When you are Greek, or in my case half Greek and half Italian with a Greek name, you grow up used to everyone mispronouncing your name.In fact in a mixed cultural setting like America, you eventually give up on correcting people and respond to whatever they call you.
My dad, Steve, did not have a Greek accent; he was born in New York City and was only interested in being completely American.What was never lost in the Americanization of the Perides family was the love of food.All of my relatives were in the food business.My dad stayed away from the food business in his teens and 20s, but in 1946, when he returned from WWII, he trained as a butcher and then rented the meat counter in the back of his step dads grocery store.I grew up behind that meat counter in the 1950s and in the independent butcher shop he opened around 1960 and retired from in 1973.
Dad drilled it into my head that I was going to college and would work with my head, not my back in my adult life.That happened because my parents wanted it to happen, but it doesnt change your name or your instincts.
If you come from New York and New Jersey (after college), you cant help but notice that nearly every diner you walk into is owned by Greeks.That makes you stop and wonder if food should have been your adult way of life.So I ate it.I cooked it.I entertained with it.I built friendships around it.In short, it has been my avocation for over 40 years.
For the last 10 years, I have been partying with friends over food in a special way, sharing everything.Buying it, Preparing it, Cooking it, Eating it.
We are a family because we eat together is even truer when you share the gathering and preparing of the food before eating it.The bonds of friendship, love and commitment grow stronger if you go those extra steps.Home Cooking Parties are a way to build those bonds within your family and within your friendships.
Home Cooking Parties for Eight and for Four are entertainment and relationship building books, not just cookbooks.They show how people can come together, share the expense and work of putting on a gourmet meal for themselves and have a wonderful time in the process.Do not fear if you have a large family, a small kitchen or short notice.I have used these Home Cooking Party plans for as many as 20 people at a single dinner, in the tiniest of kitchens and with as little as 15 minutes notice before the prep and cooking began.Just be sure you jimmy-up a big enough dining table and all sit down together to eat the meal.
Now get to it.Pick a menu, invite your friends and share a great meal!