Sunday, May 15, 2011
Interesting People Celebrating Beer and Books!
I was in Ithaca as a guest at the spring meeting of a group of individuals-- writers, artists, a massage therapist, a lawyer, teachers, professors, business people and others--who come together twice each year to share friendship. This meeting their theme was Brewing and Celebration. On Saturday evening after the tour of the brewery, a dinner pairing food and the local brews was served up with a menu of apple salad, goulash, some of my Butternut Valley ginger stout muffins, and cheese. The spiciness of the goulash was well balanced by the Ithaca Brewery's red ale. I recommend a pairing event for your next party or dinner get together. It's fun. Don't worry about getting it right. Just have a selection of beers and try them with your food. Experiment and see what you like. Be sure you include your local microbrewery's offerings.
Before dinner the group had an activity called "Advocating" during which each group member shared with us something important to them. To avoid debates, my hostess, Susan, told me no contradictory opinions were to be offered only silence (no negative gestures) support or questions. It was an interesting way for members to learn each others opinions and values without bitterness or argument. "Metaphors" came next. Each individual brought something to the group built on the theme of the weekend. These gifts could be humorous such as the witch's costume for brewing or more serious with the presentation of some fine beers from Belgian or a tea cup and tea, also brewed. The gifts were taken into another room and each individual drew a card for the order in which he or she could select a gift. The selected gift was hidden somewhere in the house so that people didn't brag about what they had chosen. Intriguing and sensitively designed events by people who like each other well enough to travel great distances (some drove for more than four hours) to share this weekend.
After dinner I talked to the group about writing, my books, and how the the publishing industry is changing. Oh,sure, I sold some books, but what I took away was a sense of having experienced a special sharing event. And, oh yes, I also ate the best brownie I've had in years!
Posted by Lesley Diehl at 2:12 PM