in a real, immediate, face-to-face way.
How to start a LOAF Night 2:
- Just DO it. Pick a night once a week, or once every two weeks, or once a month, or SOMETHING. Just let people know you’re making food at a particular time, and they’re invited.
- Make something simple. You’re not trying to impress anybody, you’re just having supper together. It should be something you’re comfortable with, something you can do in a big batch and then keep warm, not something that has to be prepared individually per serving. You want to have it ready so you can hang with your guests, not have to fiddle with it while they’re hanging around. Think casseroles, roasts, pasta, that sort of thing.
- Have everyone who can, bring something. Everybody’s involved! Everybody’s giving to each other. It might be good to coordinate this with a Facebook group or something, just so that you don’t get four salads and no bottles of wine.
- DON’T WORRY. It’s just supper. Food might get burned. Glasses might drop and break. It’s not a big deal, it’ll be fine! Laugh. Have fun.
-Josh is listening to The Avalanches
- 4 pounds chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts
- 2 tsp salt
- Gimme Some Oven's bbq sauce (see link in comments)
- 3 chipotles in adobo
- Make the BBQ sauce. It's super easy, just throw all the ingredients into a pan and simmer it for twenty minutes or so.
- Take a half cup of the sauce and blend the chipotles into it with a blender or food processor, then add that mixture back into the sauce. Separate the sauce in half, half for basting and half for serving at the table.
- Turn the oven to 450°F.
- Put the chicken on a roasting rack or wire rack over a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, baste with the sauce, and bake fifteen minutes.
- Turn, baste again, and bake another fifteen minutes.
- Let rest five minutes before serving with the remaining sauce.
- Gimme Some Oven - http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-bbq-sauce-recipe/
- I just cook, she’s the one who does pretty much all of the organizing, decorating, inviting, social media management, picture taking… She’s like the hardworking band manager to my lazy blues guitarist act. This never would have happened if she didn’t do what she does. ↩
- Or whatever fun name you want to give it. : ) ↩