(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘entertaining

“Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week”*…

The ever-amusing Benjamin Errett on hospitality…

… The original word ghosti meant both guest and host specifically because of the deep connection between the two, “a mutual exchange relationship highly important to ancient Indo-European society.”…

That, as Beerbohm argues in his essay “Hosts and Guests,” is how we’ve evolved along with our words. There are natural hosts who keep a stocked drinks cart and jars of olives on hand. Obviously, it helps to have a generous olive budget. These people who arrange things just so are often bad guests.

A bad guest, Beerbohm writes, is either a parasite or a churl, the latter being someone like the freeloading poet Dante, who “received during his exile much hospitality from many hosts and repaid them by writing how bitter was the bread in their houses, and how steep the stairs were.” Poets!

To be perfectly positioned between parasitism and churlishness is to reciprocate the food and drink with good company, “radiating gratitude, but not too much of it; never intrusive, ever within call; full of dignity, yet all amenable; quiet, yet lively; never echoing, ever amplifying; never contradicting, but often lighting the way to truth; an ornament, an inspiration, anywhere.” If you’re particularly winning at this, you can save on room and board and no one will ever call you a mooch.

let’s reflect on how the who-would-you-invite-to-an-imaginary-dinner-party game is always less fun than it sounds. And yet the New York Times keeps asking authors in By the Book, despite the fact that Charlie Kaufman absolutely demolished the premise with this answer:

I see Oscar Wilde there, of course, Voltaire, Carol Saroyan Saroyan Matthau (wife of William Saroyan, William Saroyan, and Walter Matthau, and a writer in her own right), Hitler (not witty but quite a “get”), Edie Sitwell, Molière, Oscar Wilde (so witty I thought why not double him and place him on each end of the table so everyone could enjoy his witticisms?), Aristophanes, and Sir Kenneth Dover (to translate Aristophanes’ jokes for the other guests). That’s more than three, but one must assume there will be cancellations. Oh, and Jesus...

Be neither a parasite nor a churl- @benjaminerrett on hospitality: “The Wit’s Guide to Guests.”

* W. D. Howells


As we contemplate conviviality, we might consider the history of the visitor’s vehicle of choice, the automobile: it was on this date in 1903 that Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Ford automobile, a Model A. The two-(bench) seater weighed 1,240 lbs. and could reach a top speed of 28 mph. The Model A was the first car produced using pairs or trios of men working on each car; between 1903 and 1904, 1,750 cars were made.

Between 1903 and 1908, Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, and S. Hundreds or a few thousand of most of these were sold per year. Then in 1908, Ford introduced the mass-produced Model T, which totaled millions sold over 18 years. While the Model T was famously available “in any color the customer wants, so long as it’s black,” the Model A was only sold in the color red.

(In 1927, Ford resurrected the “Model A” designation for the successor to its Model T; the revived Model A came in a variety of styles and colors…)


Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 23, 2023 at 1:00 am

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook”*…


 click here for larger interactive version

As your correspondent flies home from the land of lobster rolls, a consideration of the food preferences that set us, state by state, apart…

Every state in the U.S. has a unique flavor, from Chicken Cheesesteak to Chinese Chicken SaladFoursquare analyzed the data to pinpoint which food or drink is most disproportionately popular in each destination, and worked with Mapbox to create [this] dynamic map…

More at “America’s Most Popular Tastes.”

* Julia Child


As we place our orders, we might recall that it was on this date in 1892 that the Lea & Perrins label was trademarked.  First sold in 1838 by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, dispensing chemists from Broad Street, Worcester, “Worcestershire Sauce” remains a staple condiment.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 31, 2015 at 1:01 am

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