Breaking bread

Photo by Ashim

We are in a deep freeze in Paris, every day remaining well below zero. Last week was highlighted by the warmest afternoon: a new friend invited seven of us over to his apartment in the 12th to cook a wok meal. We each brought something to share. The bringing was loosely coordinated: shrimp, salmon, carrots, pepper, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, white pepper, a palette of sauces & spices, 3 rices, wine, pastries, chocolate cake. Tasks were divided naturally, everyone finding their place. Two woks were going fulls team in the kitchen, a Grey’s Anatomy team de-veined the shrimp with precision, the table was set, chocolates sampled on the sly, wine decanted.

I don’t set aside much time in my life for cooking with friends, let alone new ones. Breaking bread with friends is straightforward, nourishing, at the heart of it.


  1. Hannah, I’m so glad I got to share this experience with you! Sometimes moments like these — where you don’t know exactly what to expect, or who you’ll be sharing them with — that end up incredibly memorable. “Nourishing” is the perfect word!

    1. Right! When you don’t know who you’ll be sharing the day with, a little leap of faith is involved, and that is just a good habit to have, in general. Its too easy to miss out on a great interaction with someone because we are so busy, booked, occupied.

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