Tag Archives: women in conversation

Profound Kitchen Conversations

Illustration by Arthur Sarnoff

Illustration by Arthur Sarnoff

After my parents divorced in 1965 (when I was ten years old), my mother became quite a party-giver. She had already plunged into local Ann Arbor politics as a precinct chair for the Democratic Party and a campaign manager for several men who ran for local offices. Our house was regularly filled by a sampling of some of Ann Arbor’s most interesting university professors, well-educated wives of university professors, and other political animals. Usually the food and drink was very simple, almost minimalist. Her favorite menu was spaghetti, with her special recipe of sauce, salad, and Bloody Maries to drink, served out of a big crock.

Jane was the maestro of all her parties, carefully designing the guest list so that everyone coming would find several other people they would be interested in meeting or be stimulated by encountering again. Then as the guests arrived and the party got underway, she would move about and make sure that everyone encountered their counterparts as per her plan. With the booze and the tasty food, it made for an energetic swirl of conversation, debate and argument, much of it political. Continue reading →