Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
We talk a lot about alternative storytelling through photos or music, but some days, what really tells me a tale is my dinner. Tonight I went to Emily Farris’s Fourth Annual Casserole Party, a Missouri-meets-Brooklyn cook off featuring hot stuff for your oven. Each casserole was a personal expression of heritage, be it Cincinnati chili or a fried-rice-and-panko Asian twist. A kugel-inspired entry was titled “My Son the Doctah”—and here I’d been claiming Jews don’t do hot dishes. Others entries earned points for creativity, from a duck and pumpkin bread concoction to “Fidel Casstrole” complete with fried pickle portraiture on top. The whole evening was mercifully more nostalgic than ironic, as strangers swapped stories of childhood meals and family traditions. Afterwards we enjoyed home baked cookies and cakes from Sheena’s Cocina, and Emily raffled off a copy of her new casserole cookbook. Like the evening itself, the book is about far more than tuna noodle. It has modern reinventions, fresh and healthy options, and truly entertaining personal anecdotes. Have a story to tell? Fire up the pyrex!