Another week has arrived, and with it a whole new set of possibilities. I’m not talking about life, I’m talking about tacos.
My good friend Josh started a weekly ritual that some of us decided to continue. Every Tuesday my roommates and I tidy up the house a bit, cook about 10 pounds of pork, fill our rooms with chairs, and invite people over for a potluck dinner around cute killer tacos.
With a potluck style format, you never know what kind of taco you’ll be making. We never really know who will show up, either. Some people are serious about calling ahead, others have done so at such a rate that we expect them at our doorstep, and we always welcome those who wish to bring a friend. All of these factors make it quite interesting and make Taco Tuesday the highlight of my week.
Nowadays, our definition of hospitality has been confused with entertainment. We believe that everything has to be perfect before we invite people into our homes and into our lives. Insecurity, expectation and comparison try to convince us that the community is either too idealistic or too messy.
On the contrary. It couldn’t be easier. You just have to start where you are.
In her book on the art of the house, one of my favorite writers, Edith Schaffer, has this to say about it:
“There is no time when meals should become totally irrelevant. Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short-lived in the midst of a big push for work, but they should always be more than food.
Looks like tacos do the trick there.
She continues: “The little life of tight segregation, always spent with people of your age, economic group, level of education and culture, tends to bring a kind of static and embodied condition. New ideas, the reality of communication and shared experiences will be sparks to ignite fires of creativity, especially if the people who spend time together are a true cross-section of age, nationality, kinship and language.
Some of the people who come to Taco Tuesday are close friends, others are strangers and acquaintances, but all from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We laugh, discuss, catch up, even talk about difficult things, controversial things. Sometimes the conversations heat up, sometimes there isn’t enough pork to go around or a deep lack of cheese. Sometimes people sit on the floor and notice that we forgot to sweep. And, sometimes, someone gets trapped for a second when our sliding bathroom door swings (sorry, Chris!).
It’s rarely idyllic, but it’s real, and it’s invigorating.
I made some of my closest friends on the nights celebrating Taco Tuesday, I embarrassed myself with bad etiquette for eating tacos, and opened my mind to ideas I would never have. researched by myself.
I would say everyone needs an authentic and cohesive community, now more than ever. What if we could get together around tacos, the most wonderful culinary creation of all time, what could be better? My challenge for you is to invite friends and strangers into your life, into your home, and see what happens.