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Cooking like Oprah

I brought Oprah’s cookbook, because of course.

And tonight I’m making another recipe for a dinner party that I’m hosting. A few weeks back, I was hanging out at my favorite inconvenience store in the neighborhood (it’s your run of the mill grocery store or bodega, but hella over priced…hence the inconvenience), when my former co-worker (oh and I used to work there) started telling me about a postal mishap that happened in which she didn’t receive the Zadie Smith book she ordered. A young lady in line heard us and started chatting about her love for Smith, and then next thing you know we’re talking books, Babyface, and the 90s black woman.

It felt incomplete to leave our conversation right there in the store and so I told the ladies I’d have a dinner night, and thus that dinner night is here. Like the millennial that I am, I considered backing out, but because my words were spoken, the deed was done right? And I just had to follow through and show up in the moment that I created with my words lest I make myself a liar.

Why did I consider backing out? Firstly, I don’t cook. I’d like to be a better, and more frequent, maker of food, but alas I’m not. Secondly, I wouldn’t want to subject anyone to this cooking that may or may not be tasty let alone edible. Thirdly, I am the not as skilled as my mother at having company and I’m afraid it comes off as rude or less than hospitable. I’d like to be better, and of course this takes practice, but my guess is that I have some self-fulfilling prophecy center in my brain that is well prepared for me to be at my worst.

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to cook more anyway, so this is a nice way to encourage myself to socialize and satisfy my desire of, you know, feeding myself. And the truth is that when I do get around to doing it, it’s actually fun cooking from Oprah’s cookbook. The recipes have these great stories and the meals make me feel like I’m hanging out with Oprah at her kitchen table. Here’s a meal I made from a few months ago, which was incredibly tasty.

What are some easy, tasty dishes you make for guests? And if you had to recommend a cookbook, what would it be?

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