Author, Gourmet Chef, and Ping Pong Champ!

Blog 1: Introduction

July 26th, 2013 Evelyn Cole

I wrote the following poem one day and in the process discovered the source of my cravings. It illustrates the overall theme of this blog:


I want to put out bowls of candy
to welcome every guest
all kinds of sweets
dripping with decadence

to offer red wine with legs
stuffed grape leaves
Retsina Italian prawns
carrot flan Incan fire dip

and succulent salads
chilled ready to serve
spinach  asparagus  pistachios
all fresh aphrodisiacs

marinated meats
ready to grill to any taste
from rare to rubber
spiced tofu for some

a full shelf of pies
baked with perfect crusts
Tiramisu and mocha mousse too
and apricot clafoutis

I have a craving for candy
I don’t eat
a passion for cooking concoctions
others won’t eat
a yearning for money
to give it away


A craving
to please
to ease


A craving
to give

to live?

Do I need to put out
or die?


I didn’t die and now I can put out for the fun of it. You can, too.




Three Aphorisms to consider as you plan a dinner party or your friends:

  1. Guilt feelings are worthless. When you feel one coming on, toss it in the trash. If you are actually guilty of something significant, apologize and then throw it away.
  2. Worries are equally worthless. They accomplish nothing and are caused by fearful imaginations. The next time you worry about impending death or a soggy birthday cake, simply change the picture you are creating in your mind to a more pleasant one.
  3. Cease judging anything or anyone, including you. Judgment causes stress. Feel the freedom of non-judging and have a really good time. Of course, as you cook you have to taste, but that’s a minor form of judgment.


I’m a Gemini. (May 21 – June 20) I can’t help it. And, just like many Gemini twins, I was born to entertain. Gemini’s ruler in Greek Mythology is Mercury, the messenger of the gods who darts around the heavens delivering news. Gemini is also called the sign of the twins—two personalities eager for new experience, moving so fast we forget to take some basic steps such as accounting and record keeping. Geminis have also gained the reputation of being the incessant talkers of the zodiac. Those Geminis who don’t have  the ‘gift of the gab’ are usually talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages.

I’m a skeptic, also. Can’t help that one either. Though the astrology in this blog is quite general, most Geminis will see themselves in it.

I love to cook and to write fiction and poetry. Often I combine the two forms by having fictional characters seduce other characters through cooking. My nephew once said to me, “Every time I read one of your novels, I get hungry.” Another added, “Or want sex.”

In addition, I find a successful dinner party to be a most satisfying form of entertainment. It surpasses almost everything offered on television.

Hosting a small dinner party in your home at regular intervals lets you connect with close friends to laugh, savor good food, ask questions, and discover new perspectives.

The success of a dinner party comes from a series of small interactions orchestrated in advance. It doesn’t matter whether you are hosting the CEO of a major corporation or a bunch of kayakers on a river. You are the conductor.

However, self-knowledge comes first, which should be followed by self-acceptance, the most important habit in life. I’m talking true self-acceptance, not bragging rights. Comfort with your being in your own skin is much deeper and harder to come by.


Because I’m a skeptic I don’t take anything as Gospel and consider astrology as a metaphor for archetypes, those quirks of personality common to Greek Mythology, Shakespeare’s characters, and obvious to the members of our own families. For example, Geminis tend to do everything too fast while multi-tasking. My daughters have long called me ” HOF” for House of Fire. However, I recognize my proclivities and accept them.

To have a dinner party that you, the host or hostess, can enjoy, you need to recognize and accept your own quirks as well as the strengths that come from them. Therefore, some of my blogs will be about how to discover your subconscious mind so when you entertain you can forget dust, ignore spots on the floor, allow spillage on your best tablecloth, and relax, relax, relax for maximum enjoyment.

Centuries ago, before maps, streetlights, and Google, travelers on and around the Mediterranean Sea used the stars to navigate. They noticed that constellations of stars came into view every night in regular, if complex, patterns that varied according to the seasons. Also, they realized that some stars gave off steady light and rotated around the sun much as the earth did. (This was before the flat-earth theory came into fashion.) The Greeks called these stars, planets, their word for wanderers. They agreed that stars were fixed and that planets moved in their own orbits.

On the basis of these observations, somebody created the Zodiac—perhaps by consensus of  focus groups—with its intricate mathematics and elaborate systems to explain the unknown. Denounced over the years as superstition, astrology nevertheless prevails even if it may not predict the future any more accurately than the media predicts weather. However, the archetypes are useful metaphors for creating truly enjoyable dinner parties.

There are twelve sun signs. I’m ignoring cusps, rising signs, and moon signs here, but if you believe the description of your sun sign doesn’t fit you, follow the directions to one that feels more like you. I do not add calorie counts to my recipes because I’m designing parties, not regular meals. Guests have the right to choose among offerings and eat lightly of any of them.

Welcome. I’ll begin with Capricorn and go through the zodiac, ending with Sagittarius.  Comment below, if you’d like.




Written by Evelyn Cole

Evelyn Cole

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