My grandfather was a skilled carpenter, who could expertly build anything from furniture to an entire house. His creations are celebrated and treasured. He earned his living by understanding materials, design and craftsmanship. When his living was earned, he designed and built himself a porch rocker —and sat down in it for thirty years. Sociably, he placed the rocker in his front yard where he could visit neighbors, pet bird-dogs, watch cars pass by, and nap. He ended each visit by asking, “what’s your hurry?”
That’s the well-simmered stock from which I’m made.
So, when the preparation of a feast requires that a creation sit or simmer for a spell, it comes natural to me. Indeed, I relish these moments —provides time for a beverage —maybe a cigar or pipe —maybe a good book —or perhaps, a raucous story or two.
Feast-Making is a deliberate and focused undertaking that cannot be rushed or hurried. Here are three Convivial Boar Feast-Making Rules that should help:
Feast-Making Rule #1: Create in leisure
Feasters are more at ease if the Feast-Maker is relaxed and having fun. If the Feast-Maker appears frazzled and working too hard, the feasters will likely feel some guilt. But, if the Feast-Maker is lounging in a lawn chair clutching a Smokehouse Bloody Mary singing refrains from an Irish Folk song, the feasters will eagerly join. Feast-Makers must operate as Benjamin Franklin described the French people: “accomplish much while appearing to do little.”
Feast-Making Rule #2: Time matters not
A feast occurs when it occurs. The Feast-Maker, like any other artist, cannot be beholden to an arbitrary schedule of completion. This rule serves two purposes: it helps with Rule #1 (the lack of a deadline can make the most untimely of people appear timely); and it builds anticipation in the feasters (the Feast-Maker’s creations are more readily devoured and celebrated by a ravenous crowd of feasters who have been properly teased by the aromas than by feasters who show up at an appointed time to partake of promptly prepared dishes).
Note on Rule #2: There is a fine line between teasing and torturing when it comes to feasting. Use samples and cocktails to tame the feasters—many a feaster will look back at the sampling as the best part of the feast.
Feast-Making Rule #3: It begins for each anew
The creation of the feast is part of the feast. For each feaster, the feast begins when they arrive. Just as Rule #2 abolished the notion of a particular end time for the feast-maker, this rule abolishes any particular start time for the feasters. Early feasters become assistants to the Feast-Maker and help in the creation —which heightens their anticipation and joy (not to mention, they are first in line for samples). Communications about my feasts, typically say something like, “I plan to start creating the feast around…join as early as you desire.” In my experience, this rule encourages feasters to arrive early, eager to help which enhances the Convivial Boar’s leisurely demeanor. And of course, the late-arriving feasters have the pleasure of joining a party in full-swing.
What’s your hurry, my friend, let it sit a spell.