W.B. Yeats said “We are happy when we’re growing.” In my book, this chapter was about preparing for a dinner party. For the quarterly meal, I chose to focus on the Alsatian region of France and Germany, now in France, and I encouraged everyone to bring any World War II memorabilia. I attempted to recreate a Laurel Run Cooking School pork recipe, thinking about my grandfather, who was a tank commander in Alsace during WWII. I was also thinking a lot about improvising the recipe and pulled Michael Ruhlman’s The Elements of Cooking off my shelf because I was recipe-less, as was Ruhlman, who cooks with passion and experience and produced a reference text rather than a cookbook. It makes me happy to create something unique in the kitchen, to respond to the ingredients to make something all my own and I grow as I do it. It’s more than an intellectual growth, it’s deeper than that. And it leads to great happiness when everyone sits down to eat the meal I created, the meal that came from my heart. These evenings are not just about eating and drinking; they’re also about trying new things, stretching the boundaries, surprising ourselves with what we can come up with. It feels like abundance.