The Cook IN

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.” -Julia Child

“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’! In other words, friendship is the most important thing–not career or housework, or one’s fatigue–and it needs to be tended and nurtured.-Julia Child

As a lover of little details, I tend to lose the big picture very quickly–especially when I am entertaining.  What starts out as preparation for a dinner with loved ones turns into a mad race against the clock under the watchful eye of the invisible culinary professor who sits on my shoulder.

“You cooked that pasta a little past al dente, I hope you know.”

“You’re using CANNED broth for that reduction?”

“Who placed this steak knife on the wrong side of the dinner plate?!”

Last week, Dave and I planned a cookout at our place in honor of our lovely house guest, Lindsay Katt.  A musician from New York City, Lindsay is an intuitive songwriter who has been on the ballot for a Grammy for her song “Heart Place.”  (Listen to this and other hits here!)  Needless to say, the evening had to be JUST RIGHT!

When the night finally arrived, we were ready.  The menu was set, the guests were invited, the chicken was marinating.

And then it started to rain.

No worries!  West Texas rains tend to come and go just long enough to cool the air off and Lord knows we needed the water.

However, ten minutes before our guests were due to arrive the skies opened up and it really began to pour!

“Hmmm, looks like we will be cooking IN…” I thought.

Now, eating indoors in the summertime is not a problem…if your house is air-conditioned.  Ours, unfortunately, is not, and the kitchen/dining area can get pretty warm, especially if the oven is on and there is a crowd of people occupying the space.

My shoulder chef began to panic.

Then I began to panic.

But then I realized that I could either stress out and apologize non-stop to my guests for the weather and our lack of A/C…or I could see the meal as an adventure and have fun.

I chose the latter.

So as the guests were arriving, Dave and I threw open the windows, turned on every box fan we owned and planned for a cook IN!

And wouldn’t you know it?

We all had a great (though slightly sweaty) time!

Here is a glimpse inside our fun evening (thanks to Lindsay and her camera skills!):

The beer-can chicken was grilled to perfection!
Dave, on the other hand, was a little soggy.

Wanna know the secret to a great party?


It also helps if these great people have great smiles…

…and infectious laughter.

Always make sure to give your guests a warm welcome…however that might look.

Remember: Farmers are bigger socialites than they let on to be.

Also: Farmer and musicians like to ham it up.

Elliott tries to remember the last time he attended a cook IN.

Dave produces his radio show, The Appetizer, at Elliott’s recording studio, Fly Boy Studios, located right here in Clyde, America!

Hey!  Nobody eats until everyone is seated!

Eating, talking and laughing: My three favorite things!

Go ahead!  Take pictures of your guests while they are eating.
It’ll give you all something to laugh about later.

You know the night is a success if your guests start out as strangers but leave as friends.

Here’s to many more great meals–no matter the weather!


Thank you, Lindsay, for visiting us here in Clyde, the biggest small town in Texas!

For more info on the talented Ms. Katt, friend her on Facebook or visit her website!


4 thoughts on “The Cook IN

  1. Nice dinner party, everyone sure looked like they had a lot of fun. I can understand how plans can change at the last minute, and when you’re cooking for guests, the pressure is ON! Lindsay Katt has a nice voice, cool music!

      • We haven’t had many people over, but most recently we had my husband’s b-day party outside (Monday’s post) and the other times we entertained in our living room where we first had the dining table. We’ve been lucky to get free stuff like that dining table, a couch, and pretty soon a dishwasher! Lots more to go with renovations, and my husband’s been working hard on the electrical and plumbing. I should post an update on our renovations tomorrow! 🙂

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