How To Cook For 8

Go to cheap Mexican supermarket and buy whole beef tenderloin at 2/5 the per-pound price of a conventional supermarket three days before you actually intend to cook.

Trim tenderloin. Realize that there really is a lot of fat in cows.

Put in roasting pan with extra paper towels to soak up extra "fluid". Stick in fridge.

Day of big dinner, take loin out of fridge. Throw out paper towels. Tie small end of loin around. Slice off head of loin after realizing that whole loin won't really fit in roasting pan in straight line.

Hope that what's left (which only fits in roasting pan diagonally) is enough. Attempts to visualize meat divided into eight parts fail.

Understand that it will take a lot longer to cook unless roasting pan (which has spent last three days in the refrigerator) warms up from current temperature, which is ice cold. Take loin out of pan, put on chopping board (which takes up most of the working space in your tiny New York City apartment). Put pan in oven. Turn oven on, warm to 425 Fahrenheit.

Wait (one can prepare other foodstuffs while waiting).

Once pan is warmed up, open oven (try to avoid third-degree burns on your hands), drop loin into pan. Loin will instantly sear. Wait a minute, then turn over so the other side will sear. Add salt and pepper. Forget to add olive oil. Close oven.

Wait 15 minutes. Open oven, turn roast over. Close oven.

While preparing other foods, forget that loin should only be in oven 30 minutes max. Overcook slightly for an extra 10 minutes. Roast will come out Well Done, not Medium Rare. At this point, make sure that all guests have lots of wine.

Slice. Discover that the meal's only going to be two slices per person. Load up guests' plates with extra starches and veggies in hope that no-one will notice. Apologize for the fact that dinner is being served at 9:30 in the evening. Particularly when you told people to arrive at 7:30.

Ignore the fact that even though you told everyone to be there at 7:30, the first person showed up at five to eight.

Start eating dinner. Be relieved that you didn't totally screw up the meal.

Continue to eat dinner. Realize that it actually turned out pretty well.

Drink lots more wine.