Truth: Chicken under a brick. Truth: Tuscan white beans. Lie: Beer. But we had lots of great Italian wines.
If you really want to get to know a group of creative, successful women, let them make up a few lies about themselves. Thatâ€™s how we broke the ice at the latest Cook the Part dinner. The classic â€œTwo Truths and Lieâ€ team building exercise facilitated great conversation and interesting stories among the chefs who created the Tuscan Farmhouse Dinner at Karinâ€™s recently.
The group of successful women included published and aspiring authors Teri Louden, Bryna Kranzler, Rhonda Rhyne and Karin Eastham; former concert pianist Susan Snow; country dancing queen Helen Adams, lawyer-turned-company-founder Pauline Getz; master chef with Mexicana flare Barbara Zaugg, graphic artist Traci Oâ€™Very Covey, food critic blogger Marcie Rothman and Fortune Magazine contributing photographer Cari Lighthouse Pike. And some of these women are even fortunate enough to have made careers out of these talents. Â And I, Kristina Eastham, was able to spend the evening with these 11 â€œmentors,â€ hearing about the incredible journeys that brought them to where they are now.
After enjoying a tasty antipasto platter and homemade pizza Marguerite, the group teamed up into four groups and started creating the rest of the meal. Our time together in the kitchen allowed me to learn more about my teammates, Pauline and Cari, in a way that went beyond the typical cocktail party banter. Pauline educated me on the anti-microbial benefits of copper while Cari snapped beautiful photos and shared stories about her teenage daughter. The other groups had similar experiences, sharing cooking tips and new techniques and really getting to know one another.
When we all sat down to dine together, we discovered that the best way to we really got to know these women were through their â€œlies:â€ Helen does have toes painted like watermelons, but she does not have 12 of them. She only has 10 like the rest of us. I can lie so well that my mom doesnâ€™t even know what my truths are (I did indeed sing the National Anthem at a Padres game when I was about 8!). Barbara is not my momâ€™s cousin from Lithuania (although Iâ€™d take her as an Aunt any day). And if you need your facts checked in the future, Marcie is the woman for the job, since she was a professional fact checker earlier in her career.
The women created a beautiful Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese, topped with oil, vinegar and basil chiffonade.Â The main course was Chicken Under a Brick, Tuscan White Beans (although somehow one and a half times the ingredients turned into what seemed like ten times the recipe) and Grilled Zucchini.Â Then we finished up the meal with a delicious Fallen Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis, whipped cream and fresh strawberries. And weâ€™re still trying to figure out who is lying about the whereabouts of the missing cakes.