So we had ourselves a little party.

Okay, to be fair, it wasn’t exactly “little”—this was actually the largest group of people I’ve ever cooked for in my life!—but it was a party, a plenty-of-food, generously-poured-drink, introductions-and-good-conversation, joy-and-warm-feeling kind of gathering filled with people from all corners of our life.

And these people?  These people are amazing.

They came over after work on Monday to help tape the living room for the somewhat insane project of painting it red by Saturday.  They came over after work on Thursday to string lights, on Friday to help move tables and chairs and lift things, they came early on Saturday to chop and stack and clean and set up and arrange.

My friend Leslie designed our beautiful invitations, Courtney the darling food labels I want to keep forever, and Rebecca and Megan the gorgeous table décor that made me feel like our party belonged in a magazine.  Sonya, as you can see, took a lot of stunning pictures.

I served, among many other things: Vadouvan Spiced Cashews, Grilled Halloumi, Lamb Koftas, & Cardamom Shortbread Cookies.

I felt like a very lucky woman indeed to be surrounded by so many people I love, to watch them interact with each other, enjoy food that I made, light sparklers, laugh, and help me honor my father’s memory .  To eat, drink, and relish a good night in good company, to celebrate for no reason and every reason—that’s why we gathered for Diwali, and that’s why we toasted L’Chaim, to life.