This year Leslie invited 50 people using the French e-vite system. No one responded, probably because few use this feature and our invited guests don’t quite know how to reply. That generally means that the normal anxiety of all good hosts — certain both that no one is coming and that there won’t be enough food — compounds.
Since Sheral, Richard, and I were tasked with preparing the food and since we each have our own way of doing things, it was a slightly chaotic scene. The day before, we divided duties over a lunch that included local sausages, cheeses, bread, and salads.
Sheral picked out roasted, peeled beets at the local supermarket and sliced them, topping them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thyme, and crumbled soft goat cheese. That salad reminded me so much of my grandmother’s summertime beet borscht with sour cream.
The plan: Richard would make the rice salad, cook the meat, get more butane for the grill, and pick up the odds and ends like the hamburger and hot dog buns that the baker, Mr. Honorat, made for the event.