I love entertaining. I especially love entertaining now that my apartment is larger than a shoebox (sorry, Easton) and I can do things like have multiple people over for dinner. Having done this a few times now, I have discovered an surprise secondary benefit to having people over for dinner: sometimes they invite you over to their apartment in return.

This exact series of events happened with Nick’s friend Alex, who conveniently lives about four blocks away from us. She joined us for Sunday Family Dinner one weekend when all four of us were crawling out of the same pile of hangover and then very kindly invited Nick, Becca, and me over to her apartment for dinner. So last Friday the three of us from Apartment 320 trekked over to Alex and Jane’s apartment for a scrumptious feast.

They served a huge pile of delicious, succulent chicken from a recipe that Alex just pulled out of her imagination. It involved onions and oranges and some other things that resulted in beautiful, mouthwatering chicken. In addition to the bird, Alex and Jane also served huge platters of sweet potato with yogurt sauce. We may have eaten most of the potato before the chicken was ready, which I instantly regretted because 1) I had less room for chicken and 2) I liked eating them together, but I am nothing if not impulsive, so I suppose it was inevitable.

For dessert, Jane had also prepared a large vat of pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies, making this the most brilliant cookie idea I have ever heard of. She fired up the oven and threw in the first batch, which were baked for the recommended amount of time and looked and tasted like conventional (and extremely delicious) cookies. At this point I should probably admit that we were pouring wine down our throats the whole time, because by the time we finished the first round, we decided that we absolutely could not wait any longer and had to take out the second batch immediately. This time we got lucky and the resulting product still resembled a cookie, maybe just a little bit softer. However, if you have ever been kind of drunk and forced to wait for cookies, you can probably guess what happened next. We consumed each round faster than the last and still insisted on taking the next batch out of the oven as soon as we finished the previous one. Soon we were shoveling spoonfuls of warm cookie dough into our mouths. Although this was not the most dignified moment of the evening, I will say that the only thing better than Jane’s pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies is Jane’s cookie dough heated in the oven and eaten with a spoon.

My happy conclusion is that entertaining is one of the best parts of my adult life. I love throwing big parties like our housewarming party on Saturday. I love cooking a simple meal for just a few friends. And then every so often something else wonderful happens like being invited over for a dinner party at a friend’s apartment.

“His life was chiefly made up of dinners, of journeys to and from dinners, of talks about past dinners, and of speculations upon future dinners.”

– Hesketh Pearson, ‘The Smith of Smiths’ (1934)

Editor’s Note: I apologize for the lack of pictures in recent posts. I am getting frustrated with the poor quality of images from my point-and-shoot camera. Will work on using my SLR and actually getting film developed, if anyone will still do that for me.