I remember the first meal I served very distinctly. I was four years old and my customer was Marchie, my beloved stuffed monkey. We lived on 54th street in the theater district and my mother had just fed me lunch
when I asked if I could give Marchie some fruit salad. I expected her to say no- I knew I'd make a mess, but she said yes, and I shoveled the canned fruit into his rubber mouth,working hard to help him chew. Even at four, I remember thinking how generous that was of her.
I have entertained many many times since then.In the 80's, my boyfriend was playing Lancelot on Broadway to Richard Burton's King Arthur in the musical Camelot. Burton had taken Richard my boyfriend under his wing on tour and when they got to NYC I thought it would be nice to invite him and his gorgeous wife Susan Hunt to dinner.When I think of it now, I can't believe I had the nerve to cook for this legend and his wife.
Burton and Susan arrived promptly and sat down for hors d'ouvres. They stayed put at the couch for the next several courses because we only had a couch and coffee table. I can't remember much about the food other than absolutely everything had a heavy cream sauce and that the main course was veal with cheese[ and a heavy cream sauce]. I only now really appreciate how gracious they were to allow us the pleasure of entertaining them - poor trapped things spooning more and more cream sauce into their mouths from plates balanced on their laps.Burton was of course an amazing raconteur and it paralyzed me with pleasure to be the one he was telling stories to about "Elizabeth".No last name needed.
Again I had been given a generous gift-go ahead take a chance, dare to make a mess of it- but do it.Even as I cringe today at the sticky fruit syrup matting Marchie's fur and the rivers of thick creams, I understand what those adults in my life gave to me.